THE JOURNAL

Richard Permin: Slopes, stunts and his IWC

After three years, two broken heels and a nine-month journey back to the slopes, freeride skier Richard Permin is ready to ride again. The top athlete, who has been called the “symbol of a new generation of skiers” for his high-flying stunts, shared the story behind his exciting new skiing video, “Good Morning,” with The Journal, and what it took to capture his acrobatic adventure. Watch him take to the roofs – yes, roofs – of Avoriaz, France with help from his IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN.

 

 

Your new skiing video is titled, “Good Morning”. What’s a good morning for you?

A good morning for me is waking up next to my lovely wife and hearing the sound of my daughter calling. I pick her up, then we all have breakfast. After that I go skiing all day long with a reset of 50 cm of fresh snow. 

 

 

Your freeskiing skills are the star of the Red Bull “Good Morning” video (see below). It’s absolutely breathtaking to watch, and the twist at the end is witty. Who came up with the video concept and what was involved in the planning?

I came up with the entire concept of the video. Some may ask how crazy do you have to be to ski 14-storey building roofs. I’m known for skiing down steep Alaskan terrain with angles of over 45° and jumping off of cliffs 30 meters high. Most people can’t really relate to terrain like in Alaska but who hasn’t seen a skyscraper or a tall apartment building? That’s why we picked Avoriaz, which is in south-eastern France near the Swiss border. The architecture there is astonishing.

Freestyle skiier Richard Permin over Avoriaz, France
— Freestyle skiier Richard Permin over Avoriaz, France

“Good Morning” by Richard Permin

 

 

— View on YouTube here 


Richard gets another view of Avoriaz
— Richard gets another view of Avoriaz

The video is four minutes and goes by so quickly. But the video took three years to make. On the first day of shooting, I fell off a roof and broke both heels. It took me a year to ski again after 3 months in a wheelchair and nine months in rehab.

 

This project means a lot to me due to all the sweat and tears. Originally I wanted to have a clip based on performance. After spending countless hours off skis due to the injury I realized I wanted to share my love and passion for skiing so I rewrote the script with my team to integrate that.

We saw some interesting reactions from bystanders in the video. Had they been warned they’d see in you flight?

We wanted the clip to be 100% real so we didn’t warn the people in the resort. We shot early in the morning so we could have the same light in all of the shots. We didn’t hire extras. What you see is what happened live, even the French man with the baguette.

 

 

Will you replicate the video in other locales?

That’s the plan. We would love to replicate the concept in different cities. The logistics are insane though. Shooting in one location took us 40 days and snow condition is one thing we can’t predict. 

On the slopes
— On the slopes
The IWC Pilot’s Chronograph TOP GUN (IW389001)
— Richard wears his IWC Pilot’s Chronograph TOP GUN (IW389001) (Photo: Niels saint-Viteux / Dom Daher)

You were crowned the 2007 “King of Style” for skiing. But what’s your fashion style?

My fashion style is influenced by surfing and 60s rock n’roll. I like simple pieces with good shape, a T-shirt and a jeans mix with a pair of Vans are my everyday essentials. My closet is mostly black, grey and khaki. To go out, a white or patterned shirt, perhaps with surfing influence like Saint Laurent does. I never, ever wear anything with a big brand logo!

 

 

The IWC Pilot’s Chronograph TOP GUN was your “Good Morning” co-star. What attracted you to the timepiece?

I love the classy style of it. The black ceramic case gives the watch a modern flavor that I like a lot and the size of  IWC Pilot’s Chronograph TOP GUN (44.5) is perfect for my wrist. It’s important that I have an everyday watch I can use in all my activities such as surfing and skiing, timing is really important in those sports.

 

The name TOP GUN resonates with me because I am always looking for more air time in my skiing. 


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