Published in Onboard Magazine Issue 121, March 2011
WORDS: YOURI BARNEOUD
PERHAPS BEST-KNOWN FOR STAGING THE ANNUAL MONDIAL DU SNOW TRADESHOW AND ITS BIG SNOWPARK AND GLACIER (OPEN NEARLY ALL YEAR ROUND), THE FRENCH RESORT OF LES DEUX ALPES ALSO BOASTS ONE OTHER HIGHLIGHT: YANNICK AMEVET’S SNOWBOARD SHOP, SUPERWHITE.
Along with being one of France and Europe’s main snowboarding hubs, Les Deux Alpes is a resort which stays busy more or less the whole year thanks to its glacier that remains open to the public throughout the summer. As loyal a local as they come, old-time French rider Yannick Amevet (who was part of Absinthe’s original crew and featured in videos like Transcendence, Vivid, and Saturation) always dreamed of having a core snowboard shop in his home resort. So when Yannick found an ideal retail space, located on the town’s main drag, his main sponsor at the time, Billabong, was more than happy to back the project.
Opening its doors in 2002 during the Mondial du Snow, Superwhite was set up as a Billabong concept store and those that were there for the epic opening party will no doubt remember it. However, juggling Billabong’s offer to set up the shop and keep on top of his pro rider career was no easy feat at the time. “It wasn’t simple to start with", admits Yannick. “I had the stress of putting the whole shop together with all the investment and commitments that represented, but at the same time I had to fi nd a way to come up with enough quality footage for my Absinthe video parts. I had a very busy schedule and it wasn’t always straightforward to manage. But I don’t regret any of it, it allowed me to change careers but continue working in something that I really enjoy." A few seasons later, Yannick would go onto managing his shop full time. As the years have passed, the shop has evolved. Like any business project that wants to remain successful, Yannick is always looking to move with the times and put new shop concepts in place. “The idea was to create a website offering all the latest, coolest brands and products to our customers. However, this was tricky to promote under the Billabong concept store name. We therefore decided to take a fresh look at the way we worked." In 2006 a new Billabong concept store was set up in Annecy and in 2009 Superwhite turned into an independent snowboard shop along with the launch of its website www.superwhitestore.com.
At Superwhite, you can now fi nd a wide-range selection of all the latest in brands, each one having its own dedicated space in the shop with their own displays and furniture. The shop spans a total of 350m2 so there’s plenty of browsing to be done, and it can be a good place to meet other riders or just chat with the dedicated team of staff. The brands on offer include Billabong, Burton, Element, Volcom, DC, Electric, Special Blend, Forum, Nixon, Anon, Von Zipper, Dakine, Yes, Apo, Nike, plus some other smaller brands. And for those that want to test equipment before buying – always a smart idea – Superwhite also acts as a test centre for Burton, DC, APO and YES. Although Yannick now runs a shop with seven employees, despite being exceptionally busy he still remains very attached to the snowboard scene. He’s intent on being fully involved and committed to what he does, and that’s one of the reasons his shop sponsors local rider Arthur Longo. “I’ve known him since he was a kid. He’s one of the best snowboarders out there right now and he refl ects exactly the same values and spirit we want to champion," Yannick explains. And the shop also organises a contest each month on the Deux Alpes snowpark with Alex Doumergue and his bar, Les Bleuets, a hotspot in town for any thirsty snowboarders looking for a fun night out. The shop is usually open from the beginning of December to end of April, from June to August during the summer, and for October school holidays. “The website, however, is open all year!" Yannick quickly adds. So whether you’re looking to make a new purchase, test new equipment or just need some expert advice in Deux Alpes, you know where to go now!
88 Avenue de la Muzelle
38860 Les Deux Alpes
Phone: 0033 (4) 76 11 32 45