O'Neill Global HQ – Warmond, The Netherlands – December 13, 2008 – Freestyle professional snowboarding phenomenon Sebastien Toutant AKA Seb Toots has signed a new three-year deal with O'Neill.
The 16-year-old French Canadian exploded onto snowboarding's global stage for the first time in 2006, coming from nowhere as a 13-year-old amateur to win the Empire Shakedown contest in Canada. Since then, Toutant has been busy traveling the globe and cementing his reputation as one of snowboarding's brightest young talents.
Despite setting the bar so high at such a young age, Toutant hasn't been fazed by the weight of expectation. Instead, the young rookie has gone from strength to strength. After notching up another victory in Canada at the end-of-season Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival, the Montreal native traveled south to New Zealand this summer to compete in the Big Air event at the Billabong Snow Stock Festival. It was there that he chose to unleash his signature Tootsie Roll – a double corked backside 1080 – to claim his first career victory on foreign soil.
Toutant's appetite for trick innovation and his ability to land the unthinkable have made the industry sit up and take notice. This season, the rookie has been invited to compete in some of the world's biggest contests, including the TTR 6Star Nissan X-Trail Jam, O'Neill Evolution and Billabong Air & Style Quarterpipe. With Toutant clearly marked out as a star of the future, it surely won't be long before he fulfills his longstanding ambition to compete in the Winter X-Games. As well as going head-to-head against the world's best riders, Toutant will also showcase his skills on film this season by putting together another banger video part with one of the world's finest snowboard film production companies.
Pausing for thought on his way to Tokyo, where he'll compete in front of 70,000 fanatical spectators at the X-Trail Jam, Seb said: "I'm really stoked to sign with O'Neill. They're doing a lot of great things in snowboarding, and they've been supporting me for a long time already. They really understand what I want to achieve and have always given me the support and guidance I need to step my game up. Looking ahead, I just want to keep progressing and eventually end up pushing the sport as much as riders like Travis Rice and Eero Ettala. Thanks once again to everyone at O'Neill and a big shout out to my team manager Max Henault for all the support."
O'Neill Global Snow Team Manager Franck Corbery is proud to keep Toutant at the heart of the O'Neill Global Youth Team, saying: "Seb has the potential to occupy a position at the pinnacle of freestyle snowboarding for many years to come. More importantly, he's one of the few riders blessed with the talent and sense of creativity needed to take the sport to the next level. His groundbreaking riding style is bang in line with the innovative character of the O'Neill brand, and this latest deal is a real testament to Max's hard work and commitment towards nurturing local talent. We're all super happy to get right behind Toots as he continues to fulfill his incredible potential."
To witness the Toots madness first hand, check out KNOCKOUT – the latest movie by Alterna Films. And keep an eye out for Seb's signature O'Neill jacket, dropping worldwide in 2009/10.