Originally in the Sept. ’16 issue of SNOWBOARDER Magazine.
When you grow up in a country with no mountains and basically no snow, and that country produces 220,000 tons of chocolate per year, invented fries, and where the average citizen consumes 150 liters of beer per person per year, it would seem you’re more likely to be fat and permanently drunk than to be a pro snowboarder. Well, enter Sebbe De Buck who isn’t fat, is occasionally drunk, and happens to be one hell of snowboarder.
At age 15, the Antwerp local won the Belgium Junior Championships in big air, halfpipe and slopestyle, which opened some doors and gained him the support of the Belgian National Federation. Since then, he’s had a few podium finishes on the FIS world tour, and has been steadily building a name for himself over in Europe. Last spring he grabbed our attention stateside when he took the win at the Nine Knights hip contest in Italy. Sebbe blasted an air on the hip that fell a foot shy of breaking the world’s highest air record, and unleashed a slew of other tricks like frontside 360s and double backflips around the 30-foot mark. The footage is nauseating.
His riding and demeanor are often compared to fellow tall-man Mikkel Bang, with a smooth, laid back style that reflects his easygoing personality. Sure, he’s enjoying the contest travel scene as many young Europeans often do, but if Sebbe ever decides to shift his focus primarily to filming, those size 12 DC boots are filled with feet that can land some all-time video parts.
—Preston G Strout
So you were just a foot short of breaking the world’s highest air record at the Nine Knights event. How come you didn’t go a little faster?
Haha, yea since Nine Knights is also a skier event, the skiers kinda fucked up the track for us on the takeoff! I remember feeling [ready] to boost it a little more that day but then one try I got super sketched out on the takeoff ’cause I was stuck in a track and thought I was going to die. I stopped going for the highest air after that and tried to do some more tricks. So Hitch [Christian Haller] took the highest air home.
How did you go from growing up in Belgium to traveling the world snowboarding for a living?
Having a pretty mellow federation that is all about snowboarding in Belgium gave me lots of opportunities to start traveling. Also, the dream of living as a snowboarder traveling the world was my number one priority.
Where are you answering these questions?
I’m in Innsbruck right now, meeting up with some friends for couple days but hopefully moving to the waves soon!
What are the best and worst things about growing up in Belgium?
The best one is probably the fries, waffles and beer. Plus the drinking age is 16, haha. And the fact that there are no mountains and that it’s raining most of the time is probably the worst.
Why the hell do you snowboard goofy and skate regular?
I skated first but then the first time I went snowboarding they asked me which hand I write with, so then I started off with the right foot forward. It actually happens more than you think out there.
I hear you were into Smirnoff Icing people this season. What’s the worst time you’ve ever gotten Iced?
Well I just got introduced to it this season by the other DC homies and since then, on each team trip we’ve been Icing everyone all the time, like really all the time. My worst was probably at Superpark this year where I got Iced at 5am by Mons [Roisland] in the parking lot getting ready for a sunrise shoot on the biggest jump I’ve ever hit, haha!
What are your plans for the upcoming season? Are you more focused on filming or contests?
I’m going to try to qualify for the Olympics next season, haha. We’ll see what happens! And of course try to film a little bit more in between the contests.
Dear Lord. It’s already Olympic time again? Good luck, man.