In August 2009 at the World Championships in Calgary, Alberta, Sebastien Di Pasqua took a head packer no one would envy. We took a close look at the crash and asked Sebastien to analyze it with us.
WATERSKI: First, what went wrong?
SDP: I didn’t make any major technical mistakes, but the fact is that I was a bit early. My problem was that I had three bone fractures in my foot due to a previous crash just two weeks before the Worlds. I was in a lot of pain already when I was going over the ramp in practice. To be honest, I shouldn’t have skied the tournament with this injury, especially with the injury being on the right foot, which supports all the load.
WATERSKI: What’s happening during each critical part of a jump mishap?
SDP: Sometimes I get off the ramp and I know I am in bad shape, but most of the time I can recover and land in a safe position. But sometimes I pass that point — and with these long skis, I can’t bring them back — and I know I’m gonna crash.
WATERSKI: What thoughts ran through your mind once you knew you would crash?
SDP: Ron Goodman, you might have to make me a new pair of sticks.
WATERSKI: What were you trying to do with your body?
SDP: I was trying not to tense up too much, just to stay relaxed, and wishing I would land on my back.
WATERSKI: You did a great job of holding onto the handle until the very last moment of impact. Why is that important?
SDP: Sometimes I ski on very small lakes, so holding onto the handle keeps me over the water. Also, it helps me control my position a bit more. It’s very important to let the rope go just before impact and tuck your arms in to protect them.
WATERSKI: Were you aware of what your skis were doing?
SDP: No, I didn’t really know. But when I crash, I just hope to come out of my skis and not have them stay on my feet. Because of their size, they can easily cause injury.
WATERSKI: Did it feel like you were in the air for a long time?
SDP: Yes, a very long time. And everything is so quiet before impact.
Photos: Bill Doster