At just 29 years old, professional snowboarder Victor Daviet is already well aware of the positive impact he can have on the kids coming up behind him. The Salomon team rider from France remembers being a young, impressionable snowboarder and looking up to others that came before him. To give back to the snowboarding community that has supported him through the years, Daviet launched what he calls Safety Shred Days, offering an opportunity for both kids and adults (whether they snowboard or ski) to learn essential mountain and avalanche safety for freeriders.
“I have had two avalanche experiences myself, including on my first run ever in Alaska, when I was very lucky not be swept into a crevasse,” Daviet says. “I have also rescued a few friends, including Bode Merrill (a fellow Salomon team rider), so I wanted to share the knowledge we have picked up over the years with others. Over the last three years, I have found that people are motivated to learn. We keep it inexpensive and people are there to learn and they listen.”
In January, Daviet held the third Safety Shred Day. Supervised by avalanche professionals and designed for freeriders, each day includes a day for kids from ages 6-16, a day for adult riders that includes theory and on-snow training, and a third day dedicated to fun and competition activities. After selling out of all available spots of the first and second editions, 170 people attended the third event at Arêches-Beaufort, a hidden gem in France with great freeride terrain. It was the biggest Safety Shred Day yet.
“I’ve been that kid wanting to ride with a pro, so to share that and give back is a good feeling,” Daviet says.
For the first time this year, Daviet also brought the Safety Shred Days outside of France to Thyon in Switzerland. Next year, he plans to hold four events and has designs on bringing the event to other parts of Europe.
Daviet understands there are great avalanche training courses out there, but says he started the Safety Shred Days because he realized that an affordable option geared toward freeriders and young people was missing.
The three-day event covers the essentials of on-snow safety with an inside avalanche education session and on-mountain avy training. The last day is dedicated to more "fun" activities, with a banked slalom for kids and adults, and a Chinese downhill that involves eating a burger as quickly as possible. The safety days are not geared only to experts. Attendees are split into novice, expert, and pro rider groups and the entire session is held on the resort slopes, making it accessible to all levels.
Watch out for next year's edition coming to more locations in Europe! For more information on the Safety Shred Days, visit the event's Facebook page, and check out Victor Daviet's personal website to know about his next adventures!