Out of all the skiers on this year's X Games Real Ski roster, Sam Favret is probably the least known. But while you may not be able to pick the Frenchman out of a lineup, we recommend you start remembering his name. Favret grew up skiing the legendary slopes of Chamonix, France, slaying iconic lines while honing his tricks on backcountry kickers. Now Favret is catching fire on the world stage, putting out banger video segments and winning some of the largest big mountain freestyle competitions. But does he have what it takes to rise to the top of the Real Ski field? We asked the 26-year-old what he had in store for his X Games debut.
ESPN: How do you feel about your edit this year?
Sam Favret: I feel good about my edit, but I had to stop my winter in early April because of injury. I broke a little bone under my sacrum (nothing serious) and this injury stopped me for the rest of the winter. There are some good things in my edit, but there is more that I would have loved to show the audience.
Where did you film?
I filmed principally in Whitewater, B.C., Trout Lake and a bit of Chamonix.
Who did you film with? What was your crew like?
I have filmed every year since "Long Time" with my best friend and my cameraman, Bouli [Alex Blaise] -- he is the best. He is a good skier and he knows me well, so it's really easy for us to know what we want and how to capture it!
You've won Red Bull Linecatcher and done well in several freeski competitions, how is Real Ski different?
Real Ski is totally different from normal competitions because it's a video comp and it's also what I love to do! I was so excited to take the challenge. So nothing really changed. I just try to do the best every day and enjoy every moment.
There are a lot of big names in the competition this year, so you are kind of entering as an underdog. How does that make you feel? Are you using it to your advantage?
I do not really realize. I just try to stay focused on my riding and be not too ridiculous for this comp!
How has growing up in Chamonix influenced your skiing?
Chamonix is the freeride capital. I grew up on this big mountain and learned a lot about that! Also, I did 10 years of ski racing, so it gave me a very good technical base to ride in every condition and land everything. So Chamonix offered me a full ski tuition!
Chamonix isn't exactly known for freestyle, though. How did you get into the tricks and airs side of skiing?
I just stay motivated, keep my shovel with me, and have fun with my friends in the backcountry. I also traveled a lot to find some good snow parks to learn some new tricks.
Your skiing has shades of Pep Fujas and Eric Pollard, with a big mountain twist. Who has the biggest influence on your style?
Thank you for the comparison, they are two really good skiers who influenced me heavily, but Candide [Thovex] is my hero -- my best inspiration!