We spoke with pro-rider Anne-Flore Marxer about her first steps in snowboarding, the big freeride events in which she participated last year and her amazing RV trip along the Norwegian fjords.
Voted Rookie of the Year by TransWorld Snowboarding in 2006, today she is the world’s female freeride champion and is backed up by industry brands such as Billabong, Swatch, Oakley, Neff, 32, Etnies, Les Ettes*, TSG and Blue Tomato. She’s been recognized as one of the most influential female snowboarders not only in France, but also internationally. She spotted a pro-model deck – the Nidecker AFM. Anne-Flore filmed with crews such as the Pirate Movie Productions and this year she has an upcoming appointment with Standard Films.
Here is what AFM told us:
WR: First things first. When did you get into snowboarding?
AFM: I’ve been skiing since I was 1 year old and I switched to snowboarding around 12 years old when I wanted to go with friends instead of staying with my parents (laughs)! All my cousins are ski racers and I’m the rebel of the family that’s why snowboarding fitted me better.
WR: From your point of view, is it harder for a girl to progress in snowboarding, whether as professional or just recreational rider? How do you regard contests?
AFM: Professionally I think that the only thing that is slowing the progression of the girls is the lack of support on the female side from most brands in the industry, recreationally there is no real brakes for girls progression but in the mentalities.Today with more and more female shredders out there I’m confident that we’ll see many younger girls killing it very soon!
Contests wise, it depends. In Europe a lot of the contests are not open to the girls, or do not offer equal conditions or prize money and that’s not helping increase the level and giving a real chance to the girls. Luckily, some of the big TTR events are doing it well. Another good thing is having the smaller girls only contests give a chance to the girls to meet and shred together.
WR: What have you been up to recently, what keeps you on your toes?
AFM: Last winter I wanted to check out the freeride scene it was really cool to meet a new crowd and open my perspectives on snowboarding. I learned a lot about freeriding with choosing the lines, etc. Now I want to apply these freeride skills to filming on bigger and steep terrain.
WR: Where do you spend most of your time when you are not on snow trips?
AFM: I’m in France a lot, I like to surf in the summer so I like to give myself the opportunity to do it as much as possible during my time off.
WR: You are the freeride world champion this year and won the Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011. Tell us about your experience on these events.
AFM: As I said I learned a lot from these events, and now I have much more respect for the riders who compete in them as I now understand how difficult it is. But it was also quite tiring as the organization was giving no credit to the girls, with bad venues and bad prize money. So with the help of the girls we have spent a lot of time trying to improve the tour conditions for us. Some steps towards improvement have been made for this year but not all the way, as the prize money is still 1/3 of the guys’. And that’s why Aline [Bock] and I are both not competing in the tour this year. We want to focus on riding and pushing the limits instead of justifying ourselves for being women all the time.
WR: What were the highlights of your year – films, trips, memorable places?
AFM: At the end of the winter Aline and I went shredding in Tamok up north in Norway and it was really cool! We were staying in an RV along the fjords. We found a really steep couloir and saw some majestic northern lights! The peeps were super nice to us and we had a blast! You can look at the video.
WR: Looking forward to the next year, what are your plans and goals– any projects coming?
AFM: This year I should be filming with Standard and I have big hopes for this.
But we are already in January and I haven’t gotten the confirmation yet…so in the meantime I’ll go join Aline in Austria to shoot some fun stuff.. anyways I’ll keep you posted on my website www.annefloremarxer.com and my facebook page.
WR: Bulgaria is a small scene, but more and more people are getting into snowboarding. Any words of wisdom to the riders (especially the ladies)?
AFM: Yeah girls!! Go out there and have fun!
*Les Ettes is a series of non-alcoholic fragrances, created by AFM in cooperation with other snowboarder such as Lisa Filzmoser. More info at lesettes.com.