If you are unfamiliar with Arthur Longo, please pay attention: he might very well be your next favorite rider. That is, if you think a professional snowboarder's skills should transcend any given discipline. If you find value in a smile that follows from podiums to powder, or simply enjoy someone with easy style… well then, you need to know about Arthur Longo.
Longo is a member of the French Olympic halfpipe team and veteran of the European contest circuit. He's a rider who first caught our attention when he won the Artic Challenge in 2009, an event he was personally invited to by the great Terje Håkonsen.
However, a season of abundance in the Alps has showcased Arthur's incredible well roundedness, especially in the Austrian backcountry. The 24-year old from Les Duex Alpes, France made his first trip to Alaska as well. Aside from the Volcom IP2 project, his opening part in the Pirates new flick "Unique 8" shows what so many in snowboarding refer to as "next-level." Get ready for the next biggest thing from Europe...
ESPN: How is it being a pro rider from France? Is it different being from a smaller place like that?
Arthur Longo: I can't really say? It seems that the U.S. thinks that our market is really small or that Europe is a small place. But we are kind of comparable in a lot of ways. Just because you don't hear about it so much over there doesn't mean that big things aren't happening.
Is your goal to become an international pro snowboarder like some of the bigger name European pros?
Of course! I love spending time in the U.S. For me it's just like a whole other territory to explore. But it does take a bit of luck and working with some different crews to make it in both markets.
Who are your influences in snowboarding?
Right now there is some much going on! There are like thirty movies coming out and web stuff all the time. When I was younger there was like five movies to watch! But in the end the riders I really like haven't changed: Gigi, Nicolas Müller, Jake Blauvelt and Travis Rice. It's such a pleasure to watch them ride and take inspiration from them.
But halfpipe is a big part of my career and there are many riders who are pushing it there. I just feel so good when I ride a nice halfpipe -- you know landing on those big transitions is like you never even left the ground sometimes. That is a very good feeling.
With this season approaching have you decided whether you will try and focus more on filming again or competing?
Someday I might like to give one hundred percent to one or the other, but for now I really like to change it up. I love riding pipe. I know I can be one of the best at it, but I also know that I have to train hard to get there.
But still, the contest season is over in March, so that still gives me enough time to film some projects as well. I really want to good at some pipe contests... actually, I AM going to do good at some contests this year!
As someone who is obviously super talented, do you have any advice you would lend to kids out there trying to progress at snowboarding?
As long as you're healthy and want to do better and better for yourself, I think you will get better. It's simply the passion that drives you and leads you to getting better and trying new things. For me, I don't have any limits I want to reach. All I want to do it try and try and try.