Known for filming with both Absinthe and the Pirates Crew, Manuel’s got years of experience riding in the backcountry. However, the mindset for filming and competing in natural terrain is completely different, “When you film, it’s mostly prime conditions so you can send it deep and go fast. But in the competition, you have to manage your speed and think smart.”
“On the Baqueira stop, I was very nervous”
Manuel continues, “On the Baqueira stop, I was very nervous. But when I dropped in, I felt a huge relief and was enjoying my time riding down the face. And suddenly, the snow got a lot better, so I started enjoying myself way too much and almost forgot I was in a competition and that played against me. You got to change your mindset to just think different. Filming is just you and what you want to do, you want to show a good time instead of showing the judges what they want to see. Based on Spain, I need to change that [his mindset] if I want to be a better competitor.”
Competing on the tour has played on Manuel’s mind ever since he first applied for the wildcard entry three years back – however, there were no available slots back then. But last spring, he received the email that he was officially accepted as a wildcard on the tour. “It’s something different. I believe it will be a new and cool experience. It’s something to add into my career and make me a better athlete.”, Manuel says excited.
Throughout Manuel’s career, Gigi Rüf has always played a big part, “My professional snowboarding started when I met Gigi. He has been helping me for my entire career and supported my decisions.”
Manuel’s been on the Slash Snowboards team for years now and for the tour, he is riding the Slash Brainstorm. However, for the next stop, he’s considering strapping into the Aurora instead, “It’s a stiffer board and a long length, which makes it easier to try and land everything.”
Tune in to the FWT Ordino-Arcalis live stream on Sunday here!