Riders in this news : Xavier DE LE RUE
Last month, ESPN.COM journalist met up Xavier DE LE RUE in AK, during a filming trip for “Black Winter”, the upcoming movie from Standard Films!
Here, some parts of his ITW… Xavier explains his season, and his point of view of AK trip…
After you won everything, now you are in Valdez; have you ever been to Alaska before?
Yes, a couple of times but I had never got the real AK with the perfect conditions, spines and everything ... This time it's been great to come with the guys—Kevin Jones, Johan [Olofsson], Standard Filmer Chris Ondercin and Curley shooting photos. Also coming with Americans has been great because they know the people and have done this AK thing many times. With a Euro crew you kind of get screwed if you don't know exactly what is going on. Definitely more dialed in.
Is this the first year you have done something with Standard?
No. Last year, last minute, they saw some of my footage and made it work. So I had a small part last year. But this will be my first official part. It's great.
From a European point of view, what do you think about Alaska?
I always tried to convince myself that I didn't need to go that far to get good snow—that I could just stick around in Europe and get good stuff with everything that we have had set up the past few years. But coming here, the terrain has way more playful potential. In just a small area up here the options are endless. Back home we need much more area and a lot more searching is needed for terrain that suits filming. Here it is everywhere. This is perfect! The coastal snow is also amazing.
Is there anything that really surprised you about riding up here?
Actually, the first day I was surprised at how bouncy the snow was. We are a little late in the season so it hasn't been that super deep powder that you would think. With this the terrain sticks out a lot more. That means it's a lot more technical. So for my style where I just like to go at it—trying not to slow down too much—I really had to adapt and not charge things the way I normally ride under optimal conditions. Even if we didn't get the "epic epic," there is still so much you can do with your riding up here.
What do you like most about it up here?
Well optimally, you can get conditions where it is very stable and filled in. When the conditions permit you can ride the steepest of steep with the typical huge sloughs ... that's amazing. Scary, but amazing at the same time!
And the worst?
I only think there are positive things about this area. Well, the worst part would be sitting around in a hotel waiting for days. Especially when you are in the rhythm of the season. You kind of put the brakes on and shut down for a week or so then one day you're right back on top of it. It's weird like that.
More infos, and all this ITW: ESPN Snowboarding
Pics by Jeff CURLEY
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