Louis Fournier

Think, Build, Ride: The Lifelong Buzz of Louis Fournier

February of 1978 was cuttingly cold as usual in Chicoutimi, Quebec. Sixteen-year-old Louis Fournier hated it. All Louis wanted to do was hop in a car and drive to California—the promised land of endless summer, perfect bowls and skate parks he’d seen in his favorite magazines featuring top pros like Tom Sims. But those palm-tree dreams were out of reach, so the young French Canadian chose to embrace winter through a new activity gaining traction in the States: snowboarding. Lacking the funds for a board, he built his own.

“Imagine a guy in 1978 decides to build a snowboard because he’s too flat broke to buy one from the U.S.,” the now-57-year-old Louis says. “If I recall, the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar was $1.54 to $1 in those days. I made my first board with laminated fiberglass and nylon straps. It was not working at all; it was an absurdity. But the buzz was there.” 

Little did Louis know that buzz would lead him into a lifetime of engineering, working side by side with Sims and other industry pioneers, and developing breakthrough snowboard technology that’s still used today, nearly 40 years since its inception. From foldable highbacks to embedded inserts, Louis’ inventions scream functional precision. But as for his overall impact on the way we ride? Well, that’s immeasurable… 

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