France’s Richard Permin has become the symbol of a new generation of skiers – those who use the art of acrobatics to enhance all freestyle sports. Smitten by skiing from an early age, he joined a ski club so he could go to the slopes every weekend. At age 15, he decided to become a ski instructor and convinced his parents to enroll him at the CESNI training centre in La Plagne. In his free time, he explored the resort's freestyle facilities, and spent all his free time experimenting with the pipe and big air.
As a relative late-comer to the sport, Richard had the courage to develop his own acrobatic style. But a spot in the Freestyle.ch contest opened a lot of doors for Richard, including an invite to the X-Games. The high point of his early career is his win at the 2007 King of Style in Stockholm, taking top spot with a beautifully executed Switch 720 Double Tail.
At 22, he moved toward powder skiing, leading to an invitation to the 2008 Big Mountain Pro, a competition that pits the world’s top freeriders against each other. He impressed, and by 2009 Richard was on the podium as he took third place at the Big Mountain Pro. That year also saw him on the podium at Red Bull Linecatcher.
The contest launched a new type of competition: one dedicated to backcountry.“Backcountry is my favourite discipline because it really mixes freestyle and freeride. It's a perfect form of fusion,” Richard explains.