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Sylvain Bourbousson, French (g)noir

9/4/2012
One thousand bucks says you can't get this guy to hate on snowboarding. Any takers? No? That's what we thought Silvano Zeiter

Sylvain Bourbousson might be the nicest dude in professional snowboarding. (Sorry Jake Blauvelt.) The 28-year-old has been quietly butchering the backcountry with Absinthe Films for over five years now. His parts showcase his undeniable stompy talents and skill that seems far more deserving of attention than the U.S. mustached-street urchin model of scumbag chic seems to garner. Yet we hear little from Frenchman.

Is it because he's too nice? Is it because he talks funny? Is it because we can't pronounce his name?

Since Absinthe's latest movie, "Resonance" just premiered in Europe and North America, it seemed like a good time to bring one of the quieter snowboarders in the crew out of the shadows. We sat Bourbouson down to inquire about his humble confidence, nice-guy image and if one can actually be musically retarded.


ESPN.com: First off, how do you say your name?

Bourbousson: [Loudly... and very French] SEEL-VAN BOR-BO-SON.


[Louder, and very American] SAY WHAT BOOHYAHKAH?

Exactly!

Many people just call me Bo Bo.


That's much easier on the Yankee tongue, thank you.

Anything I can do.


You are from France and mostly work with the Swiss division of Absinthe -- where do you usually ride?

Most of the time we try and stay in Europe until March riding the Alps. From Arlberg in Austria to Champery in Switzerland, we just go where there is good snow. Then we will move the Euro crew over to the U.S. or Canada or Alaska even.


What are the differences between riding on either side of the pond?

The first thing is the amount of snow. From the places I have been, the U.S. and Canada get way more snow that we do over here in the Alps. So it changes your view of the spots. When there is over a meter of fresh snow you can just send it of anything... even if it's flat.


You have a very quiet confidence about the way you ride, what are you thinking about when you snowboard?

I'm thinking of the next slash I'm gonna do and how fun and cool it is to snowboard! Most of the time I'm pretty quiet when I ride, but I can get pissed against myself in my head if I'm not doing what I know I can. I'm a quiet, angry man up there!


Dude, you probably couldn't kill a mosquito. Has being a nice guy worked out for you in the world of professional snowboarding?

After almost 10 years in snowboarding, I don't hate anyone or anything about it. In the end, I really think people work in snowboarding because they all love what they do and have the passion for it.


Oh yeah, that's a noble thought. C'mon man, tell us some things that suck about traveling and filming then?

All I would say... is that winter is way too short so you can't really take the time to visit and do other stuff in foreign countries. We're always in a rush. Last spring, for once though, we did a road trip with Shane Charlebois, Brandon Cocard, Bode Merill and Ross Baker on the U.S. West Coast as much for fun as for work. We had trucks and the sleds on the trailer and rode all over.

That was perfect because we got to snowboard a lot but also took the time to party and surf in San Francisco, enjoy Portland and Seattle and I ended with week around Los Angeles, seeing friends and surfing! In that case, nothing sucked!


Fine, well my negative questioning didn't really pan out. Why not tell us some things that are awesome about traveling and filming.

Filming is sick because by nature we're always looking for good conditions and good spots. So in turn we always end up in crazy unknown resorts or countries with lot of snow! It's also a good excuse to travel the world. There is nothing better than traveling, meeting people, girls, partying, surfing, laughing, trying to learn new languages... I just want to travel forever!


Any good travel stories?

A trip to Kazakhstan with Almo films was filled with crazy memories! To make it short we had people drinking cheap bottles of vodka at every hour of the day, resorts starting avalanches with Chinese fireworks, a taxi driver who tried to steal my money with a gun... And the country is very beautiful and people are super nice. They're always smiling and trying to help -- except for the taxi driver!


You have a way of looking at things that is admirable, yet we have to end this interview on a dark note. Please tell us about your musical preferences...

[Laughs] I love s--- music, like '90s euro dance and radio tunes! I really don't know why this is. I tried to play guitar when I was a kid but I sucked bad, really bad. So I guess I don't have the music skills or the music ears, and maybe that's why I can't feel the differences between good and bad music! For that reason, I'm truly sorry for all the people who have spent time in my car traveling around with me!