Miniview: Freeride World Champion Emilien Badoux

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Emilien on the Courmayeur stop - J. Bernard.
Emilien on the Courmayeur stop – J. Bernard.

Far from your average bas ass kid who’s releasing his new street edit featuring some new school moves and epic music, this Miniview goes to a freshly crowned Freeride World Champion: Emilien Badoux. In a pretty closed up freeride competition world, where guys are there for decades trying to grab the Graal, this guy just arrived 3 years ago, and already made a name for himself. And what’s also interesting, is that about ten years ago, this Swiss knife of snowboarding was a hard core freestyler…

When exactly did you decide to make this turn into freeriding, and why?

That’s when I started my snow instructor courses. I was running 2 training program at the same time: snow instructor and also gardener. I was pretty busy and only had like 3 small months to ride in the winter. So i ended up concentrating on what meant the most to me: make some lines in the breauty backcountrythat the Alps can offer.

And now how many seasons have you done on the Freeride World Tour?

It was my third this year, although I had a wild card to compete 4 years ago for the Sochi stop.

Did you think you had a chance to win this whole think when you started and saw the level of riding?

The fact is, two years ago after the Verbier Extreme, I said to a friend: the first year, you check the guys you are comepting with, what they’ve got, and you try to come as close as possible. The second year you get out of the shadow, try and win a few events. And the third one you win! I can’t say this was planned, but it’s funny to think about this now I won the title.

Emilien in some gnarly face this past season - D. Carlier.
Emilien in some gnarly face this past season – D. Carlier.

What made the difference this year?

I had a way better physical preparation, to start with. But what really changed it all for me was to win in Chamonix, I was dreaming about this and to achieve it made me realize that my dream was possible to achieve. It gave me more confidence for the whole season and was definately the start of something new for me.

What did you learn on this Freeride World Tour?

Competition in general teach you to drive your emotions, make them a positive factor, not negative. So when you really have pressure, you can still do your best no matter what. The on the riding itself I’ve learnt a lot too. You check so many different lines so intensively, in so many different places, that you learn a lot about the mountain, about the snow etc.

This is from when Emilien was a freestyler.
This is from when Emilien was a freestyler.

What qualities from your freestyle years do you use most you would say?

Freeriding is pretty much all about experience if you can drive your emotions. So I guess freestyle help me with this, because it’s also quite scary to drop in towards a massive jump! Then on the riding maybe some extra style, I don’t know! Style counts as well nowadays in freeriding, so it’s always a bonus.

Did you happen to get scared last winter?

Yes, but I kind of handled it though. In the beginning of the winter, 7 people died in the area around me and the conditions were super dangerous. In my training early season, I had to go back home so many times because I didn’t feel it was right to do these runs at that time. You always have to follow your instinct, especially in a hostile environment.

What is the best run you’ve done?

I think I’m still waiting for it haha! This is why you guys are going to see me for a little while now!

So you’re back in on the Freeride World Tour next winter for sure?

Yes of course! I thought I’d quit if I became world champion, but now I realise I can fulfill more dreams that I have on this tour, my riding is still evolving as well as my general knowledge of the mountain, so of course I’m asking for more now! Plus I always wanted to ride in Alaska and it’s on the shcedule for 2014/2015 so I certainly don’t want to miss that!

Emilien Badoux sponsors are Rip Curl, Nidecker Dragon, Bern and Téléverbier.

Climbing in Verbier - D. Carlier.
Climbing in Verbier – D. Carlier.

 

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