Last week Pyrenean shredder Vince Maharavo dropped a new short movie “Dad and I.” It’s a good opportunity to get to know this young member of the French freeski team, and his rad dad Chri Chri.
"Dad & I" from Vince Maharavo (YouTube)
If you haven't heard of him before, well, you already missed something. Vince is a guy who's always smiling and doing crazy stuff all the time. He's the kind of guy who just wants to have fun anywhere, anytime. He's the kind of guy who will call you at the last minute if he needs something… mostly if he needs a place to crash. But he is also the sweetest guy on earth, always ready to help when someone's in need.
Vince has always been a ski fanatic, and he’s now living his best life: competing on the world's top stage, going to the Olympics, having fun and skiing skiing skiing. I caught up with Vince on the release of his new edit.
Born: 5 July 1997 (22 years old) in Paris
SPONSORS: Völkl Marker Dalbello, Rip Curl, Font-Romeu, LGS, Oakley
Random fact: Holds a professional baccalaureate in cooking
Likes: Pastries, skaeboarding, surfing, partying, business, cars, the ocean, hockey, horse riding
Hates: When things don’t go as planned, falling on skis
ANECDOTE: Incredibly scared of spiders!
Photo: Maria Hidalgo
Who are you?
I'm Vince Maharavo, I'm 22 years old and I'm from the Pyrenees. I am a bit mixed, people often call me Chinese but they’re wrong: my dad is from Madagascar. I'm an athlete and passionate about skiing, I love extreme sports in general. I'm trying to reach my biggest goals on skis, like getting medals at international contests like the X Games, World Cups etc. I think I'm funny, and a little crazy sometimes!
What’s your typical routine?
It all starts when I wake up in bed. I check notifications, networks, emails, bank account... then it's shower, breakfast and we leave for the snowpark. I train or compete depending on the day. Otherwise I film. Then it's rest, stretch, chill, Netflix, eat and go to sleep. I really want to keep doing this for a while.
You don't get bored skiing every day?
Skiing is a passion. I spend most of my time on two planks, and when I ski I don't notice time passing. I can ski for ten hours straight without realizing it. It’s thanks to this sport that I've become recognized for the efforts and the dedication that I've put on it. It's a blessing when people show me that they like and appreciate what I'm doing. This is how I managed to make it my job. So today I live exclusively for skiing. Some people go to the bakery or to the office in the morning, I go skiing. I couldn't dream of anything better—this was my childhood dream.
Photo: Emilio Sedano
Where do you spend most of your time?
I spend a lot of time in the Swiss and Austrian Alps because I train there. Otherwise, for two years I have been doing a DUT [technical university degree] in marketing techniques in Annecy. This is a program that has been set up by the French ski federation; instead of doing this degree in two years, we take it in three years so that we have time to train and compete. Otherwise, besides that, I also have holidays. This is the advantage of this lifestyle, since I have fixed dates for competitions, I can take a week or two to take a break when I need it.
Vince enjoys the skies above the Stubai Zoo in Austria. Photo: Pally Learmond
How long do you think you'll live this lifestyle?
My goal is to try to improve my lifestyle over the years. But the economy of skiing and of professional skiers is a decreasing economy, and French athletes are finding it increasingly difficult to find funding. I lost a contract this year. It’s hard to find funding in sports.
Tell us about "Dad and I."
It is a project that speaks about my father and me, and our common love for sport and skiing, and his support so that I can succeed in this environment, not necessarily with a lot of means, but a lot of passion and motivation. It's about an inspiring father and an ultra-passionate rider who push each other to achieve their goals and their dreams. I tried to get this message across in a few sentences and a few images, and I finished it off with two minutes of my best ski clips to show the results of all these efforts.
What makes you happy?
When I'm skiing with my friends, when I get a good shot, when I land my tricks, when I succeed in competitions. That makes me happy, and it's the satisfaction of freestyle, that's why we do this sport. It's these feelings of accomplishment.
What motivates you?
It’s the smiles, the fun… that’s what motivates me in life in general.
Vince on the contest grind. Photo: Daniil Kalachev
Who's a skier that inspires you?
In skiing, the cool thing is that everyone and their styles are different. So it’s not one or two skiers that inspire me, but many. Obviously there are riders that I prefer to others... but I won't say that I have a favorite skier. I’m inspired by several skiers. But there are so many that I can't give names.