17.2. 2016Horsefeathers

Marion Gouwy: From France to Japan

France and pretty girls is a classic conjunction. But if you meet Marion you will get a new one: France and active girls. Marion is a snowboarder, but she does countless other activities and we like that a lot. An active lifestyle is a building block of our existence, so Marion was the obvious choice for the interview.

Hi Marion, tell us where you are at the moment and what are you doing?

Hi everybody, I’m in front of my computer at the office for my lunch break.

So this is a bit surprise for us :) For those who don’t know you, introduce yourself briefly.

I’m from Toulouse and I began snowboarding at the age of 15 in the Pyrénées (mountains between Spain and France). I competed in boardercross during the first years, then slopestyle started my travelling around the world. Now I look for powder a natural jumps, when I’m not working. I am an architect in Toulouse from Monday to Friday.

You are part of the snowboard team at Horsefeathers, but you’re really active, doing many other things. Is snowboarding still number one, or something else right up on the list?

I love mountains, so I engage in many activities on the mountain slopes: paragliding, mountainbiking, hiking. I’ll confess I think there is nothing better than paragliding when I fly. But I think there is nothing better than snowboarding when I’m in powder! So snowboarding is up there with paragliding.

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photo: Jérôme Cau / www.jeromecauphoto.com

Let’s talk about snowboarding. What was the most amazing thing you experienced with snowboarding?

I think every powder day abroad is an amazing experience, because your senses are more stimulated than at home. That’s why my best experience was traveling and riding in Japan last winter. Every day was beter than the day before. We were in massive powder all the time and that was so good! Movies don’t lie: Japanese winter is incredible. Every true snowboarder should go there!

Where can we find you the most often, in the snowpark or in powder?

Both! I love to jump an to try new tricks again and again. But powder is the priority if it is out there. I am a fan of snowpark and freeride, but you can also find me on groomed slopes with my snowboard club, pushing carving turns and training giant slalom!

Is there rivalry between the girls that pushes them, or is it more that you ride with the guys and try to keep up with them?

Girls who ride strong are rare. So I don’t wait for them to push my limits. I mostly ride with guys for this reason. I watch the guys and observe their style and techniques. But I watch many girl videos, because they prove it’s always possible to progress a lot more. Guys’ level can’t be the same as girls’: our body, our brain, and our hormones are not equal.

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Who influenced you more? Women riders, or guy riders? Who is your favourite rider?

I prefer to speak about women who influenced me, because the guys don’t need it! I follow Marie-France Roy and Annie Boulanger for big freeride runs and backcountry. Christy Prior is the best exemple for style in the snowpark. And I watch each video from Jamie Anderson, hoping to get a little bit of the ease she rides with.

Riding with the guys must be sometimes a little tough for a girl. We all know that snowboarders can go a bit crazy sometimes. How did you handle this?

Yes, It is. Maybe that’s why I’ve got many injuries. For a long time I tried to follow them on every big air, every clif, every rail. Now I handle this better. I listen to my body and I analyze situations. Too big? Let’s hit the smaller one. Bad for my pride though.

Tell us what your plans are for this winter? Travel destinations, contests?

I have the simple goal to enjoy my weekends and holidays like I did last winter. I will try to film more, and concentrate on photo shoots. Thanks to my bosses, I can manage my winter enough time off, and I hope I will go to Mt. Baker in the US at the end of season. I have been nominated for the legendary Mt. Baker Banked Slalom! That’s awesome! If I can’t travel abroad, I have many places to visit and ride in the Pyrénées and Alps.

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What is your favourite resort in France, where would you take us riding?

I would take you to my home, Peyragudes. Even if it’s not the best resort. I know many great lines and playgrounds. Also Peyragudes is in the centre of Pyrénées, near the fabulous snowparks of Andorra, surrounded by many wild freeride runs, full of nice and fun people, not too far from the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. So you are welcome to my paradise!

The new Horsefeathers collection is in stores now, what is your favorite product in the new collection?

I chose to wear red Julia jacket with black Katja pants for snowboarding. Also, my favorite products
would be the whole new collection of neckwarmers and the Anikka jacket.

Thanks a lot, Marion, looking forward to riding together!

Mathieu Viveau

photo: Matthieu Viveau

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