French speedrider Valentin Delluc took advantage of empty ski resorts in France during lockdown to make this spectacular speedriding video.
The Red Bull pilot took over Avoriaz in the French Alps to film, using buildings, balconies and lift cables to slalom and barrel-roll through.
The project had been in Valentin’s head since 2016, the year he was crowned French Speedriding Champion. “I did a lot of freestyle when I was younger,” he said, “and I wanted to bring that side of my skiing to speedriding.”
In the three-minute film he flies fast through the resort, barrel rolling, tail-tapping roofs and balconies, sliding lift cables and wallriding the resort’s buildings.
It is an incredible ride that Valentin admits was not easy: “There was a balcony above the wall that we put down, and I really had to shift my wing to the side so that it didn’t catch.”
The biggest challenge, but also his favourite part of the video was sliding on the chairlift cable: “You really need perfect wind conditions.”
Valentin Delluc is one of the world’s best speedriders. He started freeskiing and paragliding before he decided to combine the two. He quickly became one of the world’s best.
His breathtaking project Moonline in 2017 saw him light up the night sky in the Alps, setting the scene for this latest project.
Valentin, 28, explained: “I had already done flights in Avoriaz in 2016, and that’s when I saw the potential it had. With the confinement, and the fact that the ski lifts are closed to the public, we thought we could do something even more advanced. I did a lot of freestyle when I was younger, and I wanted to bring that side to speed riding.”
According to Red Bull it was a big logistical feat to pull off as Delluc and his team needed authorisation to be able to touch the roofs of buildings as well as figuring out where to put all the kickers and walls.
In terms of his new tricks, Valentin added: “I had already slid a chairlift cable, but what was more technical here was that you had to lift your legs above the hook of the seat on five sections (the part between the two seats) to keep speed with the wing, because if you don’t have enough, you can’t go up enough and you get caught in the grip.”
The biggest headache, though, was something else entirely as he explained: “The wall ride was a lot of stress for me. There was a balcony above the wall that we put down, and I really had to shift my wing to the side so it didn’t catch on it. I had been practicing on cliffs to try and touch them, but I had never done it on a vertical wall when coming up in front of it. I’m happy with the result.”
The wind was also a factor. “In high mountains, sometimes we have 30km/h of wind but since everything is almost smooth and there are no turns, it is possible to manage it. There, with 10km/h, it was already very turbulent. In order not to miss it, the wind conditions of my trajectory must be correct. From then on, I could be sure that everything would be OK.”