How Place Shapes Style: The Making of Nation

Alpine influence

Xavier De Le Rue. PHOTO: Tero Repo
Xavier De Le Rue. PHOTO: Tero Repo

Xavier De Le Rue. He’s fast, a little nuts, and is most definitely in a world of his own. Trace it back to Xavier’s time racing boardercross and it starts to add up—X Games, the Freeride World Tour, the Mt. Baker Banked Slalom—he’s won ’em all, but now he’s a more of a mountaineer in the Alpine tradition. Growing up in the French Pyrenees gave Xavier a first look at some of the world’s most striking and dangerous mountains, where he learned to respect and admire them. Xavier had the instinct and the drive to get up into the mountains and see what a man could do up there. He’ll probably set the land speed record.


The powder hound

DCP. PHOTO: Phil Tifo.

Quebecois pipe rider turned backcountry guru David Carrier Porcheron took icy halfpipe board control into the natural environment and has been there ever since. “The backcountry opens up a lot of opportunity to be creative with the terrain that you see, to build jumps and gaps and ride lines and cliffs the way you want,” he says. “Turn here, turn there, everybody rides differently. It’s like painting, almost.”

DCP’s growing relationship with the mountains shaped his outlook on his role in the environment through years of day-long backcountry missions, and he eventually got involved with Protect Our Winters. “Climate change is affecting snowfall,” he explains about the founding mission behind POW. “[We’re] trying to leave a message about what you can do, no matter how small, that will help protect the environment. It’s all linked together, from the ocean, to the rivers, to the clouds, and then it dumps snow on the mountains. It’s a cycle.”

 There’s a heavy Midwestern connection in Nation. Find out who the riders are on the next page.