Simon Says

The king of big air talks about overcoming fear, setting records, and his ideal ski partner.

Dumont in Sunday River, Maine     Photo: Christian Pondella/Red Bull Photofiles

Last April, Simon Dumont set the world record for quarterpipe air by clearing 35.5 feet in Sunday River, Maine. This year, the Toyota Team rider has a new clothing line and a documentary in the works. Outside's MELANIE LIDMAN caught up with Dumont before an event on the Winter Dew Tour.

How did you start up with freestyle skiing as opposed to other types of skiing?
It was kind of my own thing. I wasn't really trying to make it anywhere with skiing. It was just something I did, something I love. Somebody told me about an X Games qualifier when I was 14 years old. I became an alternate for the X Games and then I ended up getting into the X Games, and the rest is history.

So you weren't intimidated as a 14 year old trying to get into X Games?
I didn't really care. It wasn't like make or break, it was something I was doing because I liked it, and it was all I knew. I went and ended up doing all right and now I can just keep doing something I love.

What are you most looking forward to in 2009?
There's a lot of contests going on, obviously the G Tour, the X Games, those are two big focuses of mine. I'm also coming out with a new movie, a two year documentary is coming out in the fall, and I'm also trying to come up with a new line for the [clothing] company I started last year. So I've got a lot on my plate.

In one of your videos from before your world-record setting quarterpipe jump, you say you're absolutely terrified of the quarterpipe. Is that still true?
It's definitely not something I want to do again and again--it's done and it's over with. I overcame my fear. It was a big pivotal point for myself.

So what helped you overcome your fear?
I don't really know if I did overcome those fears. I was still scared, but I just went with it. I dropped in and as soon as I was on the course I couldn't really turn back so I just went with it, and everything turned out OK.

Do you have any new records that you're trying to set this year?
Even last year it wasn't about a record, I was trying to do something extreme or. But I had to go for something to push myself farther. But this year, my main focus is to do well in contests. And I'd like to get more into the backcountry scene of skiing and show that I'm more versatile rather than just a park skier.

Have you ever thought of trying out snowboarding or is that out of the question?
No snowboarding for me. I definitely appreciate everything they do. They've helped mold what we're doing but I'm a skier at heart, and that's what I know. That's what I've done my whole life. No snowboarding for me.

Where is your favorite park or where is your favorite place to ski?
I've skied all over the world. I like going to Austria to ski backcountry I love going home back to Sunday River skiing with my family and hanging out there. Usually wherever I am it's pretty good because I get a good fan base, good friends around me, and that's all that really matters in the end.

So do you ever wake up in the morning and you're like "holy crap I can't believe I'm getting paid to go skiing?"
I definitely wake up and I appreciate every morning. But I feel I do work hard for everything I do. I do train hard during the summer, trying to make sure I'm up to par in every aspect of skiing. I wouldn't change my life for the world but at the same time I definitely work hard for everything that I do have.

If you could take Obama skiing, what ski tips would you give him?
I'd like to bring Keira Knightley skiing over Obama, but that's just my thing. If I went skiing with Obama and he fell down I might get taken out. But Keira Knightley. I'd tell her it's all in the hips. It's all in the hips… all in the hips.

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