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Seb Mayer

Seb Mayer

Verbier is without a doubt full interesting people. Seb Mayer, like many people living in Verbier, visited the region one winter and kept on returning. One things which makes Seb stand out is his unusual style of skis. Jean Wagner met up with him for a glass of wine and chat about his love of the mountains and his perfectly crafted wooden skis.

In between teaching skiing, telemark skiing and snowboarding for the Adrénaline ski school and freeride photo shoots, I manage to fit time for an ‘apéro’ to get better acquainted with Seb Mayer; a person with an exceptional attitude for whom the mountain is more than a passion, it is truly a way of life…

Everything has to have a beginning, I’ll let you introduce yourself…

I came to Verbier six years ago, back in 2003. My French professional qualification and my experience (especially in giant slalom and super G) on the ISF circuit enabled me to come to Verbier and live out my passion every day of the season, with either my skis or my telemark skis attached to my feet.

seb Mayer 6

And when the winter season is over?

More pleasure … Essentially it is all about travels and experiences leading to all sorts of encounters; I’ve been a mountain refuge keeper and sailing instructor amongst other things but it is travelling which is really important for me even though Verbier and its surroundings will always have a particularly special place in my affections…

Tell us a bit about your travels.

Well, between the few months spent in Whistler, we went to Central and Southern America, North Africa, Madagascar and our next stops will almost certainly be heading in the direction of the mountains of Asia.

(In fact Seb spent two months in Argentina this summer; with his telemark skis of course, but otherwise with no particular agenda. Just a desire to find the best snow leaving it to be determined by chance depending upon who he came across… and it worked. Tato, J-C, Martin, Mike, Oscar, André, Nico &Charly, The Ben’s, Lit’l Seb and other friends from all became his travelling companions on the other side of the world searching for the endless winter!)

I heard a rumour that you were into Derbies?

Correct! In fact it all started thanks to a girl who had made the podium in the telemark event in La Meije in 2000 and who took me there the following year. Suddenly, first participation, first podium (hahaha) The atmosphere at a Derby is so different, no tantrums, no pressure, just pleasure and speed in the day and partying at night! The best in simple pleasures…

I’m still going to point out that you’ve finished first in the telemark race in La Meije three times and in second place twice and you’ve also had second and sixth places in the skiiing. Here in Verbier, in a similar spirit, we have Da Fat which you have won once in the skiing and once in the telemark skiing, taking second place last year…

And the Nendaz Freeride where I came first in the qualification rounds in 2007 and seventh in the final.

seb Mayer 2Have these results brought you sponsors?

Not directly, Derbies are a bit on the margin compared to the more “classical” competitions but there are a lot of motivated people, amongst whom the “free-ride craftsworkers” like Rabbit on the Roof or Backside, Bumtribe…

“Rabbit on the Roof”?

Behind this strange name hides Peter, a Californian friend, based in Montreuil who makes skis with a wooden core. He then applies up to date materials such as kevlar and carbon… All his skis are made to order (dimensions, rigidity and even the design!). I’m involved in the conception of certain “standard” models if they can ever be called that!

Because he only makes about thirty pairs of skis each year, is that right?

Yes, limited numbers are inevitable with products which are handmade, made to measure and of high quality … What’s more, they’re serious artillery! At Hardcore, those who are really interested can not only admire them, they can also test them…

Well we’re done, our glasses are empty! Have I forgotten anything? Would you like add anything? Thank anyone?

Most of all thanks to Lolotte for everything which takes too long to say and which is unrepeatable! Peter for his artillery, Christophe, Ju and the staff at Hardcore, Adrénaline, Fab’ and larch liqueur. Also my sponsors: Rabbit on the Roof, Crispi, 7TM, Giro, Mundaka optics and Hardcore/Burton Shop Verbier…