The Life and Times of Julien Regnier
Black Crows recently launched their new digest on skiing, culture, and everything in between. With it, they released this rad documentary on Julien Regnier. A true revolutionary of freestyle skiing of which began here in Whistler alongside his dear friend JP Auclair during the days of the New Canadian Air Force, the documentary follows Julien through the mostly highs with a couple lows as he has made his way through this wild, wild, world. These days, Julien shapes skis over at Black Crows.
Check out the documentary below first and then enjoy our exclusive interview with the man himself!
Julien, thanks for taking the time to chat. Being a guy who was born and raised in Whistler, my initial memories of you relate to the freestyle revolution you and guys like JP and Mike Douglas were at the forefront of here in Whistler. What was your favourite memory of that era and living in whistler?
Julien: Wow what time in my life that was. JP and I bought a big F250 truck and 2 sleds, adventure was ON ! We started to discover the Whistler backcountry and it was fantastic hard work but amazing on so many different levels. The whole Whistler vibe was great, trying to get to new spots, building jumps, perfect powder and Sushi Village.
Do you ever miss whistler? You should come visit one day.
Julien: Not without a truck and a sled set up 🙂 I know how good it gets there and I know where to go but you need the good tools. I’m sure I will come back to visit TJ Schiller at one point. He just became a rep for black crows and that’s so cool to have him.
The documentary flashes through the various parts of your prolific career and touches on some low moments as well as the many high ones. You seem to have found peace chez Black Crows. Is life good Julien?
Julien: I’d like to say life was always good, problems require solutions and the fun part is to find solutions. When I got dropped from Armada it created a number of problems in my life in terms of financial security and self-esteem. I believed in my ability to ski and to make skis despite what Armada had thrown at me, and I started working in order to make what I wanted continue on. I was lucky to have Camille (co-founder of Black Crows) at my side at that time. I was lucky to love skiing so much that I didn’t care about my salary. Now I have a great relationship with Black Crows and it’s very enjoyable. We still have to solve problems every day here at Black Crows but this is done with a certain sence of trust…
Has your creative process in terms of ski shaping changed compared to your time at Armada and your time at Black Crows? They’re very different skis.
Julien: The process is still quite the same. You have an idea you draw it then you talk to the factory than they build it and you test it. In all those steps you are facing constraint/problems and you try to solve it to the best of your original idea. I’m better at drawing skis on technical computer programs now but this is just one little detail that makes it easier to communicate with the factory. As far as core design I always try to ski a lot on my skis and it take 3 years to come up with new solutions to make the ski better.
(This is a classic Jamie Bond question which I have appropriated) French Fries or French Women?
Julien: Women of course.
Any wise words for the kids out there on staying unique in a conforming world?
Julien: The world is subtle, see it as a poetry.