Grilling Gigi Ruf!

Posted on Friday 16th December, 2011 Times Viewed: 8229
What is there to be said about Gigi that hasn't already been said? Perhaps that he's a just as eclectic and interesting character when stripped bare of all sponsor logos off and of the snow as he is on snow?

Or that he gets more covers in one season than most pros' in their entire careers!
People tend to subconsciously radiate toward Gigi where ever he ventures. I cannot pinpoint why, but after years of watching him, I think part of his magic is thanks to his uncanny ability to see nuances where you and I see only black or white.

And he truly, deeply loves snowboarding for all the right reasons... While contest guys take the gondola up to the event site, then back down in the afternoon, saying 'There's nothing but ice on the run down to the village, so why bother?", Gigi is frothing, doing laps on the same run, finding lines, obstacles and trannies these guys could never even imagine. Now THAT is inspiring. - Jan Prokes (Volcom Europe Team Manager)

It's here the interview that Pete (fatbob) had with Gigi!

Pete: Thank you Gigi for allowing us to ask you a few questions.

Pete: Congratulations on the arrival of Oskar Lee in July. What are you doing right now? Changing nappies?
Gigi: Diaper patrol in full effect!

Pete: As a father myself, how do you juggle your snowboard career and family life? Do you find it hard being away from your family whilst travelling?
Gigi: It’s fifty fifty. I am excited I can bring my family along on some of my trips abroad and make that part of the adventure, but really we get to spend most of our time together especially in summer. Snowboarding allows me a lot of free time and I happily enjoy this lifestyle I have with both counterweights.

Pete: What are your plans for the 11/12 season?
Gigi: Drop into it and see where my snowboarding goes.

Click to view full image

Pete: You shunned the contests fairly early in your career to focus on video parts. Was that an easy decision to make?
Gigi: Yeah since the contest scene shrunk to invitational contest after the ISF went down in late nineties. That time I was glad to have gotten the chance to deliver my Destroyer part and become Transworlds Rookie of the year in 2000.

Pete: Do you feel it’s more difficult for the current crop of riders to shun contests for video parts, or can they mix both?
Gigi: Depending on the choices they make, if they want it all - Without contest a lot of snowboarders wouldn’t be able to afford anything. It takes their independent outlook of where they want to take their shot at with snowboarding. Contests are important to get to know your peers, the so-called scene, it’s like school and you always compare yourself with people most likely in your age group. Nowadays contest are not important anymore for snowboarding itself since they are not respectful to our lifestyle. I mean TV hours are more important than taking a deep breather before dropping in.

Pete: In the 2008/09 season you managed to film 3 video parts and you had the arrival of your first child Jona. That must have been a busy year! How did you manage it?
Gigi: Steffi, my wife is the most amazing when it comes to our children. I am good in revving Jona up to no good.

Pete: You must be a sponsors’ dream. Plenty of exposure and loyal to boot? You’ve been with Volcom since you were 12 years old. Has it always been plain sailing?
Gigi: What can I say as I cherish the stone for the incredible energy it’s surrounded by since the early ages of snowboarding. I am a sucker for their creative sh*t.

Click to view full imageClick to view full image

Pete: Was it an easy decision to leave Burton after 12 years with them?
Gigi: You can ask questions. Time keeps on slipping into the future. Really I didn’t think of it being hard or what not. It was a natural cause of me making steps forward or backwards. Having to admit I am not super good in the decision making process because I am a Libra. My favourite is moving sideways and you don’t have to file major decisions to do that.

Pete: You have a signature Volcom jacket, the Gigi Ruf ‘TDS’ Jacket. Being a sceptic, I would have thought many riders just put their name to a jacket with very little input. How much input do you have into the specification, technology and styling of your jacket?
Gigi: Concerning the Gigi Puff Jacket Volcom gives me the top notch stuff and I don’t argue with that. This TDS story is built from this jacket and designer Pat Field who would get out snowboarding with the riders every year to throw around ideas.

Click to view full image

Pete: What board are you currently riding?
Gigi: 158 Twinshape, Directional Flex – it flies.

Pete: Do you get to design your own board graphics and how does the design process come about?
Gigi: I have many ideas.. I call my boards money train.

Pete: What do you love about working with Volcom?
Gigi: The no bullshit factor. People there are the real deal. Besides Billy Anderson being the godfather of my son it is clearly a friendship involved.

Pete: When do you think we’ll see Volcom snowboards on the market, if ever? (If you need a new tester, just drop me a line!)
Gigi: Just slip me a cheque.

Pete: Who do you like to ride with? You seem to spend a lot of time with Nicolas Mueller.
Gigi: Sure I admire him and others like Blair Habenicht is no joke. Marco Feichtner is my one and only I could mention from the shredheads around home - he really stomps the sh*t out of every landing.

Click to view full image

Pete: How would your ideal day play out?
Gigi: Shuck up in the morning by my kids, get their toys spread out. Black tea, brush teeth, go snowboarding, get back home to eat afternoon brownies and a glass of milk. Watch cartoons with my kids, bust through the news on the net, dinner, put the kids to sleep and cuddle back onto the sofa with my wife and wrap out.

Pete: What do you do to relax? I’ve read you like to scribble and keep scrapbooks?
Gigi: Blotto got me on that path of keeping memories pilling up – there are some I keep in a fireproof case. Ludschi from the Pirates is another inspiration that gets us animated to compile scribbles for the annually DVD Art booklet that Pirate-movie-production.com brings out every year!

Pete: Do you know much about the UK snowboard scene?
Gigi: I know you guys inhabit Chamonix, ride on carpets and are the most drunk at après ski.

Pete: Any word of wisdom you want to put out there?
Gigi: Follow your nose.



Pete: Some quick fire questions now, I’m sure we’ll all know the answer to the first question!

Pete: Park or powder?
Gigi: I am a hunter

Pete: Favourite trick?
Gigi: Fs 3ees

Pete: Method or McTwist?
Gigi: Mctwist is more daring – method comes handy.

Pete: Rocker or camber?
Gigi: camber

Pete: Favourite place to ride?
Gigi: Home mountain or Alaska

Pete: Thanks again for allowing us to ask you some questions, but one last thing, next time you and the Absinthe boys hit up Champery/Les Crosets let me know as it’s my favourite place to ride.

Gigi: It’s gonna snow heavy this week end.. it’s on!

Be well,
9i9i

You can also be in with a chance to win Gigi's signature outerwear from Volcom here!

http://snow.volcom.com/
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