14/08/2009 | by Onboard
Fresh off the messy divorce from the biggest name in snowboards and his new life as a father, one of the most respected (and controversial) snowboarders today forges a path less-travelled.
The rumors and infamous party sightings of years past suggested recklessness and an almost nihilistic streak that fueled the Romain brand. If he wasn’t going for broke – whether on the mountain or in the night club – pushing it come hell or high-water, it’s been said, there must have been something wrong with him.
Today the 29 year-old shredder from Geneva, Switzerland pushes his limits like never before, only now he does it with new-found purpose and conviction, and for reasons beyond just his own ego and self-aggrandizement. No surprise, given his tumultuous sponsor shift and the birth of his children, Anella 2 and Kayden 5 months.
For one, the mega-conglomerate sponsorship with the biggest name in snowboarding vaporized and left Romain pondering the problem of his failed partnership, “I was a true believer [in their story] so I gave a lot of my energy for that company and I sacrificed a lot for them. I was expecting reciprocity and instead, they let me off.” Like with any loss, your awareness grows and Romain began seeing that he and many of his fellow shredders were drifting away from the very spirit of snowboarding. Where do you go from here?
In Romain’s case, you launch yourself down a new path, forging relationships with small, young, up-and-coming brands, as well as starting your own line of snowboards (you’ll be hearing a lot about YES! SNOWBOARDS this season). You do this all in the name of “driving the snowboard company back to its roots” and being able to write a story that reminds us all of why we ride in the first place: for freedom, growth, purpose and a quest for the ultimate authentic personal lifestyle.
And that’s what he found in SHRED OPTICS: a love for shredding in whatever form that may be. It’s about the feeling you get when you’re pushing your limits and having fun.
“For me it was a little crazy [to choose SHRED], because the brand is from skiing!” sarcastically chuckling as he uttered that last word. “They were simple and nice and really true to who they are [...] and so I went for it and am not regretting it at all! And besides, there shouldn’t be a conflict between ski and snowboarding: we’re all riding the same snow on the same mountains!”
And for the first time in a long time, Romain feels the love. He’s stoked on the gear, loving how his current favorite, the SHRED SOAZA goggle fits his head, and how Shred engineers and designers are working with him on a future pro model based on the SHRED OMNIBOT with a twist of vintage goodness. The eco-line of products too are catching his eye, “I wish we can push towards that, to recycle the entire goggle in the future!”
Harmony with a sponsor? Growth? Purpose? Recycling? What’s gotten into Romain? Besides making positive moves in his professional life, he’s gone through transformations in his personal life too.
And in a word, fatherhood got into Romain. You could hear it in his voice when asked to comment on his kids. He paused, reflected and shared sentimental and downright philosophical words:
“Man, Anella is almost 2 years old and she’s growing up by the minute! It’s fascinating… (pause), I mean, it makes you more mature, makes you go forward in life, to be able to see your kids, the way they interpret life, to see their innocence and their soul. It gives you a lot of inspiration!”
Hearing him gush about his little tykes would make you believe he’s turned soft and more cautious when out on the mountain.
“Actually, for me it went the other way around! I’m MORE CRAZY now than before! Now more than ever, I do it for more and more reasons.” Admitting that his ego-driven motivations in younger years left him empty, it’s now his little 2 year old and freshie baby who inspire him to live every day to its fullest: “I want them to feel my passion and I want to translate it to them, so now I go out there and try to get as stoked as I can, so when I get home, they can see how happy I am to do what I love to do. I love when they feel that!”
From debaucherous infamy to pint-sized inspiration, Romain de Marchi is blazing new paths based on the small, the passionate, the meaningful relationships in his life. Catch him riding all over the world, holding his kids and dawning the new SHRED look.