Last night Snow+Rock went to the London premiere of Quiksilver’s new Candide Thovex movie Few Words.
The film is a biopic tracking Candide from childhood, his early X Games wins and climb to fame, to his devastating accident in 2007 when he broke his back and then coming back to win the Freeride World Tour on his first attempt.
With retro footage and amazing new freeride segments the film is epic and demonstrated why Candide is considered a god among freeskiers! Here our Marketing Manager Claire Collins got to interview the star before the film:
S+R – I’m very excited about seeing the film, the trailer looks amazing! You’ve been filming Few Words for the last couple of years. What would you say is your favourite place to ski?
CT – Definitely home in La Clusaz and then I’d say Canada. The terrain is great there – totally adapted to my type of skiing. It’s perfect for freeride, I always say it’s like my Disneyland!
S+R – Were there any scary moments during filming? In the trailer there were some close encounters with wolves and bears..
CT – Yes for sure, there were wolves and scary moments, but the scariest is standing on the top of a steep, attempting a line we haven’t tried before, you never know what might happen… Avalanches or falling onto rocks. But being scared is good, it get’s you on the defence so you protect yourself.
S+R – You started competing at 16 at the X Games and then won the Red Bull Line Catcher your first comp after breaking your back and went on to win the Freeride World Tour in your first attempt. What would you say is your best podium achievement?
CT – I think the Freeride World Tour because when I broke my back I didn’t know whether I was going to be able to ski the same way again. I wasn’t confident at all, the first thing they told me when I broke my back was that I wouldn’t be able to ski or jump the same way. So I never expected to win in my first competition.
S+R – Was that your decision to go back into freeride more than the park?
CT – Definitely – the landings are much softer on the screws in my back. It took me a year and half before I started jumping again and getting the feeling back. Then I went into powder and we started filming – the first film we did was Candide Camera, which was great because I didn’t know whether I was going to be able to ski again. Then I started competing again, my first competition back was the Red Bull Line Catcher and I won it. So I thought maybe I should do the Freeride World Tour. So I tried and won, which was great because it was a different type of competition.
S+R – Which do you prefer? Park or freeride?
CT – In terms of competition they’re both great but FWT taught me a lot of things, about studying your line. To start with it was really easy to get lost, because when you get to the start line there is nothing to see.
S+R – We’re getting excited about the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Are you excited about the prospect of Freeskiing being included?
CT – Yes it’s great for getting the sport out to the masses and into mainstream media, but we have to make sure it keeps the spirit of freeride because the whole reason we took up the sport was because it was removed from the serious side of alpine and mogul skiing with all the coaching and training. We were inspired by snowboarding because it was something new, fun and creative, and it was all about style. I hope it keeps that spirit, as many Olympic sports get too strict and serious.
S+R – James Woods is currently ranked number one in the world for the Olympic qualifiers. Have you had any contact with ’Woodsy’ over the past couple of years and what do you think of his chances in Sochi?
CT – I haven’t skied with James but he’s super cool and very modest. I’ve checked out some of his stuff online – he’s great. He’s probably a good chance for you guys.
S+R – Who is your favourite person to ride with?
CT – Definitely my friends back home, I travel a lot so it’s always great to come back home.
S+R – Is that where the Candide Invitational came from? Inviting all your mates to your ‘hood?
CT – Yes, getting the chance to build these big jumps in my backyard, it was like a dream. I used to ride the jumps when I was a kid but to be able to build exactly what i wanted was a dream. But I haven’t done it since I broke my back, but we’re talking now with Quiksilver about starting it again.
S+R – Coming back from any injuries is tough but did you have any dark days when you thought you wouldn’t ski again? How do you pull yourself back from that?
CT – It was super tough but you have to be positive and it’s all in your mental attitude, you have to stay positive mentally and the passion drives you. I’ve been super lucky though. I didn’t believe them when they told me I wouldn’t ski again, and then a year after I started skiing again it was painful. Every little bump hurt, so I started to think maybe they were right, and that’s when I started stressing about it. But I kept believing I could do it and I had a lot of work on my back with massages and stretching, I started feeling better and better and then it was like a crescendo.
S+R – You have been at the very top of the freeski industry for years. Does it feel like things have changed over that time?
CT – Yes, when I started it was nothing. Just small jumps and pipes and nothing in terms of tricks, and there would only be a few skiers in the park. Now we go to the parks and see young kids getting involved and doing their thing. You can definitely see the evolution of everything we’ve been trying to build, with more and more people it’s finally been accepted into mainstream and Olympics.
S+R – Thanks for taking the time to speak to Snow+Rock.
CT – No worries, I hope you enjoy the film!
Note to Candide… We definitely did!!
The Candide Thovex pro-rider range from Quiksilver (as featured in the movie) is available from selected Snow+Rock stores and snowandrock.com