When I was 15, I used to play a lot of football. Even more than I skied. I dreamt of playing in a big club and making an amazing career. I trained a lot and after a while I joined a good team near my home town. In 2 years I had improved a lot, thanks to an awesome coach, and I got selected amongst the 20 best players of my region (Rhône-Alpes, France). This opportunity led me to a big tournament aiming to create the future young French team (under 18 years old). I didn't play good enough to be selected but 2 big French clubs (Lyon & Marseille) offered me the possibility to join their club. I really had to make up my mind before joining one of them because I was good at skiing aswell.
At the same time, I won my first big competition in Freeskiing. It was tricky for me because everyone wanted to give me advice so I was a bit doubtful in my decision. I weighed the pros and cons and I decided to continue with my skiing career. I was scared about leaving my family & friends to join a big football club. Pursuing a football career requires too many sacrifices, I wasn’t ready for it at that time.
Now, I have no regrets because I really love what I do, but I'm still curious about if I would have managed to become a famous football player. Life is made of choices and that decision was probably the biggest one for me so far.
When and how did you start skiing? I started skiing when I was 2 years old. Before going on the slopes, I used to train on my floor's apartment, I walked around the apartment for hours with my skis on. Once I looked confident enough, my parents sent me to the slopes.
When did you decide to become a pro? I spent a summer on a glacier in France in 2005 and I trained really hard on a special feature (a rail) and after a while I was able to make crazy things on this feature. At the end of the summer a team manager came to me and offered me a small contract. Then I realized that I could become a pro.
What makes you unreasonable? I would say that I'm unreasonable because I have the capacity to keep my fear away when I'm about to do a crazy jump. I kind of disconnect my brain and I only focus on what I have to do to succeed. People think that I'm unreasonable but I'm just confident about what I do.
What has been a highlight in your career? I got invited to the Winter X Games in 2011 and 2012. This competition is the Grail for us. I was only 18 years old and it was a real honor to be part of this event. Lots of people came to see me so I was under pressure but it was definitely the best moment of my career.
What are your plans for the future? I don't know exactly but I want to keep working in the sport industry. I studied in a business school so I kind of understand how the industry works. I'm sure that my sport experience can be useful for any company. I would love to work in big events or as a sport agent. Let’s see what the future holds for me.
Name 10 things you never travel without? My ski stuff, friends, MacBook, iPhone, my girlfriend's picture, Nike Air Jordan, school homework, boardshorts.
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? I really enjoy my life, I travel with my friends all around the world to do what I love the most: skiing. I would not change my life for anyone else’s. I know that I won't be able to do this forever. So I'm staying aware that I have to enjoy every single day until I retire from skiing. It helps me to get out of bed.
If we visited you at breakfast, what would you be eating? I would prepare a home-made juice with apple, pear, kiwi, orange and banana and I would make toast with cheese ham and eggs. Best way to get ready for the day.
If you weren’t skiing, what would you do? I would have liked to start my own company. During my studies I had the time to imagine different projects. Maybe one day I will try to make it happen... We’ll see.
Any other sports you’re good at? I used to play football even more than I skiied. I was pretty close to stop skiing to pursue a football career. I still play a lot of football. I would like to improve in surf, skateboard & snowboard. These 3 sports are pretty close in terms of feelings.
What music are you listening to? I like listening to rock music (garage, psychedelic, punk...), it's really stimulating when I ski. Examples of artists: Ty Segall, The Cramps, Black keys, Rancho Relaxo...
What has been the scariest moment in your sport career? 10 years ago, one of my friends called me to go skiing. It had been snowing for 10 days and the snow conditions were amazing. He led me to a small jump that he had previously shaped. We were so excited that we almost forgot that it was a day with high risk of avalanches (4 out of 5). He tried the jump first. I was filming him, he crashed but not that bad. I turned off the camera and then he started to talk to me. Few seconds later, a big avalanche covered him. He didn't have a beeper so I called the ski patrol. Before the patrol came, I was totally shocked, I tried to dig in order to find him but it was not efficient at all. Five long minutes later, the ski patrol arrived and they organized the search. Finally, we got him out after 40 minutes. He was stuck under 4 meters of snow. Fortunately, he had absolutely nothing, it was a miracle. For me it was a terrible experience, but it has helped me to get aware of the danger of the mountains.
What was your most embarrassing moment in your career/life? The second time I competed at the X Games, I was in my home town (Tignes), and I had big support from the crowd. Everyone expected me to represent Tignes and France (because I was the only French guy) as well as I could. The night before the competition it had rained a lot so the competition got really tricky. My ski preparer didn't put the correct wax on my board so I didn't have enough speed to jump over the different features. When the competition started, everyone was at the bottom of the course with all the flags to support me but I was already aware that it would be an embarrassing day. As expected I crashed during my 2 runs on the first feature. This was definitely the most embarrassing day of my career.
How does your training routine look like? I'm not a competitor anymore. So my training routine has changed a little bit. When I competed, I used to train a lot in order to improve my technical tricks. Now, I'm more focused on exploring the backcountry so I work differently. The experience is one’s most important skill so I focus on learning more about the mountain every day. I'm still improving technically but I’m trying to progress on my freeriding skills even more.
Describe your perfect day? Go to a big backcountry kicker that would be previously shaped. Blue bird and no wind. I would try a triple cork and I would land it. Then, I would go to my friend’s home to have a look at the shot. To celebrate, we would all go having a drink to an English bar in Val d'Isère. That would be a perfect day.