X Games Gold, Kitties and Chrichton : The Simon d’Artois Interview
Simon d’Artois is gnarly in calm clothing. He does tricks both ways, with heavy rotations and perfect technical grabs onto snow the same consistency of airport tarmac… wearing a sleeveless under shirt. He does air to fakie’s in the pipe like normal people try to in their dreams – lofty, languid and with perfect trajectory – and he loves forwarding his girlfriend videos of yawning kitties. He is a true Whistler local who managed to win his first X Games this year and Doglotion got a chance to catch up with him, just as he got back to town after a long season on the road. Read with a grain of salt though, there is a psycho under d’Artois cool demeanour.
DL: Where are you from, how did you get to Whistler, how old are you now and who sponsors you?
SD: I was born and raised in Whistler and I’m 23 years old. Sponsored by Faction Skis, Ripcurl Outwear, Giro goggles and helmets, Saxx Underwear, Sicksticks, SkullCandy, Nibz Bandanaz and TMC Proshop.
DL: Give me a little play by play of your X games pipe win a few months ago… do you ever expect to win or just hope to qualify and see how it goes from there?
SD: X-Games was awesome this year! It was a mellow week and the skiing was the best part. The pipe was so good and the weather was awesome. I was having a blast and skiing the best I’ve ever skied. When it came down to competing, I was just stoked to be there and wasn’t really worrying too much about the comp. It makes it easy to compete because you’re out there doing what you love in a stress free environment. As for the win… I wasn’t expecting that at all but I am so stoked! I was really pumped to put down three runs.
DL: Who are your pipe influences?
SD: Justin Dorey, Mike Riddle, Matt Margetts, Noah Bowman, Gus Kenworthy, Torin Yater-Wallace, Kevin Rolland, Simon Dumont, Tanner Hall, Candide Thovex, Peter Olenick… basically everyone on the tour!
DL: How important was Dave Chrichton to your skiing/pipe skiing in general?
SD: Haha, well I didn’t really know he was the “Flat Spin Guy” or much about him until I met him a few years ago but since then I take inspiration from what he’s done and who he is.
DL: Do you ever take a break from skiing or are you on perma-winter?
SD: Yeah I get a break in the summer. About a month before summer glacier camp starts and a few months after that before New Zealand and a couple months before the season starts! But still lots of team camps and activities keeping me busy.
DL: How do you feel about the segregation of ‘pipe jocks’ from ‘core skiers’ do you think it’s a stupid distinction or the way things/attitudes are going in skiing right now?
SD: It definitely is the way things are going with our sport. I wish I was a ‘core’ skier and was able to ski everything and film a segment in one year but it is getting difficult to do that. I am trying to get some miles in competing big air and slope to keep up with the ski industry. It’s too bad that our sport is starting to separate but we’re all skiers doing what we love with awesome people, so it is what it is.
DL: How many days have you had ‘for yourself’ this year? Or are you primarily training, warming up, travelling or competing? Did it get draining for you this season?
SD: I’ve had a couple days to myself for sure and I don’t feel to drained from the season. I am actually really stoked to keep at it while the stoke is high and just ski as much as I can.
DL: Do you have any plans to leave the comp scene any time soon? You just won the X Games for god’s sake. Why not shake the pressure and just glory lap from here on out? Or do you want to stay involved and eventually coach, etc?
SD: I don’t plan to leave the comp scene any time soon. The Olympics is now the goal so that’s my main focus. I am totally down to glory lap after that though. I want to explore other things so that skiing isn’t a life career.
DL: How important has Whistler been to your success this season?
SD: Whistler has been a huge importance. The support from the community has been beyond amazing and I wouldn’t be here today without their help.
DL: What are you up to this summer/next winter?
SD: Skiing, adventures, camping, beach, lots of summer activity. As for next winter, I will be on the road lots skiing and competing.
SD: First of all, to my family, friends and girlfriend, as well as all supporters, team mates, sponsors and my coaches!