The adventure all started at Fise 2015 when Jules met his girlfriend Estelle in Montpelier. Being such a nice girl, she asked to Jules and his friends if they’d be down to go to ski in the Spanish mountains in February with Hari’s class. Hari is Estelle’s father, half American, half French but his true name is Bruno Harington and he’s both a math teacher and a seriously cool homie. Kévin Demay would let us borrow his brand new Eretic snowscooters. According to snow experts Charles Padel, the feeling of riding a snowscoot down the mountains is a mix between gliding on the outer edges of a snowboard and having an actual scooter trick panel. If you ever dare riding a snowscoot, here are some pieces of advice:
Advice for snowscoot
- Get your ankles and wrist warm before riding
- Get some good shoes that will keep your foot tight – at least with laces
- Don’t believe that you’re on a scooter and do every single trick you usually do without getting hurt because you’re on the snow. You can get hurt very quickly.
- Use sunglasses, labello, sun screen and don’t forget to drink a lot of water.
- Use a leash and wrap it around your hand.
On Saturday, Jules was so sick that he would stay in bed with Estelle. So Balthazar picks Martin at the station, drop his luggage at Charles who lives in town. Along with Charles Padel, Flavio Pesenti and Alex La Frisouille, we head out to a new spot: Montpelier’s post office for a gnarly rail sesh where Martin gets on top of a really high rail and stacks a clip for his sig bar promo. Then we go to the historic center: a fountain spot which edges can be grinded stands in the middle of a court surrounded by restaurants and bars. Such a good place to relax under the sun even if the run-up to grind the ledge is blocked by “Plus belle la vie” – a french soap-opera- TV broadcast trucks. Martin decides to play with fakie manuals and lands with ease a 180 double whip fakie manual to downside heel… After playing table-football and a quick downhill, we pick Antoine at the station and go to Estelle’s house to have dinner with everyone.
Sunday, we meet Hari’s students and make it to Spanish Pyrénées by bus. 5 hours of ugly feeling for poor Jules to reach the city of Puigcerda next to the Spain-France border. After renting some ski shoes & snowboards, dinner at the hotel and going out to an empty nightclub where we had some fun, everything is ready for first snow day! Except that Jules is still sick and except that ski station of Masella would forbid snow scooters. This was a big source of disappointment for us but we take the car and go to La Molina which is basically the ski resort on the mountain next to Masella and snowscooters are magically allowed there. But we abandon the rest of the group. First day of snow for Balth who learns with teacher Flavio & Charles. La Molina had a cool snowpark and Charles spins a massive 360 on the step-down.
An attempt to 360 nose bump on a big white plastic ball ends up a bit badly for Charles’knee. After trying out some steep “red” tracks, session ends at the snowpark where Flavio tries a whip to grind on the blue ledge. Balth tries to get a phone clip of his grind to whip. Unfortunately his foot lands between the ski and the deck which ends up with a rolled ankle. No riding for BigBalth on Tuesday and he’ll stay at the hotel shooting mountain timelapses. Martin mounts his signature bars on the snowscoot and he’s finally happy to master the snowscoot like a real scooter. He comes back from the session with a grind double heel and everyone’s stoked of the day. Antoine jumped a long kicker with his skis, Jules is back on his snowboard doing 360s and gnarly grinds. A miracle kind of happens in the end of the day. Nuria – Estelle’s mother- knew an old teacher in her hometown of Saillagouse named “Monsieur Maurice” that would fix people’s ankles with a knowledge coming from family legacy. And M. Maurice fixed BigBalth’s ankle. So Wednesday, back on the snowscooters in La Molina with Jules, Balth, Martin & Flavio where Martin stacks 3 clips on that blue ledge at the snow park: grind triple whip, grind double heel and grind to fingerwhip. Jules was so incredible for his first session. Going down the slopes so fast and stomping a massive tailgrab for his first try on a kicker. Session ends up for Martin with a twisted finger so he would film us with skis the day after.
Last day, Toinou joins us when Jules is back on a snowboard with the other group. Snow looks like soup, everybody’s sore, Martin takes the DSLR on his skis, random kid lets his ski drop from the seat of the teleski next to where we’re filming and Toinou throws a massive 360 which ends up… pretty much everything but not on his feet. Thursday night is fancy dress night, Toinou as where is Waldo, Moustache Martin, pink rabbit Jules, Bigbalth as Ramsès III, Estellou as the fat cow, Charles the farmer and Flavio the French hipster. Back to Montpelier on Friday, we sesh a cool concrete park named Villeneuve d’Orques and we film a clip to announce our venue to Pro Rider 34 the next day. It starts raining cats and dogs. It’s Paul Gonnet’s birthday so we head downtown to a bar named “Circus” where Toinou sings his own version of Cypress Hill’s Jump around louder than the whole crowd. On the way back to drop Tim on his bus, we get a flat tire and Balthazar has to find a car to hitchhike him to the bus station. Antoine and Jules fix the wheel and we all get in time to drop Tim his snack before he starts his 17hours bus ride back home. On Saturday we give a visit to Pro Rider 34, the best scooter shop in Montpelier, held by our homie Christophe Massé. Sunday gives us some sun and dry floor so Flavio and Toinou could get a clip each on an insane rail to rail spot next to “Place de la Comédie”. It starts raining and Flavio gets the clip landing a briflip on the wet floor. Martin goes back to Lyon, Toinou, Jules and Balth head back to Paris.