An Homage to Jean Nerva - Onboard Magazine

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Sad news to report today, as we were informed that Jean Nerva, a pioneer of the embryonic days of French snowboarding, has passed away at the age of 57. RIP.

Jean was one of the very first “snow surfers” as they called it in France, along with Régis Rolland and some other heads, blazing a trail for the sport since the mid 80s. We’re sad to report that he died at the age of 57, and we wanted to pay homage to him and give our condolences to his friends and family.

Originally from Savoie, Jean devoted his life to snowboarding, and he was also world champion twice, in 1988 and in 1990. A great career followed, marked by adventures and films that became classics of the genre – including “Canon Surf” released in 1988, below. Jean was also a skilled motorcross rider and journalist.

As explained in a recent interview, he recently contracted a very rare eye disease, which had a bleak prognosis. Jean decided to go to India to take care of himself, but also to worked with a charity aimed at providing sunglasses to populations exposed to these harmful rays.

Thanks to the support of sponsors and many other specialized brands, the charity was able to gather a large number of pairs of glasses, and the initiative continues today. This anecdote shows both the great heart and the commitment that Jean had throughout his life. In homage to this big-hearted pioneer who’s left us too soon, here is the famous “Canon Surf II”.

RIP Jeannot



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