Final week, FREESKIER contributor Erin Spong was in France with the Rossignol crew trying out the spectacular headquarters in Grenoble, France, and what the model has deliberate for the approaching seasons. Joined by Rossignol athletes Tatum Monod, Parker White and Chris Logan, this “band of tasters” is certain to get into some mischief, ski associated and in any other case.
The primary day of our massive journey kicked off this morning on the Rossignol headquarters in Grenoble, France. Rossignol’s CEO, Vincent Wauters welcomed everybody—that is the primary time within the model’s historical past to have each particular person, from each nation and each assortment collectively —with a wonderful presentation of the place the model is headed and all that it has achieved within the final two years regardless of a worldwide pandemic, vitality disaster and warfare in Ukraine. Following the group presentation, the athletes and I received a VIP tour of the manufacturing unit, positioned in the identical constructing. We checked out particular person core supplies earlier than watching a Rossignol worker construct a ski proper in entrance of us and we even received to place our arms on a not-yet-released, freeride-centric ski to affix the ranks among the many Sender and BlackOps collection. After lunch our small crew, together with workforce supervisor Matt Beers, snuck out of the workplace and ventured over to Fort de la Bastille, on the cusp of downtown Grenoble for a scenic hike and wet, however lovely, stroll across the metropolis. That is solely day one and I’m already in love with this place. Keep tuned tomorrow, we’re headed to the paths to check out Rossignol’s electrical mountain bikes.
Immediately was all play for the Rossignol workforce with an unbelievable mountain bike journey at Les 7 Laux, an area ski space about an hour outdoors of Grenoble. To make issues further enjoyable, the crew and I examined out Rossignol’s electrical (pedal-assist) mountain bikes and I may be transformed. We gained over 2,000 vertical ft with out breaking a sweat and loved the descents as if we have been on common, full-suspension bikes. The efficiency of those bikes is really not like something I’ve ever been on and now I don’t understand how I’m going to return to climbing on my Rossignol Heretic…simply kidding, I really like that bike, too! After two and a half hours exploring the paths with the Rossignol Bikes workers, we loved aprés and lunch at Le Kaktus on the base of the ski space. Harking back to our winter actions, it was a day filled with pure enjoyable and epic driving. The bonus being nobody went OTB.
We headed again to the Rossignol headquarters for the complete day to get the lowdown on what’s to come back from Rossignol on the attire aspect. An added bonus was getting to observe Tatum, Chris and Parker every construct their very own particular pair of the brand new freeride ski popping out from the model in February. After the soiled work, all of us washed up for a chew to eat and profile photographs earlier than Parker and Chris formally signed Rossignol’s Wall of Fame (Tatum has already left her signature on the wall of snowboarding icons). The day wrapped up with an organization get together, full with a “snow” machine earlier than heading again to the lodge to pack our luggage and put together for a highway journey to Neveres the subsequent day to go to the Look bindings manufacturing unit and meet the geniuses behind top-of-the-line binding manufacturers on the planet.
Whereas a lot of the day was spent driving to Neveres, we did occur upon a beautiful spot to cease for lunch in Mâcon. As we rolled into Neveres within the early night, we have been fortunate sufficient to cease on the go-cart race observe earlier than checking into our lodge, which is positioned on the identical campus as the realm’s official method one race observe. I can affirm that go-carting is an absolute blast and whereas the turning and racing emulates snowboarding, drifting is a brand new ability I desperately must work on.
The ultimate day of our epic journey throughout southern France culminated in an intensive tour across the Look bindings manufacturing unit. First, a short historical past lesson was introduced to provide us a transparent understanding of the place Look bindings got here from and the place the model plans to be sooner or later. From the presentation, we made our strategy to the manufacturing unit amenities and walked by way of the complete course of of constructing a binding. Earlier than any items are assembled, a Look worker hand-checks the standard and accuracy of 5 % of every cargo supply. As soon as high quality management is full, the items go to both mass-painting or, if it’s the pivot, to the hand-painting stage. Whereas a lot of the bindings are painted, particular prints will also be hydro-dipped, like Tatum’s signature cheetah print, pictured above. As soon as each binding is painted its assigned shade, the bindings discover their strategy to varied conveyor belts for hand and machine meeting the place the bindings finally find yourself packaged and shipped out to skiers worldwide.