ONE - An accident like mine teaches you to enjoy every day of your life. You just never know what’s going to happen.
TWO - Your mind is stronger than your body, and if you’re strong in your head the rest will follow.
THREE - The most important thing in my life is my family, especially my two children.
FOUR - The elements can always beat you up. Use good judgement.
FIVE - Snowkiting is the best sport on earth.
SIX - I can climb 1000 metres in just 15 minutes with a kite, instead of three hours with skins. There’s only one thing in life better than that feeling!
SEVEN - Snowkiting transforms your notions of distances. Once in open backcountry you can cruise 100 kilometres in no time.
EIGHT - Powder snow can be a poisoned challis.
NINE - Theory is good, but experience and logic are better.
TEN - Travelling gets better with each trip. It’s often hard to believe.
ELEVEN - Be patient in life, but be ready.
TWELVE - This is my magic number.
THIRTEEN - I had my accident on the 13th. It’s my least favourite number.
On April 13 2003 Pascal Joubert had a horrific accident leaving him in a wheelchair for six months with an extensive list of injuries:
Five fractures to his right heel
Two fractures to his left heel
A torn ligament in his right foot
Two stretched ligaments in his left knee
Two broken wrists
The major nerve was completely smashed in one wrist. (Movement has only recently returned)
Four fractures in one hand
Broken left collar bone
Seven smashed teeth
Seven fractures around his eyes
His nose was demolished, leaving only a hole
Pascal was riding in the mountains near the pass in the Col du Lautaret, France, when the accident happened. He doesn’t remember it all but estimates he approached some rocks at just under 80km/h and tried to jump over them. His chicken loop snapped as he sent the kite back to jump and he crashed straight into the rocks at full speed. If he’d tried jumping one second either side of when he did he would have crashed into the snow.
18 months later, Pascal was snowkiting again and now only has a little pain in one foot. One of the very first pioneers of kiting as a whole, this will be his eighth full season snowkiting and 2006 will see him filming in Montenegro and Norway.
Pascal Joubert is 38 years old and lives in Briancon, France with his wife and kids and is sponsored by North Kiteboarding.
This feature in in Issue 20