French snowboard icon can hit the backcountry pretty damn well.
Hi there Sylvain, how are you!
– Hello, I’m doing good. Enjoying the summer and fall and getting ready for the next winter.
You have been in the game for a long time. What is your opinion about snowboarding these days, and especially about the freeriding?
– I think that the level never has been so high in every aspects of snowboarding. Riders are strong and pushing it every winter. Freeriding is trendy again, thanks to guys like Jeremy Jones and Xavier De Le Rue. I have the feeling people want to see more gnarly technical stuff but are also really interested into nice images: journeys, nature and so on.
You’ve been filming with Absinthe a lot, and so you did to Resonance too. That’s one of the hardest working crews in the game, so what’s your key on sticking up with them?
– It’s great shooting with this the guys. Riders and filmers have one common goal: to make a good video. We all try to give our best to reach this goal. I think the most important things are a good atmosphere with the crew and a motivation to seek new and good terrain all around the world. And of course, passion for snowboarding.
Antti said that he felt like people haven’t seen the best of you in those films since you’ve mostly been jumping. But as he saw you riding lines he was totally stoked. What do you think about it?
– Haha, thanks Antti. We had great time in NZ with Antti shredding pow with the heli. That’s definitively something I want to do more–the best feeling ever! And I’m too old for park riding anyways!
How was it working with Antti’s crew and where were you shooting together? Was it somehow different than with Absinthe?
– Shooting with Antti, Teemu and Rami in NZ was nice. All those guys are really cool and love snowboarding. They know the NZ terrain really well and have a huge heli experience. They all made the effort to speak English because I don’t speak Finnish except vittu and moro. It was great riding with Antti because we were looking for the same kind of terrain: lines with freestyle features. I think we have the same vision of snowboarding. Two riders in one crew is also the perfect number.
By all means, Finnish riders are not that experienced as you guys. What do think about their level, especially on what Antti’s riding nowadays? How he has managed to step up from a pipe slayer to a backcountry rider?
– Finnish riders are world famous for their freestyle skills. They are simply the best. All the Finnish riders who ride now the backcountry are still the best. I’m thinking of Jussi, Eeros Niemelä and Ettala, Antti… I guess Finnish riders are good on all kind of white terrain. Antti’s choice to go from pipe to backcountry is a sick career choice! When you are a pipe world champion, go to the pipe Olympics and win pretty much everything you have nothing more to prove. Going outbounds was a new challenge for Antti and he’s doing it really well. He is for sure the Nico Muller of great north!
You must have been riding a lot with many great riders. Who are the ones you look up the most and why?
– Gigi Ruf, Nico Muller, Bode Merrill and Mathieu Crepel are incredible riders! They are able to ride all kinds of terrain very well and are also very creative. The Swiss kid Mathieu Schaer is also for me the next big name in backcountry snowboarding. He’s got Devun style, Gigi skills and he’s smart!
What do think about all this theme of Relate To It? Is it something to relate to?
– I would say relate to fun! We all love what we’re doing. We’re vittu lucky!
What will you be doing the next season?
– Hopefully filming with Absinthe, Almo (French Salomon video) and I would like to join the Relate To It crew for a few trips!
Home: Grenoble, France
Sponsors: Billabong, Salomon, VZ, Dakine, Nixon
Board and setup: Salomon Official 155, +15/-6, regular
Dream crew to ride and shoot with: friends and friendly people who doesn’t take it too seriously
Best places to ride: powder mountains with beaches not too far
Music: shitty music, radio tunes
Other hobbies: surf, books, travel
words: Tuukka Tams