It was nice to catch up with Laurent De Martin and talked about his event and his plans for the summer. In case you haven’t heard of this event, the Riverstyle is an international freestyle competition taking place in the ski resort of “Les Portes du Soleil” in Switzerland and more exactly in the middle of the village of Morgins. Besides a crazy obstacle, the Riverstyle has a lot to offer – great vibes, great people, kids events, parties… All this makes this event unique!
You are the organizer of this event, can you tell us more about its story, its origin and why such an event? The idea came from a group of young people originated from Morgins. They wanted to bring some action in their town with a freestyle event. They contacted me and Camilia Berra and obviously we were 100% down!
Are you satisfied with this particular year? What did it bring for you?Very satisfied, we even had more people compared to the first edition, which was actually our principal objective. We learned not to repeat the mistakes of 2016. But there will always be improvements to make…
Few years ago, “big air” events were „trendy“. We can see now that the events who take place in the mountains are somehow coming back to the origins or the roots of it. Is there any reason for that? Or is it just easier to organize? First of all, ecologically speaking, the footprint is less important compared to an event organized in a city. And then, there is the budget, we cannot compare to Freestyle.ch or Sosh big-air. Our budget is smaller and the landing infrastructure is already taking a good chunk of it.
To top it all off, I think that we are focusing more on a friendly atmosphere in a village and moreover, we want to advertise and patronize our region and freestyle in general towards the kids of our region.
During this event, you did everything – organizer, PR, rider… What did you prefer?For me the best was to ride, in the end it helps you relieving all the stress after all that hard work and this last week which was very stressful.
Regarding the riders, the roster was fantastic. What is exactly your concept? To keep that local vibe or would you like to invite more international riders? Regarding the riders, I’m always trying to invite the ones that I know and the ones who share the same good vibes. Of course it is difficult to have some international riders since our event is not part of any tour. But the main objective is a quality ride, having a good contact with people and to always have a big smile. It’s completely fruitless for our event if some big superstars are here but not enjoying themselves.
The scene here in Wallis | CH is quite active and is having some good Events. What do you think about it? Need more events like that in the region? Yeah, I think so, events like that have a bigger impact on the kids compared to the World cups or the X games. Personally, I started Freestyle because I have been moved during an event like this one, and not on internet or on TV. But the end of this season has been awesome for the Valaisanne region with the Riverstyle, the Manukea days of Carlos Gerber & the Spring session of Nico Vuignier. This shows once more the motivation of our riders to patronize our sport.
With the end of the season approaching, what was the atmosphere? Stress and tension or just sheer pleasure? Some stress regarding the speed, ’cause it was quite short
but as soon as everything passed, the week-end has been a real pleasure!!
On the photos we can really see the gap. How is it once in the air? Except the impulse, the jump is awesome to ride and the landing is very nice!
Is it a problem for you that the event is happening during the evening? No on the contrary, it’s better for the ambiance and for the momentum because the snow is more compact during the night.
A special moment during the event? Saturday the Riverstyle kids day was fantastic. We had around 60 kids from 12-16 yrs old who came skiing with the pro riders. It was quite amazing to see so many of them, and it was a good omen for the future of free ski.
The season is almost reaching its term. What are your plans for this summer? My season will last a lil bit more with a trip in the USA till the end of May. Two photo-shoots in a park with Level 1 Productions (Winterpark CO & Mammoth CA). Then I will go to Zermatt for the spring session before putting down my gear for good. After that, I will be in Tignes on July for the GFS and all August in Zermatt
Well first of all congratulation for your great work and dedication. May the next episode of the Riverstyle even be bigger and better. Have a safe flight and wish you a great spring session in the USA!
Picture by – Sylvain Cochard & Etienne Claret