I was just in Saas Fee for the Fiat Rookie Camp. Some of the biggest up-and-coming Swiss talents came to shred with Romain De Marchi and I for three days and get some tips on how to become a pro snowboarder.
I arrived in Saas Fee for the first day of the Fiat Rookie Camp on Thursday. We all (Romain de Marchi, the 15 kids and I) arrived in the sun which became rain after a short and necessary lunch break... The rookies were selected based on small video parts they sent of themselves snowboarding, and invited by Fiat to come spend 3 days with us. First we introduced ourselves, then we played beach volleyball in the sand with a soccer ball so I was pretty much soaking wet with about a pound of sand in my hair, radiating red forearms and scratched knees...
Our first riding day was chilled... I didn’t feel like riding much but it was cool to watch the kids ripping and to feel their motivation. Being in Saas Fee reminds me of when I came here to ride everyday for four months and those kids are in that exact state of mind. They want to shred all day every day - it's inspiring! After riding, we had a run through the vita course with Romain explaining to the kids how important training is to avoid injuries, then we played some more volleyball.
The second day started with very icy slopes and kicker but got really fun after a couple of hours. It was fun to shred and to get some of their motivation. The afternoon was spent on tips on how to contact sponsors, the basics of a sponsorship contract and a couple of what to do and not to do on interviews. Then we went hitting some golf balls. The cool thing with this camp is that the riders didn’t know each other before coming here and now they are shred buddies! I'm sure they'll keep in contact with each other after the camp and that’s really cool!
It was a sunny Sunday morning on the glacier of Saas Fee for judging all the kids hitting the last two kickers of the park. Out of the 15 rookies, it was cool to see the two girls shred - Anais Cettou was doing good on her frontside 360 and 540. For the boys, the top three rode really well; Basile Specker got 3rd with good, stylish amplitude on backside 720 to frontside 720; David Bertschinger finished 2nd with good style on frontside 900 to cab 720, and our FIAT ROOKIE 2008 is Patrick who stomped almost each time with great style and technicality, changing tricks on each of his runs, backside 720 to frontside 720, cab 900, switch backside 900 to backflip... quite impressive for a 14-year-old!
I was stoked to take part in the Fiat camp and get to meet all those young shredders. Hopefully I'll see them soon again - they’ll probably take my job soon enough!
Enjoy the summer!