matcrepel_broader.jpgLadies and Gentlemen! We are stocked to present you our BrOADER[view] with one of the most naturally talended snowboarder this side of the Atlantic: Mathieu Crepel!
Math had a brilliant 05/06 season as he will be remembered in the history books as the first ever TTR overall world champion!
This year he kicked off the season with an amazing double win in the FIS WC’s big air and halfpipe events. But don’t reduce Math to a contest machine, the rider from La Mongie, Pyrenee – who by the way also surfs better than you! – is taking filming very seriously this year as he should score a nice part in the up coming Standard movie. So a lot of stuff to discuss with Math, who we thank a lot for taking the time to answer us! Have a great season Math!

Hi Math! The first time I heard about you I think it was in sNowsurf (french snowboard mag) back in the mid 90ies. You were presented as THE future star of European snowboarding…10 years later it seems that they were right. Can you tell us about your youth and how you got
into snowboarding and surfing at such an early age?

First of all, my father was a ski instructor in La Mongie ski resort in the Pyrenees, when I was born. So as soon as I could stay on my
feet he put me on skis. After skiing for a long time, doing contests and stuff, he made me try snowboarding, with a board made by a friend
of his, cut to my size with ski bindings on. When I started snowboarding, I was still skiing a lot, so the only way for me to snowboard was when the slopes were closed and I was hiking back up until the night.

You have a long term relationship with Quiksilver. They have been supporting you since the start. What was your connection with Quik?

My father (again) started working for Quiksilver in 1990 so that helped my a lot for sure. But everyone was saying “oh, it’s easy for him his
dad works for Quiksilver!” so I had to prove something. Besides my dad, a lot of people at quik helped me a lot and that’s right I wouldn’t probably be where I am without them!

This connection allowed you to ride with some of the best riders (Serge Vitelli, Bertrand Denervaud…) at a very early age. It must have been quite incredible for you. What are your memories of this time? Which riders inspired you or motivated you the most?

My best memory from that time, is for sure the trip to Groenland, for a Quiksilver movie. I think Serge helped me at the beginning, he shared his great passion with me and that was really nice.

matcrepel_broader3.jpgAt what point or age did you seriously decide that you wanted to become a professional snowboarder? What is a hard decision or a totally natural one?

I didn’t make that choice, it all came naturally. I loved snowboarding and all I wanted was to snowboard more. So when I had to
decide to go to school in the Alps, far away from home, without seeing my family for 2 months sometimes, the choice was easy even if I knew it was gonna be hard sometimes.

Nevertheless, you did not let your studies down and followed a sport/study cursus in France, both in Villars de Lans and then Annecy. Do you believe this system is good for young riders?

My parents always told me to go on studying, and that’s what I wanted to. I know that a snowboarding career doesn’t last very long. Those
systems were good that’s for sure, but the best out of this, is that I met some of my best friends and we have great memories out of those years.

A lot of other good French riders ‘graduated’ at the same time as you. This generation is really ruling the French scene today. It must have been a cool time no?

Yeah, we were studying together, riding together and always pushing each other to do better and better. That’s why this generation is on the top of the scene right now. But one of us is missing on this scene, but not in our hearts cause Tristan will always be with us.

Last season 05/06 was a very busy one for you contest-wise, and it was quite successful too. You scored some good wins in the TTR and rode consistent the whole year to be crowned the first TTR World Champion in history. On the other side you missed out on the Olympic pipe contest (the judging was poor on your first run for sure). How would you sum up your season? What were the highlights and the hard times?

I think that was a great season for me even if the Olympics didn’t go really well. Winning the first ever TTR crown was insane. I didn’t really think about it before having it – even if it was one of my goals. Concerning the Olympics, I think I’ve learned way more than if I had had a good result, so in a way it was good for me.

matcrepel_broader2.jpgWe saw you in a couple of movies also like the Psykopits ones or the very good Thermos. Two completely different projects…Can you tell us about these two projects and the crews behind them?

Those movies show two different faces of snowboarding, but both are true. The psykopit are some really good friends, we’ve been riding together for a long time so it’s always an honor to be in their movie, even if I didn’t really have time to film a full part. About Thermos, Darius was one of my favorite riders when I was younger, so when he came to me and asked me to be part of the project I was really stocked. Moreover, Olivier Pictet – the director – has a different eye on snowboarding and I really like it. They came in La Mongie/Pic du Midi, where I’m from, to film a bit and then they showed me some great places in Switzerland. It was great fun doing this with them, and the final movie is even better than what I expected!

You also organize your own event in the Pyrenees every year. What is the objective of this event? The location is quite incredible…Can you tell us more about it?

I just wanted to share with my friends a place I love, and make people know a bit more about the Pyrenees. It’s gonna evolve more again next year, with probably a 4 star TTR even, but in the same spirit.

Let’s focus on 2007 now. You started the year on top of the world by winning two gold medals in the FIS WC in Arosa. It seemed that you were riding in a dream during the big air and pipe. What happened? Where you stocked because you were riding your new 07/08 promodel? 😉

I was just having a lot of fun without any pressure, because contests were not the most important thing of my season. I guess this is how it works best. And of course, I was stocked to ride my new Rossignol 155 pro-model.

How do you combine TTR contests and FIS events? What is your approach to these two circuits? It there still the good TTR vs the evil FIS feeling?

The world champs were the only FIS contest I planned to do this year, because I think it’s good for mainstream coverage. Right now snowboarding in France needs this, because our federation has problems. But if I have to choose between a fis world cup and a TTR event, guess what??? I would go on the TTR!

matcrepel_broader4.jpgDifferent subject – you are just back from the States, because first you took part in the X Games and had solid results. But the main reason you were there was filming right? How is it going with Standard? Who was your filming crew (which riders…) and what are your objectives? Do you want a crazy part in order to show to the Americans what Mat Crepel is all about?

That’s right, I’ve been filming few days in Colorado, with Scotty Arnold, Jusso Lavisto and Matt Hammer. It was really fun, but that was just a beginning, I need a lot more to get my part done. I want to be more in the US get better known there, have more coverage and train there cause the conditions are way better than in Europe.

We saw the top 10 riders’ award of 2006 from Snowboarder mag and honestly we were chocked that you didn’t appear in it. Do you thing that it is because you didn’t film in an American production yet and that it will change this year?

To be appreciated in the US, you need to spend a lot of time there, hang out with the good people and stuff like this. I don’t know if I’ll be in the top ten best riders of the year this year but hope to be in the next years.

In Europe, you are often compared to Shaun White. He won the Olympics, you got the overall title…Do you know Shaun personally? Do you look at him more like an opponent or someone who motivates you to push your level in contest?

He is definitely someone who is pushing me to get better. He is one of the most consistent rider on the planet right now, so I have a lot of respect for that.

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Where do you plan to beat him this year? 😉 US open?

I don’t know, I haven’t been training much this season so we’ll see…That’s something I’d like for sure, to beat him in the US in a
Burton contest! 😉

To finish we saw that you launched your own website. It opens with the beautiful song that Pep’s and friends made for Tristan. What is your objective with this website?

I just want to give people the chance to follow what I do on and off the season and to speak with them through a “livre d’or”. It’s the beginning of it right now but it’s going to come out in English too and with podcasts to come. But I need a little more organization, cause it’s hard to ride, travel… and take care of a website. Thanks for making a news in your website by the way.

No worries! We always ask our guest their opinion about our blog http://www.snowbroader.eu . As a rider, what is your point of view? What do you like and what could we improve?

I think it’s good, you can find a lot of infos, it’s really complete. One thing, it could be pimped a little bit!!! But you guys are doing great job and thanks for doing my BrOADER[view].

Mat, it’s us who thank you a lot! Thanks for taking time to answer our questions! Do you have a final big up?

Once again, never forget Tristan Picot, as a snowboarder but even more as a great person and a lot of thoughts for his family.

Picture credits : mathieucrepel.com, and Vanessa Andrieux

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