William Bon Mardion
BONNE FROMAGE, BONNE CHAUSSURE
As a young boy, William Bon Mardion used to run alpine ski races, facing the likes of Jean-Baptiste Grange and Adrien Theaux, both in his ski club team. He was born in Arêches, in the Beaufortaine region, in the French Alps. After having competed in Slalom and Giant races, he gradually became a ski mountaineer. «I have made up a second career…» He took part in the European Cup, scoring low on the Giant races: in other words, William is the real deal. Oh yes. It is no surprise that everyone tries to ski his lines of descent during ski touring races. From heavy to light skis, hard plastics to carbon, the transition was far from smooth for him. Still, his technique, sensibility and footwork are well and truly there. «We may be talking about minor details, which are nonetheless often unknown, unless your background is piste racing. Alpine skiing stands for an exaggerated search for details and minutiae. I brought this experience to the ski touring sphere. Or rather, I kept on doing what I had done beforehand, fully knowing that those were two different worlds. Going from piste to off-piste means you have to adapt, your position will be different, but if you want to ski down fast and catch up, you’ll have to keep a sound central stance and your boots should be sturdy, both in front and at the back. You then have to factor in the ascents. In a nutshell: the ideal boot is light, reliable and performing». This is the reason why he wanted higher cuffs and tongues, so as to wrap shinbones better. He arrives at the R&D lab with his ideas, his handcrafted trucs - as he calls his modifications. He takes a boot, he models it according to his needs and then matches it with standard models: that’s where the evolution of the Bon Mardion boot comes from. He bears a special relationship with his boots, as if he were a collector. From the very first to the last one he used, they are all displayed in his Beaufort home, where he lives and works, in the co-op which produces the namesake cheese.
«When I chose to dedicate myself to ski touring, I started with La Sportiva and I have always stayed with them. I went from the Stratos to the Hi-Cube models and fully lived the evolution of boots. I often visit their Italian headquarters and, even if I don’t speak Italian, we hit it off immediately when we discuss boots. Mountain people are like-minded and if you share the same passion and the same will to get better, to give your best, no matter what, then languages do not pose any barriers. The feeling is all that matters. As far as the future is concerned, I am already thinking about another bonne chaussure, but it’s better not to give too much away. For the time being, at least…»