News » Whistler

Justin Lamoureux = ‘fun’

The man with the orange helmet is getting older, wiser



In many ways Justin Lamoureux is a contradiction.

He loves to compete in big contests in front of thousands of fans, but when I arrive at his apartment for the interview it’s deathly quiet.

He’s a professional snowboarder but he also has a degree in mechanical engineering.

He throws himself out of the pipe like a carefree kid, but he’s 28.

When he’s in the pipe or competing in Big Air contests he’s doing things most people could never do and yet he has "a hard time remembering" what he’s done once it’s all over because he "blanks out" during contests.

Lamoureux is one of the best in an extreme sport yet he is a calculating person. He thinks through what he says and what he does, which might explain why he is also an engineer and still in good health.

He has an Olympic dream but he’s not stressed about it because snowboarding for him is about one word: fun.

The Olympics to Lamoureux are a "fun idea."

But perhaps Lamoureux is best summarized as a genuine Whistlerite, even though he’s spent a lot of time elsewhere, because he is also an outdoor-loving, laid back, apartment-renting, thrill seeking, powder-hunting snowboard freak – who just happens to have an Olympic dream.

Besides, where else is the world would an athlete invite a journalist to their house for an interview at 7 p.m. the evening before they fly out to a competition? Lamoureux was packing to travel to a Grand Prix event at Mount Bachelor in Oregon with two other Canadian teammates, but to say that he wasn’t phased would be an understatement.

"The older I’m getting it seems I’m just getting smarter, so if conditions don’t allow me to do a certain trick then I’m not going to bother doing it just to try and impress somebody," said Lamoureux. "I’m just going to wait for the day to do it because it’s not worth getting injured just to impress a photographer or a girl or a team manager.

"But I’m learning stuff and still challenging myself in all aspects of it, so I’m just going to keep shredding until I get bored with it," he said. "To me challenging is usually doing a lot of stuff switch and doing a lot of stuff other people aren’t doing, like different grabs and tweaks or a different, harder combo.

"It’s the same with the freeriding, I just try and do stuff switch in pow and think outside the box."

Unlike many of the new-school athletes who start competing before they can spell the word "ego", Lamoureux surfed before he snowboarded and didn’t start competing seriously until he was 22.

"I didn’t really start doing any contests until I was around 19-20," he said. "But I had lots of fun doing those contests and it just gives you a really good measuring stick against the super pros in the sport. When you beat them it’s like whoa; maybe I could keep going."

Oh, and as for the orange helmet. Lamoureux said a friend gave it to him right before a World Cup, which he went on to win.

So there’s the good luck charm part of it, but he said the helmet also "fits him perfect."

Add a comment