Full immersion: the crazy experiment of snowboarder Mathieu Krepel
Try new things, challenge yourself every day and not be afraid to dream - perhaps these phrases can characterize the whole essence of extreme movement. It doesn't matter if you are a surfer or a snowboarder. If a snow-covered spot or the appearance of a wave on the horizon makes your heart beat faster, then you are definitely in the subject.
Immediately after the premiere of the new film-experiment SHAKA we managed to meet the main character of the tape - three-time world champion in snowboarding, pro-rider of the global snow team Quiksilver , wonderful smiling Frenchman Mathieu Krepelle . The film itself is an incredible adventure, a challenge, the personal story of Mathieu, who dared to conquer one of the most dangerous waves (Jaws) in the world. Mathieu talked with the rider of the Quiksilver Russia team Evgeny Zhun Ivanov .
Evgeny Zhun Ivanov: First, a few questions about you. When did you realize that you cannot live without extreme sports?
Mathieu Krepel: I think it was at a very early age. Snowboarding and surfing are my parents' hobbies, so I had no chance not to master this sport as a child ( smiling ). And when I was 10 years old, I was invited to travel to Greenland. I think that it was with this trip that it all started. I came back from there and realized that this is what I want to do all my life.
- Very cool, especially when you are only 10 years old. Where did you first try surfing? In Europe, or maybe in the tropics?
- It was in Europe, because, as I said, everything came from the parents. We spent winters in the Pyrenees and summers on the islands. We had one family place, and there I tried surfing for the first time.
- How old were you then?
- I think I was just a child, 7-8 years old.
- What appeared earlier in your life - surf or snowboard?
- My father was a ski instructor, so we spent a lot of time in the mountains. I started with skis. When I was very young, snowboarding did not exist, at least for children. So first there were skiing, snowboarding, and then surfing and even skating.
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- What do you feel when you go at high speed? Do you like high speed or more sustained and agile driving style?
- It depends on the conditions. Sometimes you want to go super fast so that the spray will fly to the sides. And sometimes, I like to go with friends, periodically stop and look around. It also depends on the mood. When I only skied, I liked to ride very fast.Simple straight forward and fast.
- What would you prefer - surfing on big waves or on small ones, but with different tricks?
- These are different settings. Surfing in big waves is a challenge, very impressive. But on the other hand, balancing on small waves is also cool. Combining them is perfect.
- What do you think about when you go snowboarding in the mountains or catch waves on the surf?
- I think about the moment. I enjoy it as much as possible. We are very lucky that we are doing this. And about friends, you always want to share such moments with them.
- Can you describe your feelings in the mountains and in the ocean?
- They are completely different. The mountains are closer to me, so I feel more freedom there. I shouldn't be as focused as when I'm surfing. I mean, the concentration level is the same, but it's more natural on snowboarding. I have spent my whole life in the mountains, so most of my actions and movements occur automatically, I do not worry at all. Easier installation in the head. Surfing does test you and your abilities a little more. You need to be more prepared and attentive, the heartbeat increases faster.
- I see. In your opinion, are there any differences between the snowboarding and surfering communities?
- I think there are. Despite the fact that these sports are close to each other. Snowboarders love to surf, and surfers love to snowboard ( laughs ). But I think the main difference is that the snowboarder community is more cohesive and friendly. I don't like snowboarding alone. I like to gather my friends, let them go ahead and then overtake. Surfing isn't about that a bit: it's more competitive.
- Have you ever met a surfer who hates snowboarding?
- Hmm ... no. All surfers I know love to ride in the mountains.
- Which is unpredictable more - waves or mountains?
- Absolutely mountains. One hundred percent. When the waves are big, you see it. In general, you can see the ocean as a whole. The mountains may seem beautiful, almost perfect, but it's very hard to see the truth. You just rush into something unpredictable. That's why they scare me sometimes. In surfing, if you want to catch a big wave, you have to do a lot. Training and experience helps. In snowboarding, no. You can exercise to learn how to read mountains. But luck plays a big role. I feel that the more experience I gain, the more I fear the mountains. It's the other way around in the ocean.
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- We, Russians, usually think that the ocean is more unpredictable than mountains. Thanks for revealing the details. How did you prepare for filming?
- The whole film is about the test. How I decided to try something for the first time. The most difficult thing was to surf for the first time onhuge waves.
- How did you do it?
- Step by step. As a child, I rode small waves. I was very afraid. Then I met friends who invited me to big ones, and I liked the feeling. I was still afraid of the waves, but I liked to go fast and long. There is a part in the film where I spend a few days at the freediving championship. It was an important part of my physical fitness. I learned to breathe technically and relax properly. In those moments when the breathing ends, you need to relax mentally as much as possible.
- Which was more difficult - mental or physical preparation?
- I think , a mix of both. They are highly related. When it becomes physically difficult, you need to connect the mental part. The main thing is to find in your head a solution to how to help yourself. The mental comes out of the physical.
- And when you said to yourself: Okay, now I'm ready?
- You never know if I'm ready or not. I knew that I needed to train a lot, and then I began to feel more or less confident. Not 100%, but at least 80.
- Was it hard to control all the details?
- It was a little nervous. But I prepared physically and mentally. This experience helped me.
- What was the main challenge in the process of filming snowboarding and surfing?
- Making a film. The process itself was a test. We had a small team. It is not easy to organize all the trips, buy plane tickets, gather all the people at the right time, invite guests, look for a good place, money, sponsors.
- What does this film mean to you?
- It was an attempt to test yourself, to get out of your comfort zone. I've always loved snowboarding and felt that I had to take a new step. I already had achievements in it, and I was engaged in surfing since childhood as a hobby. With this film, we wanted to inspire people to do something new. It doesn't matter what. We were just trying to give them a boost.
- How long did the whole movie making process take?
- Two and a half years.
- Yeah, I started thinking about this project in the spring of 2016. I first got the idea to test myself on big waves when I visited a friend of mine, a professional snowboarder. We have long wanted to make a film together, but there was no way. And then they came up with such a story and began to act. It was a long process.
- Where did you shoot?
- We filmed a lot: in America, in France, in Italy, in Indonesia.
- Can you share your favorite places where you can surf and snowboard at the same time?
- Yes, there are several places. The first is France, the Pyrenees. I grew up here, so I do both. In the morning you can ride down the mountains and catch waves in the evening. You can also go to Alaska, Chile or the Lofoten Islands in Norway.
- Imagine that I am 10 years old and I want toto surf on big waves. Where to start?
- I don't even know. Probably wait a couple more years ( laughs ). The waves are very heavy and can crush into small pieces. You need to start small and gradually learn, step by step.
- Do you think it is dangerous to do extreme sports if you are too young?
- Yes. When you are small, you don't always correctly assess the danger. You only become aware with age. So it happened to me. Once I returned to the place where I rode as a child, and was very surprised. I was just crazy. Fortunately, everything was fine. Children need to explain what danger is, to help them.
- This is the case in all sports ..
- Exactly. Just enjoy, exercise, and challenge yourself. It's cool if you have friends with whom you will cheer each other up.
The conversation was conducted by @joonivanov and @matcrepel