Some people might be under the impression that Romain is a crazy motherf-ker-to the point where it’s not even fun anymore. If so, then let me say this: You have no idea. How many people do you know who live life like there’s no tomorrow, don’t care what other people say or think, and put themselves last in all situations? He’ll look at something and say, “I’m gonna do that. Get out your camera.” And everyone else will be like, “Are you f-king nuts?” Shit that doesn’t look doable, he’ll stomp it nine out of ten times.
So the next time you watch him ride, take a good look, ’cause his riding is bigger, harder, and gnarlier than everybody else’s. Romain brings out the best in me-and my snowboarding for that matter. I’m proud to know him. Thanks for always keeping it real.-JP Solberg
Romain De Marchi
Interview by Joel Muzzey
So what’s the 6-8 Family?
A friend of mine opened a shop back home near Geneva, Switzerland about ten years ago and created a snowboard team. It’s just friends, but we all became professionals-there’s Darius Heristischian, Jonas Emery, David Pitschi, and some upcoming riders like Joel Strecker. It’s cool.
Have you really earned your reputation as a bastard and a hellion?
Well, yeah. I’m just honest with people. If I think you’re a f-ker, I’ll say so. I’m not going to hold anything back-I’m just so 100 percent. But like everybody, I love snowboarding and hanging out with my friends partying, so that seems normal. Sometimes it gets wild, sometimes doesn’t.
For such a high-profile rider, you’ve been cautious with media. Why?
I don’t want to be friends with everybody. It’s not that I’m mean, but the media has given me the stamp of a crazy bastard. I would say people don’t really know who I am except my friends and family. Everyone else says, “Ah Romain’s the wild guy, he’s going to go out and rage his ass off and be a f-ker and a dickhead!” But you know, who cares if these things are said? I don’t need to prove that I’m nice-I know who I am.
Well, it seems to be fueling the fire-building the legend.
No, no, it’s not about building the legend. It’s more like acting. I’m not saying I’m an actor, but people label me as crazy, and it’s good for me. I don’t have to show the world the real Romain. But that guy you see partying, that’s me too, there’s just more to the picture.
Are you the maverick of the Burton team?
I think what makes a good team is everyone having a different, strong personality. The one I’m on-we’re all individuals, but understand each other, too. Everybody has a different approach about how to ride snowboards. I try to do it the best way I can.
And where does the pressure to progress and produce come from?
It’s not really pressure-more like enjoyment. I want to stoke myself out-I’ll jump as much as possible to get what I really want. I’m one of the lucky kids who gets to travel all over the world and do what they’ve dreamt of their whole life-being a pro snowboarder. And it’s not like a crazy sport where you have to train all the time-I’d say it’s one of the greatest jobs in the world!
Would you consider yourself more of a worker than a natural?
Well, I wouldn’t say I train a lot, but it hasn’t all come super-easy. It’s simple-I try to have fun. I’m not the guy who’s going to sit in the pipe all day and do the same tricks. If it’s not working in about two or three tries, just go for another trick.
What’s it like being a European rider on the pro scene these days?
We have to struggle a little bit more. There’s more traveling- being out of your home country. You know, the industry is in the U.S.-the market, the magazines. European and Scandinavian riders have to work twice as hard Americans because they have everything in their territory.
Is the business side of snowboarding tough for you to deal with?
Yes. I think it’s too much of a hassle. This (interview) is cool-an opportunity to give my thoughts away-but it takes a lot of energy. When you’re not riding, you have to promote-you need a sense of business. It kinda sucks. I just hope people keep it in mind a little bit that it’s only for fun. Every time I go on the snow, I go for me first.
Will you read this when it comes out?
Yeah, I think so.
Did your part in Vivid meet your approval?
I really had fun last season riding with my friends. I got new experiences, like the backcountry and big-mountain riding. I went to Alaska for three weeks. When you discover new things in snowboarding, you’re super happy.
You’re nominated for TransWorld’s Video Part Of The Year-are you hyped?
I think it’s good that people inside snowboarding recognize what I’m doing, but I just did what I really wanted to do.
What are the best things happening in the sport right now?
The biggest thing is that more people are trying it. More random people are becoming snowboarders. There’s also a bad side to that, though-the industry grows and the spirit isn’t there any longer. It’s kind of a fashionable thing to do for those new people-not the same way of thinking as it used to be. You know-fun, friends, and boards. But all the real snowboarders, they still have the passion and know the soul of snowboarding.
How do you keep your head on straight?
I have a lot of friends who are pro snowboarders, but I also have friends at home who are not, and they have a totally different life. That stokes me out. I get home, hear their stories, and it gives me a little boost. After a few weeks, you feel it is time to go again. It works well.
What are your thoughts on competition?
I like competing when good people go and there’s a good spirit in the event. I don’t like when there’s too much pressure and bullshit. I’m not one of those guys who’s going to do all the World Cups. No.
What’s up with the rumor of you starring in porn movies?
Ahh, well-it’s not from home video. It’s just bullshit talk. People don’t know, they’re just guessing.
Is there any day in particular that sticks out from last season?
My first line in Alaska. It wasn’t big, but for me it was-my first experience. It was invisible, a short line, steep with a lot of fingers. I was pretty stressing-kinda scared to drop in, but when I was in, I was like, “F-k,” … at the bottom I was like, “Yeah!”