More than any other sport, snowboarding is dipping into a younger and younger talent pool each year. Without having any restrictions on college or recruiting like football and basketball, snowboarders are able to find sponsors extremely early on and compete at the highest level of competition before they even legally become adults. Quebec's Sebastien Toutant, or Seb Toots, is the perfect example.
As early as 12 years old, Seb was already talking to sponsors. Since then, he's grown into one of the leading young boarders in the sport, specializing in slopestyle. Now 19 years old, Seb has ripped off a series of firsts in the past year, taking home his first Dew Tour Cup and a victory at the U.S. Open of snowboarding. Seb took some time with Complex to discuss his progression, his signature O'Neill outerwear line, and some of his favorite off-the-mountain hobbies.
Interview by Tony Markovich (@T_Marko)
It was actually my team manager [and coach] from O’Neill, Max Henault. I was 12 and there was a guy from my home resort that knew him. Max was teaching kids and looking for people to represent O’Neill. We started riding together, and he brought me on the team and he started calling me that. It’s easier to say in English.
So O’Neill has been with you from the beginning?
Yeah, they were one of my first sponsors. First big sponsor, at least. I definitely like to work with these guys. Now I’m 19, so at the start, I didn’t know anybody, but I’m used to everything now. When we work on projects like my jacket or for videos, everything is easy to do with them. They take care of me.
How involved are you with the process of making your signature jacket with O'Neill?
Different companies have pro models and they just have the name on the jacket. I help with mine. I’m not a designer, but I put all my ideas together and I just work it through. They they send me pictures of what they create and work with me. I can tell them if I want them to change it, and they’ll go back and make changes. It’s pretty cool. I work on the look and the fit and everything I like, and they listen and do it.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I don’t snowboard with music. I can’t hear my board, so it doesn’t really work. I love music, though. It really gets me motivated. Anything with a good beat works for me.
What are you afraid of?
Everybody thinks I’m not afraid of heights, because I’m a snowboarder. I’m not really afraid, but when I’m heading up the stairs on a scaffolding, I kind of get that weird feeling about being above everybody. I’m just like, “Oh, shit.” After a couple times, it’s fine. I did some bungee jumping and I love it, but right before it’s still scary.
How did you overcome that?
It never really stopped me. At the same time that I was nervous, I wanted to see what would happen.
What is the last thing you Googled?
A car. I was in Europe with my team manager. We were just looking at nice cars. Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Audis.
How big are you into cars?
I love them. Right now I have a Golf GTI. I’m waiting to buy a house before I buy something better. I want a car that’s good on snow. It would suck to have a Ferrari and have to leave it out in the winter.
If you could pick any car in the world, what would you want?
I really like the Audi R8, I think it’s really nice-looking. But at the same time, you lose so much money as soon as you buy.