welcome melaniemtn

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around the alps

with mélanie braillard

back to all life

Find yourself a group of friends and ride together without any pressure and motivate each other to improve. 

First of all, welcome in the tribe! Before we ask you more questions, could you quick introduce yourself? Well Hello! My name is Mélanie, I’m 20, I am actually studying law in highschool and as a real Swiss I’ve been lucky enough to ski since I was very young. We were always hanging out around the parks with my friends, so one day I decided to give it a try. That’s how it began.

What means riding to you? For me it’s a way to unwind, to see your friends and laugh with them and to get new sensations while trying new tricks. That way, you can escape from all the rules and obligations of your daily life.

What would be a typical riding day? I’d say that everything starts in the evening, when you are with your friends sharing a good beer and you fix a time the next day to go riding. Not too soon because you never know what’s gonna happen in the evening nor too late because you wanna enjoy the session. Once the dilemma solved, you wake up trying to figure out which skis you will take. The fats or the parks? After, it’s easy, you join your buddies, you ride all day, you drop a kick or you simply leave your prints on the slopes. After that, you rest during a small snack and there you go again. For me, the most important thing is to be with your friends.

What does this sport bring to you? It’s a way to challenge yourself, to push your limits. It’s also rewarding to realize that today you just landed this particular trick, you know it was hard, but you made it.

Besides skiing what do you like to do? I love skating! Recently I didn’t have much time to skate, but during summer, when I have enough time, I go to the bowl to ride while enjoying a good BBQ, I just love it. Anyway, I love all these kind of extreme sports.

How do you see women skiing in the future? The level is really getting high in the girls’ category, some of them are even catching up with the guys especially on the jibs and kicks like Gremaud or Zimmermann. I think women will play a major part in a field which was reserved before only to men.

Do you think people will stop comparing men and women and finally see both of as a part of our sport? Men and women are always compared, like in every sports. You have to realize that men and women will always be physically different so in the end it’s always pointless to compare the performances of woman and the ones of a man, especially when you take the men’s standards as a reference. On the other hand, I think that in free ski, what makes a major part of the results reside actually in your commitment and men have their balls to help them throwing some nasty tricks. But as far as it goes, it’s changing and girls are starting to depend on their guts to land some double switch, the level keeps goin’ up. I don’t know if people will stop one day comparing men and women, but I think that the most important thing is to realize that each one of us, man or woman are evolving depending on our own rhythm, we have to follow our progression separately.

Would you say there is a competition between men and women? As I said, for me there’s no ground for comparison, and no competition between men and women, we are progressing on our own pace. But, I think that men already reached a certain level and landed infamous tricks, so of course women, and I’m one of them, are trying to progress to do better and reach that level too. The competition is not about doing better than the guys, or like them, but more to push the limits of our own category while trying to achieve what has already been done. It’s more like an objective to reach, a positive “competition”. We all have our own take on this, me I speak about competition in skiing, when a lot of riders prefer to work on their style or on some nice pictures rather than the usual « spin to win ». There are a lot of ways to push forward this sport: esthetics, visuals or performance itself, even landing new tricks etc…

Did you have bad experience on the slope? I never had any bad experience till now. People always encouraged and motivated me to do my best.

The season is over how was it? Happy with what you did? It was really a good season! I was not able to ride with my friends, but that way I’ve been able to meet new people, I’ve been able to travel a lil and I discovered new parks. And also, I’m really happy, because this season I’ve been able to land many new tricks, lazy boy, misty 5! I also tried to improve my style, throwing some new grabs and filming myself to see my progress. In the end I am super pleased because everything paid off and I’ve been able to join the tribe!

Are you going to ride this summer or is the sunbathing break officially open? Generally during summer I take a break, I travel or skate etc… But this season has a taste of unfinished business so I think that I’ll go in Saas-fee or in Zermatt during the sunny days.


One last word to all the girls out there? 

Do not be discouraged by anyone, the goal is to have fun.