In only a few seasons, Mathieu Schaer has climbed up the shred ladder to become one of the main riders in the Absinthe crew. In fact, you only have to watch this overtalented Swiss ripper to realise how good he is, and how naturally he evolves in the backcountry. This, plus the fact that he also goes to university at the same time leaves us speechless. Like with Jari Sorasalmi, we met Mat in Meribel during the DC Shred Days and asked him about this mystery...
This season is now nearly over for most, how did it go for you?
This season wasn’t as good as the last one for me. I’ve been injured quite a bit and this knee injury bugged me for longer than expected this winter. I guess I got back too soon, and in the end it wasn’t a great idea. It’s kind of hard in the head when you know it’s going to hurt if you don’t land correctly… I also had less time to ride because of university. It was hard to get back into it as well since I had stopped my studies last year to concentrate fully on snowboarding. But next winter I will be more free again and will have more time to shred.
We always wonder how you manage to combine snowboarding and studies. How do you find the time to succeed in both?
Good question, ahah! I don’t really know. I do work a lot, I’m very motivated and I always try to organise my stuff in advance. It’s not always easy, for sure, like trying to study after a day out riding. But the good thing is, I love to switch from one to the other. Studying offers me more perspective than just snowboarding, and shredding help me stay focussed on what I want to achieve. Plus I get to meet all kinds of different people, and I sometimes have the impression to live 2 different lives! So I take it as a privilege, even though it’s demanding sometimes.
What was your best snowboard trip this winter?
We went twice in the Dolomites in Italy, it was cool. We had a crazy amount of snow there, and the mountains are beautiful and fun to ride. The good pizzas at cheap price don’t hurt either! They also put signs everywhere to stop people riding off piste, so most people stay on the piste and the backcountry stays spotless for days! That’s the best thing about it when you compare with how it is at home!
With Standard not making a video this winter, Absinthe got a few more riders on its rooster. Who are the ones that really impressed you?
Yes, we were stoked to get to ride with those guys. For example Mathieu Crepel, Nils Arvidsson and Victor Delerue are really sick riders and I was stoked to rider with them. They are not new in the game, but just shredding the backcountry with them is so amazing!
How was it to end your season in Meribel for the Shred Days? Generally park isn’t your thing?
The Shred Days were cool, it’s nice to be there and see all this people and feel the brilliant atmosphere. For sure park isn’t really what I’m used to, so I don’t go crazy. But it was really fun to ride there with the whole team, and watch the rail machines destroy the park. But it seems the season isn’t over for me yet! At this moment, it’s snowing in Saas Fee, so I’m off there now! After a good season like this, I wonuldn’t be surprised if there’s stuff to do until like end of May, for those who don’t mind walking a bit!
I know Alaska is one of your favorite place to ride. What’s your best story from this place?
Alaska is amazing, it’s like time stops when you’re there. This one time this fisherman brought us a King Crab, alive and enormous, saying that this was the best ever and that it’s really rare to find one, especially that big. Then he explained us how to prepare it. First you go by the ocean, put your hands in the animal’s mouth and pull his head back and crack it open. The you empty it, alive… You throw all the organs into the ocean and just keep the eatable part. Then you simply boil it into sea water. The best taste ever, but it was very disgusting to do all this to this poor animal. Especially the ‘head breaking technique’ didn’t go as well as expected… It was a bit of a carnage. But the taste was amazing, best thing I ever tasted!
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