Matthias Giraud, aka, “Super Frenchie” is an extreme athlete known for combining two of the most dangerous action sports in the world—big mountain skiing and BASE jumping. Ski-BASE jumping is not for the faint at heart, as athletes fly off massive cliffs while deploying their parachutes within mere seconds of landing. Matthias’s passion for the sport has taken him all over the world, from the Eiger and Matterhorn in Switzerland, to Telluride, Colorado. Now, he’s on the search for his next great adventure.
Thank you to my community for sharing all your rad adventures. I wanted to share the top photos and adventures so far.
Week 1: Leki
“Group selfie at Humantay Glacier Lake (atl. 4220m/13845ft) during a 5 days trek in Peru.”
Week 2: Superdry
“Plane things with friends.”
Week 3: GoPro
Week 4: Merrell
“While chasing the need for speed I found the light.”
Week 5: Thule
“The weekend is here, and this guy is flying into it. The surfing wasn’t to shabby and the weather was great. Tofino is a great little surf town on the central coast of Vancouver Island. Well worth the drive.”
Week 6: Grand Prize Winner
Leki | Superdry | GoPro | Merrell | Thule
One of my favorite things about living in Bend is being just a few hours away from Oregon’s coast.
Early one morning in August, I drove to Pacific City to get in a day of surfing. In the summer, Oregon’s surf can be a little fickle. You can get anything from two to ten foot (about half a meter to three meters) swells.
In order to adapt to the different conditions, I packed three boards—one longboard and two shortboards—using my Thule rack system. The rack is awesome because you can adjust the size depending on what gear you need to carry.
I also brought my Thule Legend backpack. I helped developed the backpack with Thule, designing it so that it can hold all my gear and keep it all organized and streamlined.
When I got to Pacific City, there was a playful swell, but the tide was too high for the waves to break and wasn’t right for surfing yet. I was sitting in my car, thinking about what I should do next, when I heard my buddy Bam Bam call my name. (In Oregon, you’re always running into people you know, no matter where you are.) He was cruising the coast looking for a spot to paraglide. He had extra gear, so I ended up paragliding with him for awhile while I waited for the tide to go down.
We drove to the north side of the dune at Cape Kiwanda where there was just enough wind to paraglide. The wind was coming from the north at about 5 miles per hour (about 8 kilometers per hour) which was perfect for this side of the dunes. I got some great flights in for about an hour and a half while I waited for the tide to go down so that I could surf.
After I said goodbye to Bam Bam, I drove to the south side of the dune to surf. The tide had gone down by then, and was breaking better on the sandbar. I decided to use my shortboard since it’s more dynamic than a longboard and is great for the steep, fast waves.
I surfed there for about an hour before the waves changed and I had to find a new spot.
I decided to go head south to Canyon State Park near Lincoln City. It turned out to be the perfect destination because no one else was in the water.
Since the waves were shorter and more mellow by then, I used my longboard.
By that time, the sun was setting and I surfed the waves by myself in the golden hours of light.
We were losing altitude. I quickly did the math in my head. We weren’t at the ideal altitude, but we were high enough. I had to jump as soon as possible. Every second counted.
I’ve been BASE jumping for 8 years now, but not every jump goes the way you expect, even when you’ve spent hours planning and practicing. No matter what, you have to have the right mindset to be able to quickly and calmly make decisions in the air.
BASE jumping usually takes place off a static object. For this adventure, I wanted to try a jump from the air while paragliding, which I had only tried a few times before.
My buddy Bam Bam and I chose a spot off the side of Pine Mountain, about thirty miles east of Bend. We’ve paraglided there a few times, and normally you can climb high in the air because of the thermal winds.
I usually have to hike to get to these jumps. This time, the approach to our launch point was an easy hike, so I decided to wear my Merrell All Out Crush shoes. I really like this shoe for BASE jumping because it’s light, comfortable and has the perfect amount of traction for the type of approach on the mountain.
Bam Bam and I went tandem in the paraglider, so he would fly it down after I jumped. At first, we thought we had enough wind. We spent about 45 minutes in the air soaring up to our goal altitude of 2,000 feet (about 600 meters).
But when we got to my jump point, we were only at 1,400 feet (about 425 meters). As I went through the process of unhooking myself from the paraglider and preparing for the jump, we started descending.
Within just a few seconds, we lost half our altitude, and I had to jump from 750 feet (about 230 meters). It wasn’t ideal, but it was high enough.
I jumped out of the paraglider, only doing one of my two planned front flips, and opened my parachute at around 250 feet (about 75 meters) off the ground.
Even though the first part of the jump didn’t go as I planned, the rest of the flight down was great, with perfect views of Central Oregon.
A few other friends were paragliding with us that day, and on my ride down, with all the other canopies in the air, it was like a party in the sky.
My son Sören is three years old and is already growing up to be a typical Bend kid, spending lots of time outside.
He’s very brave and dives right into new experiences, whether we’re skiing, skateboarding, biking, swimming or paddling.
On a hot, sunny day this summer, my son Sören and I loaded our stand up paddleboard in the car, packed a lunch and drove to Devil’s Lake for a little dude outing.
Devil’s Lake sits down off the road, surrounded by a forest of trees. It’s my favorite lake in the Cascade Mountains because of its beautiful vivid turquoise color.
After a short drive up Cascade Lakes Highway, we hiked the paddleboard down to the water. While I set up the board with GoPros, Sören jumped in and out of the lake. Even in the middle of summer, the water is extremely cold, but it didn’t seem to bother him.
I set up a few of my GoPros so I could catch every moment of the day at Devil’s Lake with him. I used the time lapse function to take photos every second, making sure that it captured candid moments that I like to remember.
We pushed the board onto the water and started paddling around the lake.
Just a few minutes in, Sören lost his balance and fell into the water. He popped up and looked at me with huge eyes, shocked by how cold the water was. But he got right back on the board and kept paddling.
We paddled around for a little bit longer, soaking up the warm sun, until Sören was ready for our lunch back on shore.
Days like this are so important in my family. We live in Bend because of the quality of life, being surrounded by nature and having access to the mountains and trails and lakes.
Getting outside every day reminds us of the incredible place we get to live and how to experience these simple pleasures of life, like spending a day on a lake, surrounded by mountains and sharing a meal with our family.
I’m really excited for Sören to grow up and to go on more of these adventures with me.
I’ve traveled all over the world to skydive—even for just one crazy jump. But now, I only have to drive twenty minutes from my home in Bend, Oregon to skydive. Since Skydive Awesome! opened in Sisters, I can shred the sky in my own backyard.
Skydive Awesome!’s dropzone is at the Sisters Eagle Airport at the base of the Three Sisters Mountain Range. The first time I walked into the office there, I opened the door and saw one of my old friends Ryan. We met at a dropzone in Utah, and we jumped together for about a year. Now, he is one of the owners of Skydive Awesome!. The team in Sisters is really friendly, and I love spending a day with them jumping as many times as I can.
I started skydiving in 2006, and since then I’ve skydived around 700 times. The jumps allow me to practice with my parachute and refine my skills for BASE jumping.
Like BASE jumping, skydiving requires focus and methodical planning. Any fear, anxiety or hesitation comes from lack of knowledge. The more you practice, the more you can relax under pressure and enjoy the view.
Some people like to wear jumpsuits when they’re skydiving—it just depends on what makes you the most comfortable so you can focus on the jump. When I skydive, I like to wear Superdry, a European company whose clothes I like. The T-shirts are cool and comfortable, and I don’t feel constricted in the air.
Skydive Awesome! has one plane, a small Cessna 182A. The plane circles Central Oregon for about twenty minutes to get up to altitude.
The day we jumped was different than other times I skydived in Central Oregon. There was more wind than usual in the high desert. It wasn’t enough to keep us grounded, but I had to make small adjustments during the skydive.
I jumped out of the plane at an altitude of 10,000 feet (~3,000 meters). During the freefall, it felt like I was surfing around the big, white clouds that spotted the sky.
I opened my parachute at 4,000 feet (~1,200 meters), which is a little higher than I normally open the canopy. I wanted to give myself more time to get a feel for what the air was doing that day, make adjustments and prepare for my landing in the wind.
Skydiving in Central Oregon gives me the best views of our local volcanoes. Each time I skydive here, the view gives me a new respect for the mountains. It’s one of the most beautiful—and one of my favorite—places to skydive in the world.
South Sister is one of the most loved climbs in Central Oregon, and now I see why. I’ve been calling Bend home for years and until this SuperAdventure, I never conquered this mountain. I’ve been up and down Mt. Bachelor, all over Broken Top, but this is my first trip up and down South Sister, and it was way better than I could have hoped.
South Sister is Oregon’s Third tallest mountain, clocking in at 10,358 ft. It’s a steep and rugged climb, but you don’t need much technical experience to make your way to the top, and once you make it up, you can see half of the state from the summit. Two lakes (Teardrop and Moraine), insane views, and 4,900 ft of elevation made South Sister perfect for my first SuperAdventure.
I got started on the approach at about 3 in the morning. I’d heard it can take up to 6 hours to reach the summit, so I wanted to leave myself plenty of time. It took about an hour to get through the lush forest approach. Even in late spring I expected to see a few spots of snow, but it was clean and green all the way through. I ended up taking off a layer on the way to there, the hike was so warm. And I was starting to wonder if there’d be enough good snow up on the mountain.
I needed to keep my gear light, and I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, so I brought my LEKI poles with an ice axe built into the handle. I didn’t end up needing the axe, but it was nice to have it, just in case.
It was colder than I expected up on the mountain, but the snow was pure. The spotless powder and the sun were just right to make this a beautiful ski day. Later in the afternoon, it got pretty hot, which could’ve made the snow a little harsh for the run, but I was in the right place at the right time for this one.
When I finally saw the summit, it was perfect. The main run had a few tracks, but the southeast bowl had clear, clean snow, so I went for that instead. Got to make an impression when you can, you know?
When I started down the cliff, I triggered a slab avalanche in the bowl – the first time in the Northern Hemisphere for me.
It was a small one, not a big deal, but it was definitely something I didn’t expect to see. Made my way around the other side of the bowl without worry, and headed down.
All the way down, the fresh powder was so smooth and fast I couldn’t believe I hadn’t done South Sister sooner. It was one of the most fun and simple rides I’ve had and I’m already planning a trip back up here for next year.
It’s so crazy. With all of the places I’ve seen and all the mountains I’ve done, this one was outstanding and right in my backyard. When we’re looking for the best runs we look everywhere we can, but sometimes we underestimate our own home ground. I had a sick run, just 30 minutes from my front door, and I can’t wait to do it again.
Superdry and Super Frenchie joined forces to produce the latest Superdry Snow collection movie.
Superdry teamed up with radical BASE jumper, extreme skier and Superdry super fan Matthias Giraud for the newest Superdry Snow film – Heaven’s Eleven. Earlier this year, Giraud put the latest snow range to the ultimate test against the elements by BASE jumping off Heaven’s Eleven in Telluride, Colorado – a deathly challenge that Matthias was the first to complete. Follow all the action on #MySuperdry. See full collection here – men’s / women’s