By RenÇ Hansen
Romain is the ultimate snowboarder-he gives it 150 percent and is always riding on the edge of what’s possible with a huge smile and no complaints. I remember the first time I met Romain-it was at our photo shoot in Diablerets, Switzerland. Of course he was recognized for his riding right away, but it was what happened at night that blew our minds the most.
The first night, Romain shared a room with one of the other guys. He was too drunk to find the restroom, so he stood up on the bed, pissed on the radiator, and went back to sleep as if nothing had happened. The next day we ended up in the VIP lounge at an MTV party with Run DMC. After going to the bar all night and ordering drinks courtesy of MTV, Romain started to get drunker than usual and got on the nerves of Jam Master J. So Jam Master J started to push Romain around, and at that time my brain stopped functioning, too. I told Jam Master J to back off or I’d kick his ass, and then I followed up with a very smart thing-I pushed him up against the wall.
Approximately six big guys then told Romain and I that they were going to kick our asses, and we suddenly became very sober. Luckily, the MTV security took us away before we got a good smacking. They ended up taking us out in the alley, and Romain thought we were going to get beaten. So he hits the first guy, who had just saved us, in the face, and the whole thing started again. All Romain’s friends got in on the action, but Romain already got punched in the face and was down on the floor. I put Romain on my back and ran to our hotel, but we couldn’t find the key to the room. We woke up the next day in another room with blood all over us. I later found the key-in my pocket.
Aside from that, Romain is a very caring person who always looks out for everyone’s best interest. He also knows exactly what he does and doesn’t want. He’s funny, moody, and kind. He has a heart of gold, is a clown who you laugh with, not at, and has two personalities: one when he drinks and one when he’s good.
Romain doesn’t care about or respect people’s status or fame; he only cares about what anyone is up to at the present time. He has no control over his own finances because he makes everyone else he’s with pay his way, even if they don’t have the money. Or maybe it’s because he has spent around 20,000 dollars on rental-car repairs to date. He has a large interest in everything his sponsors do, and is always a big part of the ad campaigns and R&D research and development.
Romain’s like a little brother to me: I love him to death even though we fight like anyone else. For the most part, however, it’s a fun and interesting ride with him around.-RenÇ Hansen
Let’s begin with where you’re from.
I’m from Dardagny, a village outside of Geneva Switzerland.
How big is your family?
I have three families: my mom, dad, and sister for the first; my second is the 68family from Pulp, a friend’s shop in Geneva; and my third is the Airwalk team.
You’ve been riding for how many years?
I started snowboarding in 1993, and I’ve been riding professionally since ’98.
Who do you ride with the most?
Pretty much with the Airwalk team when I’m traveling, especially Tero, and with my friends when I’m at home.
When it comes to snowboarding, who do you look up to and most want to emulate?
Jamie Lynn is my inspiration, but at first my idol was my friend Xavier.
Who would you say has a good distinctive style these days?
Everybody has their own style; it would be boring if we all rode the same. But my favorite styles at the moment are Peter Line’s and Gigi RÅf’s.
Do you consider your style distinctive?
Yeah, I guess.
Where does it come from?
Xavier taught me the craziest style when I started snowboarding. I’ve also learned from videos and experience.
Do you think partying hinders your riding, or does it help it?
I don’t know, but my friends tell me I ride better when I’m hungoveer, so it must help. Maybe the victory at the Arctic Challenge explains that, or Embry Rucker could.
Do you ever intend to invent your own trick?
Everyone has their own trick in a way, because no one has the same style when doing a trick.
All right, but are there any more tricks left to invent?
Maybe, who knows?
You’re at the beginning of your career. What do you hope to accomplish?
I want to gain the respect of the people inside the actual business of snowboarding. I think that’s a good goal. I also want to have a good time and enjoy life!
Are there any goals you’ve already met?
Actually, I can thank my parents for helping and pushing me to graduate from the school of electricity.
Contests, Olympics, money, video footage: Are these things you consciously keep in the back of your mind when on the mountain?
No, not all the time. You know, snowboarding has lost a lot of its spirit when it comes to the riding because so much money comes from big companies in the industry, so now you need to think about money and being productive. If not, they don’t care about firing you. That’s why sometimes I feel more like a businessman and not a snowboarder. Luckily for me, this attitude doesn’t exist at Airwalk; we’re more like a huge family.
What about your personality do you most want people to know?
I’m not sure what people want to know: the good side or the bad side. Better not to tell you laughs.
How about this: What do you not want people to know about you?
My trouble with alcohol laughs!
Let’s change the subject. What music do you listen to most?
At the moment, Britney Spears: I think she’s hot laughs. In general I like almost everything, though, except techno.
Are you interested in any other sports?
Skating, diving when I have the time, or any new sport.
And finally, is there a saying or quote that you love to live by?
Tonight, tonight is the night! Specially made by the f-king A Crew!
Now it’s time for your thank yous.
I want to say thank you to my team manager RenÇ for all that he does for me, and to all the Airwalk teamriders. Also, thanks to my family back home, to Jim and the 68family for supporting me, and to all the people believing in what I’m doing!
“I like riding with Romain because he pushes the limits and can land almost all of the tricks he does. He also motivates me when it’s shitty out and the conditions are bad.”-Tero Ainonen
“Romain is very talented, super strong, over stylish, completely nuts, a hard worker, a real party machine, a bit of an alcoholic, and a bit more of a Don Juan: faithful, really nice, charming, and a funny person-and my girlfriend likes him a lot. His only fault is he’s way too young for her! Love to you, Romain.”-Scalpy
Name: Romain De Marchi
Born: October 11, 1979
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Years riding: Seven
Local mountain: Portes du Soleil
Likes: Beer and Britney Spears
Stance: 53 cm
Sponsors: Airwalk, Dragon, Volcom, Drake, Eloura, Clive, 68family
Worst injuries: None
Hobbies: Parties and girls
Days riding in a year: I can’t count
Movie parts: A couple
First snowboard: Crazy Bananas
Favorite trick: Go big
Actor: David Pitschi Sifredi
Movie: Best action of David Pitschi Sifredi
Music: Britney Spears
Snowboarders: David Pitschi, Tero Ainonen, Roger Hjelmstadstuen, Frederik Sarvell, Seth Huot, Scott Arnold, RenÇ Hansen