Discovered in Val d’Isere 5 years ago by ex-pro rider Valérie Bourdier, who’s now looking after the Nitro French team as a lioness takes care of her cubs, Yann Barthélémy is the archetypal park rider and hardcore jibber. His aggressive style on any kind of obstacle and his perfect Nitro ‘Rocker’ look, not to mention his fishing talents, convinced Valérie to take him on the team last year. “The only advice I can give him now is to get in the pipe a bit more. There’s some upcoming kids who are pushing behind, you know!” Well, Valerie certainly knows how to put a bit of pressure on the riders…
Espace Killy (Val and Tignes)
Nitro, Electric, Advita, Labo shop (Bourg-Saint-Maurice)
Goofy or regular?
front +21°, back –11°
carp fishing, skateboarding, video editing, music, happy slapping…
How long have you been riding?
It was the year that France beat Brazil in the final of the World Cup, and I was listening to ‘Only Crime Pays’ on my discman.
What made you want to turn pro?
The pro-hoes, fame, and glamour… you know, real life man!
How did you start?
I used to ski with the sports club in Tignes and one day my friend Chichi lent me his snowboard and I haven’t stopped ever since.
Who was your first sponsor?
Nitro snowboards, thanks to Valérie Bourdier.
March 2006. It dumped every day, had some amazing sessions with the bros, and in the evening I hooked up with my Swedish girlfriend for some long nights by the fire. But at the beginning of April we broke up, and it rained.
That has to be when I was in Québec and I stacked a hire car right in the middle of town and I didn’t even have my licence. I probably need to apologise to the cops in Québec for running away from the crime scene.
I don’t have a favourite trick. Snowboarding is like sex, you’ve got to go with the flow… sometimes you wake up you want to do it in the missionary position and sometimes you want to do it doggy style. My main goal is to just have fun and make the most my partner, whether that is my board or my woman.
Is it the first time you’ve been published in a snowboard mag?
I have other magazine pieces planned for this year but I’m proud to say that my first will be with Onboard!
Which do you prefer in snowboarding, park, pipe, handrails or backcountry?
Backcountry for sure, even if changing climate conditions have meant that there’s less and less snow, something that’s driving me crazy.
Do you do a lot of contests?
I placed third in a carp fishing contest back in 97. I’m also capable of travelling hundreds of kilometres as soon as I hear something about a wet t-shirt contest. But as far as snowboard contests go, I’d have to say that I’m not really into humiliating other people!
I was massively into dream music (Robert Miles) but the movement is dead now, so I’m into rap now, and I’ll listen to a bit of rock too.
My friend Jey from Eider Shop. He’s got a killer backside carve. Otherwise Erik Christensen.
All the boys from Val and Tignes, the guys at Voyage Production, Eric Labbé, Romain Carlier, Nico Daniel, Nico le Drôle, Jony Boy, la Fissure, Romain and Léo Taillefer, and Pompom.