• Billabong sign Ben Valentin

Billabong is pleased to announce that Benoit Valentin has joined their European ski team, the French freestyle skier signing a new three-year contract. The 20-year-old from La Plagne is considered to be one of the world’s most exciting prospects in the Halfpipe.

Two recent consecutive third places in the Freeski Open of New Zealand and the Cardrona World Cup, the first qualifying contests of the 2014 Olympic qualifying period, proved why many experts rate Valentin as a future star of the sport.

"I am really happy about my new partnership with Billabong," Valentin said. "It’s such a strong brand and will really help me in attaining my goals. I want to do my best in each competition and aim to be on every podium of the main international contests in Halfpipe skiing."

"Billabong has been working with skiers for years, but we needed a key player to develop our range to cater to all mountain fans," said David Pitschi, Billabong Europe Outerwear Marketing Manager. "Benoit has a great future in skiing and Billabong is proud to start this collaboration."

Valentin broke onto the freestyle ski scene in 2011 when he posted a second place at the Dew Tour in Ogden. Invitations to the Nine Knights Big Air Event and Winter X Games, plus the recent World Cup results show that Valentin has the talent and drive to match the best in the world.

The 2014 Winter Olympics will be the first time the Freestyle Ski Halfpipe discipline has featured in the Olympics and Valentin will be a real contender for a gold medal and a place in history. "The Olympic Games are my ultimate goal in term of competition, but it is still far away," said Valentin. "I want to focus on my Halfpipe skiing this season, to be identified as a strong competitor in Big Air contests and work to have my own part in a ski video. I really want to be known as a versatile skier. Freestyle skiing is a way to freely express yourself. Nothing is compulsory; we are just free to create. That always has to be the main focus."

Billabong sign Ben Valentin