Pockets Full of Poutine – Real Talk with Alexi Godbout
It could be said that the number of ACL’s that you’ve blown through over the course of your ski career is a good indicator of how sendy you like to get.
So if you take a look at Alexi Godbout, who’s destroyed four of those anterior crucial little bastards, it’s safe to assume that the guy likes to send it pretty deep.
“He’s a true fusion of gnarly big mountain and freestyle skiing, which is rare” explains Sherpas Cinema Director Dave Mossop, who’s filmed with Alexi on a number of occasions over the years.
“He’s also a really nice guy.”
Alexi’s got the build of a gymnast. And while you might expect him to subsist solely on raw eggs and protein shakes, he’s not afraid to tip back a few beers every now and again.
He’s super genuine, which can be rare for an athlete of his calibre. He always listens to whatever you have to say. And the best part? He doesn’t seem to mind if you make fun of him for being from Quebec.
I managed to catch him on the fly at the end of April right after he’d gotten back from three weeks of dragon-slaying up in Stewart, BC. I had to make it quick because he was leaving the following day to go product testing with the Salomon Crew in France.
You started off with a freestyle background, correct?
Yeah exactly, I skied moguls for a few years until I was like 12, then I got into freestyle and I skied park until about four years ago when I stopped competing.
Now I’m skiing big mountain.
And tell me a little bit about that transition from freestyle to big mountain.
It’s been quite the challenge, even with my sponsors especially because I wasn’t sure if they were gonna keep supporting me. But I feel like I’ve proven my ground and they’re following along so I’m definitely pretty stoked.
But there’s definitely a lot to learn safety-wise; knowledge, mountain sense and everything just was super overwhelming at first but I’m getting a hold of it a lot better.
I feel a lot more comfortable in the mountains than I did four years ago.
What’s the difference been there? What have you done to make that transition?
Salomon has actually helped a lot. They do their Mountain Academy where they’ll organize refreshers and crevasse rescue and such. They train us as much as possible without us having to pay and that’s really been helping a lot confidence-wise.
And I did it with Stan (Rey) and everyone else that I go in the backcountry with so we’re all super comfortable.
And you were just in Stewart, BC, so that must have come in handy?
Yeah…exactly. It was full on up there. But there were lines that you could climb right to the top with your sleds and they’re like 3000 foot runs. It was insane. But yeah, we definitely felt really small in Stewart…we were saying it was kinda like the Chamonix of BC.
We were out in the wild for like three weeks total, it was awesome.
What are your plans for the summer?
I’ll be just kinda working out all summer and getting buff (laughs).
Oh jeez. How often do you go to the gym?
If I’m rehabbing or not?
If I’m not rehabbing, I’ll go four times a week. I guess if I’m mountain biking I’ll probably go less but if I’m rehabbing an injury I’ll go twice a day, six or seven times a week.
How many guys do you know at the gym who are named Chet?
Actually I have a private gym. There’s only one guy there and his name is Bob.
No Chets on the premises? Lucky.
No and no one with tribal tattoos or anything like that.
How many Tall-Tee’s did you pack to Stewart?
Hahaha…..none. Just long johns.
Poutine or Poontang?
Best moment in Stewart:
There were a few best moments but basically just the two big lines that we shredded, like we stomped them and we were super stoked. That first big line that I skied I just screamed my lungs out at the bottom I was so relieved and Stan did the same.
We could hear him from 3000 feet down like “WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA”.
Probably the way out. We didn’t really have any worst moments, like the whole trip went super smooth. But the way out was pretty tricky with the toboggans and super isothermic snow, just getting stuck and having mental breakdowns.
James McSkimming was up there helping us out with safety and everything went super well, like super good decision making. On one big line we called it just to let it settle…it was bluebird and we had nothing against us really except storm slabs. We decided not to go so we waited and I think that was probably a good call.
Advice for upcoming skiers?
Work your ass off and try to be really good at Instagram.
There you go. How do be really good at Instagram?
Just do it more.
Did you miss the entire WSSF?
Yeah we did unfortunately and The JP Memorial that (Mike) Douglas organized. I was pretty bummed about that but I was pretty stoked to be camping the whole time.
Did you do something on your own for JP when you were out in the big mountains?
We definitely did some turns for him and had him in mind for sure.
Are you upset that you didn’t get to see Busta Rhymes?
Yeah I missed that. I probably would have worn my Tall Tee for that one.
Whistler or Blackcomb?
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the sport of snowboarding?
Nice. That’s more than five, but less than seven…..Pretty good. Now I’m gonna toss some words at you. What’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Hardpack: Not as fun.
Chicks: Good times.
Worst injury ever: Well, I’ve had four ACL surgeries so all of them together. They’ve all been the same.
Just gonna keep going. We have our movie to edit this summer, Bearings from The Blank Collective, and we’re pretty stoked on the footage we got this year.
Going into next year, we’re still debating if we’re gonna do another project. But we’re probably gonna do another Blank project I’d say.
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the ski season in Whistler this year?
Haha, probably 10. I think I skied more pow this year than I did in the last four years all together.
Anything else you wanna say?
I love poutine.