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Please visit http://befsa.com for all the news about Freeride in Bulgaria.


  Name: Gavozdea Alin

Age: 23
Born in: Cluj-Napoca, Romania in 6th of February, 1979
Lives in: Sibiu, Calea Poplacii Nr.73, Bl.41, App. 29
I started skiing when I was 5 or 6 year old
Education: Last "extra" year, 5th, University of Bucharest, Math College

1. Which is your first skiing memory?
First skiing memory ( I can remember exactly ) was when me and a good friend of mine did shit in a plastic bag and we did hit a dog with that shit.
Everybody from the skiing team were playing with that dog the day after and wondering what's with that smell. :) What can I say now, ...stupid teenage things.
2. Is someone from your family also a skier?
All the members of my family ski except for my sister who's snowboarder.

3. When did you start freestyle skiing?Was there something that inspired you to do so, was it a revolutionary moment or rather a longer and evolving process in your skiing practice?
I started freestyle skiing around 7 years ago and I think that the only thing that inspired me to do freestyle skiing was a guy in Brasov.
He was snowbording with some other guys and they were having so much fun that I joined them, started to hang out with them, do some jumps with the skis, some freeriding and I liked it.

4. Did you have at the beginning much friends who were also keen on trying and studying freestyle moves and tricks. Did you have an easy access to videos, magazines and TV programmes connected to freestyle skiing?
It was just a few of us skiing and snowboarding freestyle. I think we were 6 persons. Another 2 of them were skiing and the rest of them were snowboarding. So, 3 skiers and 3 snowborders. And NO, we didn't have an easy access to videos or TV programs. We had just a few shity snowboard magazines and that's it.

5. What were your first freestyle skis?
My first freestyle skis were an 1,80m Volkl p9. I think that those skis were pretty good to do freestyle tricks back in 1995. But, the first twin-tips skis were ( and still are ) the Rossignol Scratch, 1,84m. And I think that they are to long to do 540's or 720's.

6. Do you predominantly practise jumping - going straight to the jump and kicking off your ass whole day long; how often do you go to the mountain just for riding on and off piste?
As long as I have enough money for the gas and for the cable, you can bet that I'll go up and stay there all day long just to ski, on and off the piste. But don't spend so much time in the mountains because it's pretty far away from were I live.

7. Which is your favourite trick from all the tricks you've ever seen?
I'm not really good in tricks' names but I do like 540's rodeo, fakie to fakie backflips and all the tricks landed fakie.

8. Which is your favourite, most beautiful, most difficult trick you can perform? What's the next trick you want especially to learn ?
I feel very comfortable landing backflips or frontflips. Maybe even 540's if the landing is nice shaped. The next trick that I want to land on snow is a backflip with a 360. it's like a rodeo720. I'm saing "on snow" because I did landed it several times on a water-jump contest in Budapesta. Next winter, I'll land that trick on snow. I swear! :)

9. How do you practice the tricks, do you study them from videos?
I don't study the tricks from a video, I just practise them on snow. If I do land a trick, then I know that I can do it again. If a trick is not coming out for the first time, I'll keep on trying untill it does.

10. Which are your favourite movies for extreme skiing?
I don't know any skiing movies. I just remember that I saw a movie once, but I forgot the name of it.

11. Which was the first time you jumped in front of public? Tell me about all the freestyle competitions you participated in, any events outside Romania.
The first freestyle contest that I've been, it was the Balea Zborading 2001, in Balea, Romania. The only ski contest that I've been, outside Romania, it was this summer in Budapest ( Hungary ), at the "Sport Sziget Festival". And it was a water-jump contest but we were only 5 skiers competing and I took the first place.
12. Tell me something more about the summer festival in Budapest?
It's a nice festival with all kind of sports and activities going on around there, like car expositions, bmx dirt, bungee jumping, a place where you can improve your karate abilities, dance abilities, ... A lot of crazy stuff. There was an improved pool with extremly cold water, a kicker and a lot of fun. They build the water ramp only for the festival. Beside me, there were another 4 skiers, 2 from Poland and the other 2 from Hungary. They were doing backflips, 180` frontflips ,
360` and 540`.

13. Did you participate in alpine skiing competitions?
Yes, I did. I was the second, twice, in giant slalom and super G but it was a long time ago, when I was just a kid.

14. What would you say about the western guys, do you have friends that are famous extreme skiers, when do you think East Europe will be able to organize great freestyle events with competitors doing mistyflips, 1080s and winning thousands of $$$$?
What can I say about the "western guys"? They are fuckin' lucky with all those ski resorts and possibilities to go skiing every time. And, no, I don't have any famous, sponsored friends. I think that East Europe will organize that kind of contest when I'll ask my little kid to push me in my wheel chair. :) just jokin'...

15. What does all this stuff - all your freestyle practices and competitions - give to you, in terms of experience, emotions?
Yep, a lot of emotions. Haven't you ever felt your heart beating like hell when you want to try a hard trick? I felt this shit several times. And it's so great after you land that trick ( or not! ).

16. Tell me about your sponsorship.
It's not like a normal sponsorship. It's like a pact, an agreament. Last year, Rossignol gave me brand new "Scratch" skis, a helmet, goggle, Rossignol T-shirt and the year before last year they gave me Bandit XX skis, bindings, poles, a jacket, a beanie, a cap, a backpack and I think that's it. Hopefully next year it will be better, maybe some money or a ski-pass, who knows?

17. What else can you tell me about sponsorship and sponsors in Romania?
Right now, nobody's sponsored, except for me. Last year, Pusok(Silvio) was the only skier who was sponsored by Salomon but now he's not able to ski. I really don't know what's going to be. I just know that Salomon are looking for a team for this year.
I can say that Red-Bull sponsored some events in
Romania, Walkman Sony also, some beer companies helped the organizers with some money. But there are no riders sponsored by any of these companies or other companies.

18. Do you think of your skiing as just for fun or rather as something serious to make money from? What are your general future plans?
Everytime I'm skiing for myself, for fun. But, if you can make money out of it, it's even greater. But always, it's fun before money! My future plan is to ski as much as I can if my back and my knees will help me out.
19. What do you think of freeriding, any competitions.What do you think of dividing extreme skiing into freestyle and freeride?
I think freeriding it's great, too. It can be fun if you manage to do a hard line, with rocks, ice and all kind of impediments. It's a great feeling when you finish the line, when you are down there, hardly breathing and thinking what would it be the next line. Dividing freeride and freestyle?!?!? hmmmm, I don't give a fuck about this. As long as I can freeride and freestyle whenever I want to, I got nothing to say about this.

20. Which is your home mountain, favourite places to ride, mountains abroad you want to go to. Do you want to come to Bulgaria?
Balea in Fagaras mountains, Poiana Brasov near to Brasov city, Parang mountains, Sinaia.... and many many more. Every place to ski is special, in one way or another. And yes, I want to come to Bulgaria next year. Probably I will come at the freeride contest in Bansko. I wanted to come last year but I couldn't because of a fuckin' exam.


interview by Boby Notovski

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