Meet the BUFF® Ambassadors, Laurent de Martin, joining the fight to PROTECT OUR WINTERS

Laurent de Martin swiss freeskier and BUFF® Ambassador 

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Laurent de Martin

Swiss Freeskier and BUFF® ambassador Laurent de Martin is known for the gravity-defying ski skills that have taken him all over the world and to the highest levels of his sport. More recently he has carved out a new niche with his ski films set in around his home region in the alps, the most recent one, Simply was released on his 30th birthday, marking a milestone moment in his life. Out of season, he can be found in the tiny village he grew up in, tending to his garden and walking his dog Zinho. We talked to him about his passions, his philosophy of life and what we can all do to Protect Our Winters. 

Photo by Ruedi Flück

As someone whose sport can only exist and survive in the right weather conditions, when did you first become aware of the work being done by BUFF® with Protect Our Winters?

I have always supported them, but not made a public stance before, BUFF®  came to me at the right moment when I feel ready to say yes this is who I am now and what I want the world to understand- I am still not perfect, no one is, but we all have our own rhythm in how we get there, but the first thing we have to do is talk about it, to say out loud that climate change is real, here are small steps we can all take.  

What effects do you see in your local landscape?

The thing that is most noticeable and dangerous is the rapid changes from freezing to warm weather where we can be in a deep cold one day and the next is 20C, as it increases the chance of avalanches. Locally all the summer rain spoiled the food growing season. 

Aside from skiing, can you give me three words that describe the things that matter most to you?

NATURE is always going to be the thing that motivates me most. My village is in the most incredible landscape. This region is definitely my playground for life. I hope too that maybe someone sees in my film my love for here, and can see in doing what you love, right where you live, maybe they will look at their own surroundings in a different way. That saying that the grass is always greener on the other side turns out not to be true for me. 

PASSION  When I get interested in something I give it 150%. One of the things that POW say is that they turn passion into purpose, and I totally agree with that. But beyond skiing, it about getting people outdoors. There are generations growing up who don’t get connected to nature. I want the world to get out in our playgrounds. It’s why POW is important. They are fighting to preserve it and we all need to get that message out, to make the changes come faster. If we can make people understand the value of nature and can make them connect to the landscape, then who knows? Maybe we reach the next great skier or climber or just someone happy to be walking their dog in nature every day, that counts too! That’s my dog Zinho in the pictures. He’s with me out here every day. It’s his playground too. 

COMMUNITY I think I would call it local power,  it’s the heart of where I live, that exchange that exists where everyone supports people who are doing well but in turn the people doing well give back to the community.  Act local and think global for me, is the way forward, all of us doing what we can in our own communities helps to build bigger changes, I don’t want to set myself up as a big example to anyone but I do want to live my life in a way that helps and giving back is really important to me 

What do you think is the best way to get your message out?

I think you have to let people see the real you, the one that can still make mistakes but is trying in their own way to make a difference. I think on lots of levels there is a return to making things smaller but more meaningful. It’s in the spirit of my movie. I think that deeper rather than wider impact is important. 

So what does the future hold?

Still skiing for sure, I don’t think it’s possible for me to stop, cannot imagine my life without it, but a lot of other stuff too, climbing for sure and improving my gardening!  Smaller projects than making a film, I would like to get back to teaching the kids camps, and of course just getting out there to ski every day that I can. 

You can follow Laurent on Instagram @laurentdm 

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