RIPPING | GABRIEL JACQUES
Interview by Max Trudel Photos by Renrob Gabriel Jacques Age | 25 Place | L’Ange-Gardien, QC Sponsors | Bataleon snowboards, Dragon, Vans,...
The average video part includes approximately 20 clips. That’s a good year. By good, I mean maybe a couple of productive trips, no injuries, few kick-outs, proper spots, proper tricks. You might film a little more, but shots end up getting cut in post. If you’ve been paying attention, when filming for a one-year project, there’re only a few riders who have longer (amazing) parts. I’ll forever remember Bode Merrill’s three-song ender in Reckless Abandon. Putting together something like that requires another level of commitment and talent. We’re not talking about pros or ams, just greatness and hard work.
Seb Picard is in this category. For The Bruners Video II Seb put together a two-song, 33-clip part in Bruners III—29 clips in a montage format with no separate parts, with more footage appearing in Anthony Drolet’s Coco Bongo project last year. And if you’ve seen what Seb does, you know it’s not filler.
Seb isn’t just crazy good, he also never says no, he’s always down. Leaving on a trip, he’s down. Wak- ing up early, still down. Helping out his friends, down. That level of commitment is what it takes to make a name for yourself. Not only in the industry, but with fellow riders who will always be down with you. Hang- ing out on a trip, drinking beers into the early morning—every scenario. He’s one of those good ones.
Enough already, here’s the Seb Picard Interview.
Words & Photos by Joseph Roby
Tabarnak de coliss! Now that I have the people’s attention. Yo, Seb, how old are
you and where are you from?
You’ve probably lost the people’s attention with a question like that, but let’s do it. I’m 25 years old and I’m from St-Helene-de-Breakeyville, a small village on the south shore of Quebec City.
Where did you grow up riding?
I grew up riding at a small resort called La Crapaudiere, but a year after I got on a board, it closed. So, I moved to another one, 15 minutes away that’s called, Mont-Orignal. It’s the smallest resort but they had the most insane park with crazy features.
Mont-Orignal translates to Mount Moose in English, could there be a more
Canadian name for a resort?
I guess not, never heard a better one.
Speaking of moose, Moosehead or Labatt Blue?
Moosehead, dude. Because it’s the only one that tastes the same in a can as in a glass bottle. Labatt reminds me too much of the first time I had a beer. It tasted like shit at the time [laughs]. Does this mean I’m not a real “Québécois?”
Definitely a real Québécois. I heard Moosehead is LNP’s favourite beer, too. So, it
all started on snowblades for you, tell me about it.
Wait a minute, don’t start a rumour. I started on skis probably like everyone but yeah… I had a year where I was completely lost in my life and I tried snowblades. Shit was dope [laughs].
What’s your best trick on snowblades? Let’s say on a down bar.
Tell me what you want to see and I’ll do it [laughs]. For real, that’s actually a good question but I don’t know, maybe just try to not eat shit and stay on my feet, but I wish I could hit a jump and do double corks on them, it looks fun [laughs].
Everyone should know I watched you do a bunch of weird switch-ups at Louif’s
backyard rail on blades. You’re good at everything. So, how long have you been
I’ve been riding a board since I was nine years old, so 16 years now and I’m hoping for many more. Unless I just change careers and jump back on snowblades, we never know [laughs].
Salomon definitely has some skis to hook you up for sure. First snowboard video
part you filmed?
Reckless, it was a Timebomb Trading movie from back in 2012, 2013.
What sacrifices do you feel like you’ve made since then to fulfil your
I guess having stopped going to school after high school. I think about going back [to school] every single day of my life. Having trouble paying my bills sometimes feels like a sacrifice too [laughs]. I only work during the summer so I can be 100 per cent into snowboarding during the winter. I’ve tried to work a little in the winter, but it didn’t work at all. It is really hard to focus on filming a video part when you’re feeling in a rush. And I mean, those two things are sacrifices, but in another way, it’s bringing me so many good times and memories. I, for sure, have no regrets in that regard.
“I had a year where I was completely lost in my life and I tried snowblades.”
The Bruners, man, are we ever going to see another video?
I don’t know. I wish we could do another movie with all the boys, but I think it’s going to be hard to make everyone’s schedule work. Because we all took different paths. Much love for the Bruners, forever.
Then, what were you up to last winter?
I did a project with Anthony Drolet and a bunch of friends, mostly in the Quebec City area and the eastern USA. The boys went on a trip to the Czech Republic when I was in Fin- land filming for a little Salomon project. That was my first time filming in Europe and it was awesome.
Who’s all involved in this project?
Vincent Grandmaison, Phil Jacques, Johnny O’Connor, Mammouth Durette, Anthony Drolet behind the lens and many more people who helped us out.
Other than friendship and natural talent, what makes this crew
The passion for snowboarding that we share, no better feeling than spending a full winter out there and seeing how it comes out on a screen afterwards. But friendship is the real key. Everybody is helping each other and wants the best for each other, we are almost all from the same area, so it makes it easy to ride together and to plan last-minute stuff. Some of us are older and some younger, it’s a good mix of people who have different experiences and life goals that we can all share and learn from.
It’s time for the tough questions in today’s snowboard world, what’s
up with dropping street clips you just filmed on Instagram, are you
down with that?
I’m totally down with that. A lot of those clips won’t be used or haven’t been used in the past, so I think it’s better to leak those clips on Instagram than throw them in the garbage. It might sound crazy, but there are probably more views on the gram than on a movie you worked for all year long. Every movie or montage is so easy to access with computers and cellphones, so the new generation who are interested in snowboarding will probably never touch a hard copy like we all used to do.
How do you see this affecting the future of filming snowboarding?
People seem more interested in quick flicks or a montage that you can watch whenever you want during the day, like more than a full movie. I think magazines are also having a hard time too. Why buy a mag when you can see the same content on a web page for free? That’s probably everyone’s question right now. It is really sad to see all these things disappear. I really don’t know how it’s going to be in 15 years, but it’s an interesting question.
The King is dead. Long live the King. Don’t worry about us too much, we are free, have fucking great content, and are here to stay. I have to ask about you and Vince Grandmaison. You’ve been following each other for a while now. Do you guys keep each other motivated to go out?
We’re getting older, but yes, we still keep each other motivated to go out. We’ve been filming together for almost seven years now. Two winters ago, Vince got injured, and it was not the same for me, to be on the road solo, and filming without him. We’re kind of on the same life schedule, that’s why it’s easy to keep each other hyped on being outside and getting clips. I hope we can ride together on a common project again next winter.
You are almost like an old couple now, do you ever get mad at each
It’s crazy, but I don’t think so, we are both pretty mellow.
You probably film twice as many clips as everybody else. Are you try- ing to get something at every spot or is it just how you roll?
I’m not trying to get something every day. First of all, my body couldn’t take it to board all the time. Second of all, when we’re rolling as a big crew, everybody has his day. We have to be fair to everyone. It’s not about boarding all the time, it’s more about helping each other out. You have a really important role when you’re not boarding. I like the days when you just shovel, have a beer and help your homie with mental motivation [laughs]. If you think about it, we’re out there almost every day for four months straight and we finish the year with around 30 or 35 clips. Then, probably 25 will make the final cut. This past winter has been a good one for me with no injuries. I’ll cross my fingers for this next year.
You’re now part of Salomon Snowboards, how did it all come together?
It all started last summer when Gab Bélanger called me and told me he had a secret project that he wanted me to be a part of. Like, two months later, I learned that he brought Salomon into his sales agency. He wanted me to ride for the brand and promised a few good things. We worked together for a few weeks and made it happen. I’m super hyped on this decision and it’s all because of Gab and Kevin Stevenson. Thanks for keeping your promises, you guys are the best.
You traveled with part of the Salomon team to Finland last winter. How is it to film outside of
Being on the road is awesome. I’m so tired of filming in Quebec and driving around the same streets year after year. It’s easy to be motivated when you are on a trip where you have to be productive. I mean, being at home and filming in Quebec City can make me lazy sometimes [laughs]. But I guess it’s the only place where we can board in the streets until the end of April. It is also a great life and cultural experience to travel to other countries. Of course for snowboarding, but also for the food, traditional activities, meeting new people and many other positive things.
Speaking about food, you went to China in 2018 with
the Bruners, in one word describe the food?
I knew I would get something like that. Back to Fin- land, what about filming with a different crew? How was the vibe?
It is always fun to cruise around and meet other people from different places in the world. The vibe was super chill. It was Chris Grenier, Riley Nickerson, Harrison Gordon, and Toni KerkelaI, I had met a few of those guys in the past, but never really had the chance to board with them. We all have the same lifestyle, so it is nice to see how other people work and act. It can bring different ideas and perceptions about snowboarding and life in general.
If you had to choose right now, Finland or Quebec,
I haven’t spent enough time overseas to learn enough about the Finnish culture, but for snowboarding, I choose Finland. People are so nice there, and they mind their own business, they let you do your thing. Also, there are spots everywhere and the weather is very comfortable. But, damn the Euro currency is expensive for us Canadians [laughs]. I really fell in love with Europe, but if I have to choose a place to stay and build my life, I’ll stay in Quebec, because it’s where I grew up and where my homies are.
Do you have plans for this coming season?
Not yet, I’m slowly thinking about that. I hope I can travel more and film in other countries and still do a project with my friends. I have a few plans in mind, but we’ll see how it goes.
Besides your snowboarding winters, what have you been up to in the summer?
I used to work in restaurants for the past eight years, but this summer I had the chance to work at a vineyard, my girlfriend‘s family business. I’m also trying to skate as often as possible, spending time with my friends and my girl, camping, biking, partying, trying to be busy every day and enjoying life. Summer is great, man.
Does working in a vineyard makes you drink more
[Laughs] No, but it makes me more appreciative of what I drink, and maybe influences my choice when I have to order something at a restaurant. But I don’t know enough about the wine industry yet to be that picky with what I drink.
So, wine or Moosehead?
It’s a hard choice. Let’s just talk about both of them. I’ll go with wine on a mellow weekday after a hard day at work,
you know, just to keep the brain relaxed and to help me fall asleep. Then, I’ll go all-in with Moosehead on a Friday or a Saturday night when I’m hanging with friends and partying till 6 a.m. [laughs].
Thanks, Seb, anyone you’d like to thank or shoutout?
Mom, Dad , my girlfriend Gabrielle, all my little family, my roommate Olivier, my homies from Quebec City and around the world, sponsors (Kev, Gab and everyone at Salomon snowboards, Seth Hout and P-L at Volcom, Darrell at Howl, Etienne at 5-0 Boardshop, Matt at Stance, Gio and everyone at Vans , People at Electric), everyone at King Snow Mag for making this interview happen, Bruners, health, love, life, beer and water for keeping me hydrated, my couch and my bed for making me feel better sometimes, VSP, GPS, VISA, summer for putting money in my wallet and having a blast with the homies, and winter for being Saturday every day.