Freeride 12 September 2017 Back to list
Share on Pinterest

Rock-skiing, the sport of the future?

Meet the two rock-skiers Cédric Pugin and Mathieu Navillod as well as their coach Enak Gavaggio.

Watch their lastest video and read all about their ambitions for the coming years.

Rock-skiing, the sport of the future?


Right after the video read all about their Olympic ambitions at least for one of them!




Hi Cédric, hi Mathieu, please tell us about the feeling on rock-skis... is it as soft as snow?

Mathieu : Absolutely not. It's quite aweful to ski. Don't get me wrong it's fun to do but, boy, it's noisy and scratchy!

Cédric : It's very different, you have so much more friction, it's highly noisy and to move the skis it takes a lot of strenght.


Ski cailloux Pugin Gavaggio Navillod


The strenght is in the legs!


The technique is therefore different?

Mathieu : Let's say, it's basically the same but you need to be very careful with the body position. You always need speed and steeps. It's not impossible but it takes courage and in case of fall you scratch and bruise everywhere! Cédric was smarter than I, as he wore long tights.

Cédric : If you ski up front, you enhance the chances to grip the spatula on rocks and trip over. Snowplough turn is indeed forbidden on rocks. The balance is quite similar. In the end it's mostly the quality of the rocks that matters. You need rocks that can roll, that has space to move.

How long did it take to reach this level of rock-skiing?

Mathieu : I had my first time last year for a video for Dynafit with Cédric. This year Riding Zone asked us to do it again. We didn't hesitate.

Cédric : I was 20 years old the first time I tried rock-skiing. So I've had some experience. But, hey, it remains fun, it's not about competition...


Ski cailloux Pugin Gavaggio Navillod


The up and coming sport as climate changes in 21st century?


Do you think rock-skiing has a future?

Mathieu : Hell, no! (laughs out loud)

Cédric : I don't think so no. There are better sports to do in summer. Otherwise the coach had us motivated with this story of Olympic Games...

Your coach looks very peculiar and not very encouraging, will you keep him?

Mathieu : Mmmh... yeah, still, we'll stick with him.

Cédric : Yes, he is the Philippe Lucas of skiing. I mean he did swimming world champs, I don't see why he can't succed with us.

(arrives the coach...)

Enak, you don't look satisfied, we feel you wanted more...? You hoped for better rock-skiing?

Enak : Rock-skiing is a great sport deeply rooted in our culture. Many great skiers have trained on pebbles. For instance, Franck Picard (french Olympic Champion in 1992) planned all his training on rock-skiing the day before he won his title. I really wanted to put these two in such situation. There is such an enormous progress margin. We'll be back very soon to train again.

What's missing to be the best and reach 2022 Olympics (we assume it's too late for 2018)?

Enak : Indeed it won't be 2018. 2022... why not but I have a meeting with the IOC next week in order to make rock-skiing an Olympic discipline.

Ski for summer Olympics! Will we see you then in Paris in 2024, on the Montmartre hill?

Enak : Yes, it will be for 2024 the French National Olympic Consil is supporting me in this. The mayor of Paris already gave its agreement so we can use the cable-car in Montmartre. It will be awesome.

You know we never turned a donkey into a racing-horse but I know hard work pays off. I'm confident for these two. I've inspired from my role-models Philippe Lucas & Chuck Norris to plan their preparation for Olympics.


Ski cailloux Pugin Gavaggio Navillod


Watch out for these two and see you in Paris in 2024!

Add a comment


The requested page concerns “Middle East” market.

GO TO the
US version
Continue on
Middle East version