23/08/2006 | by Onboard
For those of you who have been living a hermitic existence of late, or if you are reading this 50 years from now in a post-apocalyptic bunker, Romain is one of the most hell-for-leather riders to have ever strapped into a snowboard. His fearless assaults stomping teched-out madness on some of the filthiest gaps ever built has rightly seen this 26-year-old from Dardagny, Switzerland, become one of the most talked about, respected and admired riders of any generation. But you already knew that, right? Now in his 14th year of snowboarding, his sponsors are Burton, Anon, Gravis, Nixon, QWST and pulp68.com. You knew that too? Damn, on to the car then…
Romain De Marchi and his Vee Dub. Photo: Pat Vermeulen.
Whilst hitchhiking his way back from a long session of shooting in Switzerland, our thrifty senior photographer stuck his thumb out as this black VW roared down the road. Stoked that the driver was none other than Romain De Marchi, he snapped this shot of him and his impressive-looking steed and thus bagged a lift and a Lush in one fell swoop. Happy days!
Mr De Marchi’s motor is reflective of his riding: big, burly and solid with more than a pinch of powerful style.
Mr De Marchi’s motor is pretty reflective of the man’s own riding: big, burly and solid with more than a pinch of powerful style. For those of you au fait with cars, this VW Touareg 3.0l TDI is, in Romain’s words, “one of the best hybrids between a real four-wheeler and a fast car. It’s very good on rough terrain and really stable at high speed on the highway”. Presumably perfect for ragging it comfortably on those long-distance road trip missions from one god-almighty booter to the next. Oh, for those who know precisely bugger all about cars: it’s black, which as Romain so rightly points out, “makes your car look mean”.
For someone who is well-known for pushing snowboarding beyond its reasonable limits, would you expect him to have souped up the Touareg to do 0-60 in 3 seconds or have the kind of multimedia passion suite that would give Xzibit the horn? You might be wrong, as this kind of over-the-top extravagance isn’t really Romain’s deal. “I just took the option of hydraulic suspension and some other little things like a special light, navigation system… stuff like that. There’s about €10,000 of options on it”. So, more like comfortable upgrades to suit his needs rather than excessive indulgence for Romain. After all, his favourite feature on this black beauty is the heated steering wheel.
As well as being a badass cruiser of the mean streets, the Touareg is an off-roader too.
Despite the fact that as well as being a badass cruiser of the mean streets the Touareg is an off-roader too, he admits that he hasn’t as yet really given it a good ragging on this kind of terrain, aside from what life living in the country just outside Geneva typically entails. When it comes to long-distance highway hauling, however, Romain has seen more than his fair share. In the previous car he owned (the same model as this but a diesel version) he once drove from Geneva to Hemsedal, Norway, for a New Year’s party, and we’d imagine it won’t be long before this new wagon gets several thousand K under its belt, be it on another long distance party mission, heading to a remote Euro shoot or perhaps cruising down to Hossegor to polish up the surfing in between winter seasons.
Any other cars planned to keep the Touareg company in the garage when Romain is off criss-crossing the globe pushing the boundaries of snowboarding? “Yeah, I think I will get an Audi s6 next year,” he replies, presumably for when he’s wanting a bit more high performance ‘oomph’. So what more do you want to know? Well, All right then, he hasn’t had sex in the Touareg… yet.