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JF Pelchat x NOW Bindings | The Man Behind The Brand

Then, Now, Always.

What do you get when you surgically attach a pair of balls of steel to a French Canadian, inject them with a hit of white-hot energy, throw in a buttload of booze and a top it off with a healthy dose of roguish charm? JF Pelchat; Québécois by birth, Whistlerite by choice and Wildcat by God given right.

“Like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, JF Pelchat is two very different sides of the same notorious coin”

Commander in chief of the infamous Wildcats crew, JF isn’t your average pro snowboarder, he’s the anti-thesis of the cookie cutter cereal box athlete. Like most riders who’ve breached the upper echelon he’s spent his life in pursuit of big lines, and bigger parties, but he’s also an inventor, a high jump afficionado, a business mogul, and a doting father. Like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, JF Pelchat is two very different sides of the same notorious coin.

JF BOOSTING | PC: Chad Chomlack

Bringing a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to the table, JF’s affable personality, penchant for debauchery and boundless dynamism leave you walking away from every encounter with a new story to tell. As Lenny Cole so eloquently put it “there’s no school like the old school”, and JF’s the fuckin’ headmaster.

“He succeeded in turning naysayer after naysayer into advocates for his revolutionary brand- NOW Bindings”

After years of riding at the top level JF Pelchat dreamed of modernising the binding industry and despite the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality of some, like a bearded Svengali he succeeded in turning naysayer after naysayer into advocates for his revolutionary brand- NOW Bindings.

Early Prototype Sketches of NOW Bindings

While the snowboard industry had moved on leaps and bounds over the years, bindings had remained rather stagnant in comparison. JF drew inspiration from the mechanics of skateboard trucks and took the concept of a traditional binding back to the drawing board. The result was a binder that worked in conjunction with your snowboard, directing your energy towards the edges whilst allowing it to flex more naturally underfoot.

“While the snowboard industry had moved on leaps and bounds over the years, bindings had remained rather stagnant in comparison”

NOW bindings eschew the conventional baseplate model and instead utilise a kingpin, which acts as a fulcrum, transferring energy down the hangar to the bushings situated by your toe and heel edge. Not only were you getting more response with less effort and an increased board feel, NOW bindings were also ultra-customisable thanks to the swappable bushings and highbacks.

JF’s notoriety and reputation for boisterous antics precedes him in many corners of the world, but his fastidious care in designing, testing and manufacturing NOW bindings sits in direct contrast to this. They’re now one of the biggest brands in the industry, with a first-rate pro team, legions of loyal fans, and an ever-expanding line up of products. He’s been on top for decades, but as far as we’re concerned JF’s only just getting started and there’s no end in sight.

“Give a man a wildcat and he’ll be stoked for a day, teach a man to wildcat and he’ll be stoked for life”

Since the late 90’s the Wildcats have embodied the ‘shred hard, play hard’ mantra to a T, putting the onus on relatable snowboarding and bringing pure, unadulterated stoke to the masses. It’s testament to the success of JF and NOW that they’re the binding of choice for many a Wildcat, some of the best riders of their generation and they’ve flocked to NOW like proverbial moths to the flame.

The Colonel

Though many of the OG’s have transitioned from young guns hellbent on mayhem into rad dads and family men, the spirit of the crew lives on. They remain a bastion of hope amongst the polished spin to win stars of today, always primed and ready with a full tank of gas and a beer or two for the road.

As the old adage goes “Show a man a wildcat and he’ll be stoked for a day, teach a man to wildcat and he’ll be stoked for life.”

The Sultan of Stoke
JF's got his VIP ticket to the white room

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