You’re one of the two skiers who got invited to West Coast Session through their Let Me Session video contest, how did that come about? Any expectations?
I just hit up Ethan Stone about hitting the WCS (West Coast Session) jump and he responded by letting me know there was a 30 sec video contest called Let Me Session, and I wanted to session.
Yeah I had one big expectation, a monster jump!
#wcs10 was a an awesome time with stoked homies, better than expected weather, and a HUGE jump. Happy to come home healthy, some things went well, some my as well. Thanks to everyone who helped make a sick #lastoffering. @batalla_skis @ltdoptics @prethelmets @roxa_italian_skiboots and homys @i_tea_h @ethanstonephoto @vinceemond @jc_peggy @jmccarl71 @chillcox @tomnelner_
What makes WCS so special among athletes and content creators?
The chill vibe. Everyone’s out to have a good time, no huge pressure like contests or some film shoots at all. Having Windells campus available to athletes and media for everyone to hang together is awesome. Athletes get a chance to meet everyone around and actually have a moment to chat. We’re all on pretty much the same schedule.
What have you been up to this season?
I spent most of the season traveling with my good friend Ian Hamilton, trying to learn as much as we can about filming/editing while hitting some contests. Ian loves shredding the backcountry while I’m still heavy in the park world, so we try to rub off our styles on each other. We started a small webisode series called Budhies, supported by Roxa Boots, LTD Optics, Char Poles and Pret Helmets. Check it out!
After WCS I headed back up to Whistler to film some more with Ian for Budhies, including a jump shoot way up top on Blackcomb glacier.
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Any plans for this summer?
This summer’s plans are still up in the air, I would love to make it back to New Zealand to ride Cardrona Parks, but I also want to ride Whistler’s glacier as much as possible. A few other ideas in mind, but always going with the flow for what makes most sense at the very moment!
How do you support your skiing?
I have some help from some industry companies to travel for filming and contests, the rest I pay for with my summer job. When the season’s out in North America, I coach freestyle trampoline and air awareness to skiers and snowboarders for the most part. This summer I’ll be working with Canada Snowboard, Whistler Water Ramps, and for CFSA as a learning facilitator for the coaching Air modules.
You posted a video on Instagram a couple of weeks ago where you’re on some Armada skis. What’s up with Batalla?
Batalla Skis is moving their factory at the moment and I ran out of park skis. So Batalla hooked me up with some Armadas for the rest of the season. We’ll see what happens for next season!
Been taking my #cfsa air doubles course. So I played athlete, @jeremy2 and the other coaches helped me stomp my first switch dub misty 10. Soooo amped, thanks guys! Shot on #HITCASE by @seebass3 @ltdoptics @prethelmets @pimphands @charpoles @roxa_italian_skiboots @whistlerbounce @vitalityair
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You’re known to do new and unique variations of double and triple corks/flips, what’s the creative process behind those tricks?
I for sure put a lot of thought into some of the rotations I’ve been doing. Being a trampoline coach, I have had some sweet opportunities to work with many athletes, including snowboarders. The easiest is to say the style of snowboard tricks and the mechanics involved compared to skiing tricks has opened my mind!
I have not spent very much time actually hitting water ramps since I started slopestyle, but I try to get two handfuls of water ramp days in a summer. Nowadays I don’t trampoline very much, but I have put in many hours a day for several years to develop my air awareness.
You’re originally from Quebec – where did you grow up skiing? And when / why did you move to Whistler?
I grew up skiing small resorts called Belle Neige and Mont Tremblant, one on each end of the Laurentians where I went to school. The town is called Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts.
I moved to Whistler after skiing other disciplines aside from slopestyle and realized none of them was what I loved. Some aspects from everything were awesome, but for me slopestyle takes all of those aspects and puts them in one.
You were into moguls before you picked up park skiing, why did you make the switch?
From age 13-19 I made a few switches between sports before I found my passion: big airs.
I started as a snowboarder as a kid until I was 13 years old, then made the switch to skis to join the bright side with my twin brother Heath. He was a mogul skier from the get go, while I went to racing first for a couple of years. At age 15 I saw Heath attempt the water ramps for the first time, it looked pretty sick to ski in the summer time. That summer I tried water ramps and the following season I was at Belle Neige ski hill learning to ski in the bumps. Spent a couple years in the Quebec system which was awesome but hard, those Quebec mogul skiers take it seriously. Moved to Toronto, Ontario for grade 12 with Heath for my last season skiing moguls. Being on the Ontario team was awesome, David Belhumeur was my coach, an ex-aerialist for Canada. He allowed me to try my first double on snow off of a mogul jump in Switzerland. That double lincoln pushed me to where I am now for sure.
Neither Heath or I qualified for the National team. That was pretty much the deciding factor in quitting moguls. Especially considering there was close to zero sponsor dollars in moguls even for a lot of the best skiers.
Being 19 it was Uni time, I was fully applied in Ottawa and ready to go. Except I wasn’t, skiing was still deep in me. So I took all the money I made that summer and went to where my best homies moved to, the Canadian wonderland of Whistler!
No more issues, I got to do the part I loved most about skiing moguls all day everyday: hit jumps!
So I didn’t actually want to make the decision to switch, it was a financial decision honestly. The best decision I’ve made in my life though.
I finished 9th at the Calgary Noram, not bad. So I sent it to Kimberley Mtn for some fresh pow with Jessy Collings. Loving this place :D. #mykimberley #HITCASE @hitcase @batalla_skis @ltdoptics @prethelmets @roxa_italian_skiboots @charpoles @vitalityair @pimphands
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