We heard Cheryl Maas was down at the Volcom warehouse the other day to shoot her new Electric ad with photographer Mathias Fennetaux, so our French ed got on his bike and set off down the road to check what what was going on and do a quick catch up interview with her. Turns out that this winter Electric is launching a full-on pro model collection under the codename RIDS (Riders Inspired Design Series), and Maas has her own goggle, as do with Andreas Wiig, Jamie Anderson, Iikka Backstrom and Pat Moore.
As the TTR’s first ever female Tour champ, not to mention her selection of heavy video parts, it’s safe to say that we know Cheryl rips but her last couple of winters were hit by a succession of injuries. Having battled through the downtime, she’s now ready to have at it again…
You had a bit of bad luck over the last two seasons, but now you’re fully ready to get back it seems?
Yeah the last two seasons have been quite hard for me, I had lots of injuries. It started two years ago at the X-Games, I had a pretty big crash that took me out for two month in the middle of the season. That was a bit of a scary accident, the kind that screws your head up a bit. So I wanted to do a really good come back this last season but sadly right at the beginning of December, I ripped my other shoulder. So I had a slow start again. And then when I was finally back on good shape and ready for the winter, I bruised my heel really badly at X-Games again, which kept me riding 50% or not even the whole season.
You still managed to have a few results last winter though…
Yeah, I did quite good at the Chicken Jam, I was happy to get second with a bad knee! But contest-wise that was pretty much it for me recently.
Do you think those injuries were kind of linked together, or is it just bad luck?
It’s always hard to say… Sometimes when you got an injury you’re so focused on not damaging it more that you’re gonna hurt something else. Like last year I was pretty unlucky and hurt myself pretty hard, got back stronger and hurt my shoulder again, and I had to take it easy. But I always wanted to keep on riding because I think it’s important. But I’m pretty sure the knee injury came because I wanted to protect my shoulder. So then I didn’t feel 100% I guess even though I kept riding, so then I came short on a jump and hit my heel. So I guess in a way it’s all linked.
So basically this summer is full on recovery right? No riding?
That’s right. The bruised heel takes so long I can still feel it, so this time I want to be 100% when I’m back, not 80%. I don’t want to start another season when I don’t feel really fit. I just need to give it a long rest to achieve that.
What’s your program for the come back, any training?
I do quite a bit yes, running, biking, a bit of fitness, push ups and all that kind of stuff. Surfing is always good for my shoulder too! Then early season I really want to put all my efforts back into riding, I need that!
Any plans yet for the coming season? Or any wishes?
I want to focus on filming again, and photos, and maybe leave the contests a little bit behind these objectives. Of course I want to do the big competitions, like X-Games and BEO, but mainly I want to do well at filming and shooting, put a decent part together. Last year I had one really good shot that made my Volcom ad, a big 720 in the backcountry that felt so good that made me realize I wanna do that again. I had almost forgotten how good it was to ride some big stuff in the backcountry and get a good shot. I realized how much more happy I am after doing this than after a competition.
And it’s probably better to get started again on soft landings than parks jumps, isn’t it?
Yes! Well, I do still like rails and stuff, and I wanna film some urban stuff too. But for sure it will be cool to be in the backcountry again and get creative with it!
OK, and finally can you tell us which production company you’re gonna film with then?
Nice try but so far I’m just discussing some stuff, so I can’t tell you anything right now.