Watch Seb Montaz running wild over crazy terrain

Seb Montaz takes on a freeride downhill running session. Go fast or go home with these GoPro clips!
By Francois Palissarde

Have you already heard about “freeride trail running”? Well, have a look at Seb Montaz in the video above and the performance should clear your mind. The athlete and filmmaker shares a GoPro view of a freeride running experience. It’s a bit like if you were in a off-piste ski session, except you have no snow and… no ski. Worth a try? Here's all you need to know about freeride trail running, a concept that, according to our interviewee Montaz, has the potential to become a trend in 2017.

What are you doing in this video?
I’m doing freeride trail running. OK, it’s not an official name at all but it’s a hybrid between ski and trail running. You slide, you turn, just like if you had skis. It’s kind of primitive running. It reminds me when I was a kid and I was just running into the wild with no real goal mind. It was just for fun. It's the same here.

Do you need specific playgrounds to do that?
Yes, we choose our spots carefully to have fun and stay safe. You must be able to slide to get the full experience of downhill trail running so you need a ground slippery enough. In this little production, we went to the South of France with a friend. He’s a photographer. He brought me to this incredible spot. I’m not allowed to tell you where it is exactly. I just can say that it’s 30 minutes from Dignes-les-Bains. This place looks like the moon. It's a black shade field. Perfect for sliding so it’s very interesting to run downhill.

In freeride trail running, you go as fast as you can!

Do you really see potential in such a discipline?
Definitely. I see this discipline booming during the next few years. Take it like a rock climbing session with friends. You choose your line. There are easy ones and difficult ones. Once you’ve decided where you want to run, you just go! You slide, you run as fast as possible and you create your own trail.

In the end, it’s like a ski freeride session…
Yes. The thing is competition trail running is very limited because you have to follow one trail. Here, you can be creative. You go where you want and pick the line you think has the best potential. For me, trail running in 2017 means freeride. So far in this sport, we always considered going uphill is the big pleasure and downhill is the pain. I think it’s going to change.

You run like you ski!

Isn’t it a bit dangerous, though?
If you’re on the right spots, risk of injury is low. I use to run on clay fields or tall weeds. This kind of playground allows you to make mistakes. We’re born to run this way. Genetically speaking, it’s in our DNA.

Yes, sometimes, you make mistakes

 And sometimes you take the wrong path

Technically speaking, what’s your main focus in such a run?
When I run, I’m fully focused on engagement, speed and fluidity. I don’t use stick. I only use my hands to keep the balance.

Do you think we can see competitions of freeride trail running one day?
There are competitions already. I’m sure there will be more and more. It will become like RB Linecatcher but for trail runners. Parkour athletes will come as well to bring creativity. Why not!

And what about the traditional trail runners? Do they like it?
For traditional trail runners, downhill is very important. They should focus more on this part because you can earn way more time by going fast downhill. If you focus only on VO2max, your potential is more limited.

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