#JacksonFamily Interviews ft Sebastien Payannet

The #JacksonFamily is a large family of skaters wearing Jackson product. Whether it be Matrix Blades, Ultima Blades, Jackson Skates or GAM Skates, skaters are encouraged to tag #JacksonFamily in their social posts and be a part of the largest skating family, from recreational to elite! Innovation, Development and most importantly FUN are the core fundamentals of #JacksonFamily.

In our interview series, we wanted to go behind the scenes and talk with some of our international competitors to get to know them a little bit better!

US Nationals in Kansas City, MO

Today’s interview features Sebastien Payannet from Los Angeles, CA. Let me tell you, Seb does not have the typical life of a competitive skater! This guy works a full time job and still manages to train his triple axel! He has made 3 consecutive trips to US Nationals in Senior Men. Don’t let anyone tell you there’s not enough time in the day! Sebastien is proof of it.

Tell us a bit about yourself, where you came from, how long you’ve been skating, training grounds, etc.

I was born in Huntsville, Alabama to French parents. I started skating in Alabama at age 5. I moved to Colorado when I was 9 and trained at the same rink (The Ice Centre in Westminster) until June of 2016 under a variety of coaches. Most recently under the combination of Lou Anne Conant and Cindy Sullivan.

In June this past year, I moved to California to start my career and had to switch training grounds as well. Luckily I have been blessed to train alongside Rafael Arutyunyan and the phenomenal skaters he coaches at Lakewood Ice. I train for an hour every morning from 7 am to 8 am before work.

Outside of skating there are a few things I have been able to accomplish. I graduated from the University of Colorado with an Architectural Engineering degree in 4 years. I did this while juggling a part time job, being in a fraternity and of course skating. This past March, the hard work paid off and I had several quality job offers to decide between and chose to work for one of the top architectural lighting design firms in the country based out of Los Angeles.

Seb juggles a full time job, plus the rigors of training competitively!

The move seems like a huge change, not to mention the change of pace from school to work. That being said, what would you say has been the biggest obstacle for you this past season?

Where do I begin! The first half of 2016 was marked by the last semester of my senior year of engineering school. This involved juggling several capstone classes with job searching, deciding my future, making the most of the last bit of college, fraternity, a part time job, AND skating. Ironically this seemed hard at the time but it was absolutely nothing compared to what the second half of 2016 had in store for me…

I started my career at the same time that I moved away from home and everything comfortable. Starting in July I had to learn how to live without all my best friends and family. How to work 9 hours a day and still fit in training, conditioning, and rest. I had to learn how to get my body moving in the early morning so that I could skate before work. How to work hard despite typically training completely alone. How to stay active despite sitting in a chair for 9 hours a day. How to balance professional goals and needs with skating and personal goals…the list really goes on…

But I will add, while incredibly challenging, I have learned more about myself in the last 6 months than in my lifetime so far!

Wow. So you’ve been through a lot this year! What’s been the highlight of your skating season?

The most visible accomplishments that I achieved this season was landing my triple axel and standing up in the short program at Nationals. Personally though, my biggest accomplishment was overcoming the obstacles mentioned before and still be able to put out new elements at and improve as a skater and person.

What’s a typical competition day for Sebastien?

Competition days are my most relaxed days! I start off the day with a large breakfast (since typically I skip lunch and dinner), and then a little walk to clear my head. I try to get my blood flowing a little so typically that’ll be an hour yoga session followed by choreographic run throughs of my programs.

Then I try and rest / snack until a couple hours before my warm up when I will begin to get my things together and head to the arena. Once there, I get settled in and then I start warming up!

Being in California now, there’s so much to see and do! What er some hobbies outside of work and skating?

I love being active so really all sports. In college I played on hockey, indoor & outdoor soccer, and football teams for my fraternity (4 time intramural champions!). I love to ski; try go up as often as I can (harder now that I’m in California) but have recently been trying to pick up surfing! When I’m not feeling active I love visiting art museums or relaxing on the beach.

⚡️Lightning Round⚡️

Favorite Cheat Meal? Chik-Fil-A

Favorite Restaurant: I’m in love with Sugarfish

Favorite Jump: Changes every day, but today it’s triple sal!

Favorite Place You’ve Competed: Lake Placid, New York for Junior Nationals back in the day

Figure Skating’s Class Clown: Without a doubt The Jimmy Ma

What does #JacksonFamily mean to you?

Being part of the Jackson Family means knowing that someone is always there supporting you. It means being a part of a skating family, since they genuinely care about each and every athlete that carries their name.

Sebastien’s Equipment: Matrix Supreme Blades

Follow Sebastien on Instagram and Twitter