Flo Bastien was “born to be arrogant,” and it makes sense. He’s a professional skier with more style than you could shake a ski pole at, an accomplished filmmaker, multilingual and so on and so forth. (Seems to be a trend on the black crows team.) Anyway, Flo just came out with a new edit, Visions, along with Nikolai Schirmer, Julien Lange and Anttu Oikkonen. You can watch it below, and read the interview by Awayco’s own Chris Booth, who became good friends with Flo while they were both at black crows. Hence the, um, familiarity.
Awayco: So you’re French. Does that mean you’re arrogant?
Flo Bastien: For sure, I was born arrogant. Being arrogant is a tradition that has got lost a little in France, so I am proud to perpetuate it.
Who makes worse coffee? French or German?
They are both terrible, but German coffee can be served with a good old kaiserschmarren which is not possible in France. Germany wins!
The way you link things together is aesthetically pleasing. Everything has a sense of flow when you ski. Neither of these things come particularly natural in skiing – which is mainly technical – and not many people have a sense of flow when they ski: Sage Cattabriga-Alosa has it, Candide has it, you have it. How?
Wow! that’s nice to see my name in a sentence with those 2 legends. They are the best at flowing through a line.
I was always inspired by street skateboarding where it’s casual to hit several features in the same line. Snowboarders like Louif Paradis and Nicolas Muller each in their own environment do it so well too and off course sage is a master at linking features in a line. Their riding, the fact that they move from a cliff to a slash to a windlip, it sweats joy and It has always made me want to do the same.
It adds technicity to a line for sure. It takes good terrain reading as well as timing and speed management but it’s also a great way to enjoy a run to the max, more features, more fun!
You are mostly ski touring the lines in the film – for some tech gear is not something to ski like that with. What do you use and what would you recommend to someone looking for a solid ski touring set up where you can ski freely on the down?
I use a lot the black crows nocta, they are playful reverse camber skis which suits very well my skiing and they are impressively light -something like 4300g in 190- which make the hike easy. I usually mount them with Marker Kingpin, they are my favorite touring bindings, pretty beefy and easy to use
As long as you forget that your toes are held by two pins it becomes easy to send it. Niko uses some G3 Ion and he doesn’t worry about that as you can see in the movie. Tech bindings are a lot more reliable now than they were a few years back.
You grew up skiing in Tignes and now you live in Chamonix. Why change?
I must be an exception but it’s not for its mountains, I mean not at first.
My girlfriend is from there and one year I spent spring with her in Chamonix and happened to meet Camille, Julien and Bird from black crows. I ended up joining the squadron as a skier then as a marketing swiss army knife a few years later, hired by an over stoked Australian former pro skier who joined the brand as its marketing manager.
I split my time between Tignes and Chamonix for 4 seasons. I had athlete contract with Tignes and had to spend quiet a lot of time up there to make content for the resort. Moreover, terrain in Tignes is friendly and suits my riding style a bit better than long and steep Cham mountains. You know, I like them but they scare me.
That situation was not so comfortable because I ended up being in both places and nowhere at the same time. It’s hard to enjoy a place when you come and go all the time. Then I got fired from Tignes team which meant I had no more reason to spend time there. So I spent a full season in Chamonix, hooking up with some others skiers, exploring the mountains and experiencing more deeply the winter life of the valley.
The terrain in Cham is actually very diversified, there is crazy good tree skiing, those big faces everyone knows but also some friendly natural features and mellow freeride runs to express your flow.
Best ski shop in Chamonix?
Best ski shop in Tignes?
Nevada sport for the ski boots and Mountain Attitude for the rest.
You get better at skiing as you get older. Agree?
Yes I think so. Experience makes you better at reading the terrain and at knowing yourself, you’ll know what feature best suits a trick, what is steep enough for a landing, what timing between two features, etc.. However, as I know myself and the limits of my skiing, I’m more scared to overpass them and try new things which is a brake to progression in my opinion. There must be a balance between experience and craziness that I still have to find.
You ride mountain bikes outside of winter. Is that because it is like skiing?
Actually not, It’s another way to enjoy mountains, totally different from skiing but equally enjoyable. I like the feel of the suspensions, the feedback it gives when you move on the bike. It’s more intense to me than what I feel on my skis. I also like how easy it is to have a good bike ride, you just need 2 hours, a small hill and some dirt. You don’t care about the weather, there is no avalanche and the climb is easier than when you have to brake the trail in 50cm of fresh snow.
Why do you bother making a ski film? Why not just go skiing and to hell with it?
Well, it’s to make the sponsors happy, so we can shred for another year haha!
It’s also exciting to have a project with some friends. I have never been part of a major ski film company and I’ve always produced the movies I was part of, either with GPSY Feelin or lately with Nikolai. I appreciate to challenge my creativity and my skiing with some other nerds, it’s pure team work and I sometimes surprised myself having fun watching someone else skiing as much as I do when I actually do it.
The dark side of making a movie is the time you spend actually not skiing but searching for untracked faces or for the filmers to be ready. The first year you worked as black crows marketing manager you told me not to make a movie but just to go skiing with a Go Pro on my head. I’ve never skied as much as I did this year, hard pack, corn snow, powder, moguls, it was all fun. That was the best season I have.