What The Pros Ride: Philippe Conte

Philippe ConteThe 2000 ISF World Boardercross Champion, Philippe is one of the most consistent badly asses in the riding world. He combines pure, refined-beyond-belief-riding technique with more racing experience than just about any human being.

You’ll have to pardon the English as a fourth language weirdness as you read this, but here’s the lowdown on his setup¿straight from the new father’s mouth. Congratulations Philippe! – Kurt Hoy

Height: 6’1″
Weight: 185 lbs.
Boot size: 10
Years riding: 11
Age: 27

What type of riding do you do mostly?
Mostly boardercross contests. BX could be compared to freeriding in the fact that you need to be able to handle everything.

Riding Future?
Bigger stuff for sure. The level is increasing, so let’s ride big!

Santa Cruz TBX 164, which is a BX specific board. It’s stiff and very aggressive, but still easy to ride.

What are the most important features of a really good board?
It has to be a good mix between a freeride board and an all-around board, you should be able to go fast but still be safe in tricky situations.

How often do you set up a new board?
Once before the season, then I keep the same setup.

Do you have different setups for different terrain?
Not really. I work more on the edges of my setup, and I’ll also choose a softer board if the snow is really hard.

Boots and bindings?
Flow boots with Conform’able (brand name) foot beds and Flow FL 11 bindings, which are stiff for precise and powerful turns.

Do you like your boots stiff or soft?
My boots are stiff but not too stiff because you have to feel that your foot is always in contact.

How much forward lean?
I have no idea about the degree, but I put a lot on the front foot. It helps me to hold backside heelside turns. Less on the back foot. It’s more of a feeling¿there’s no exact setting.

How do highbacks help?
In BX you need a lot of balance, to hold turns and to land safely, and highbacks help with these things.

Goofy, at 25 degrees in the front and thirteen degrees in the back.

It took time to finally find the right angles. This allows me to keep speed in a straight line, and stay balanced on the jumps.

20.47 inches.

How has your stance changed over the years?
I came back from 35 on the front foot to 25, over three years.

What do you do to your board before a race?
My secret stuff! I take good care of it. It’s one key to victory. Clean edges, and a clean base with the right wax. I spend about two hours a day working on the boards.

Anything else?
Always wax and brush from tip to tail, wax it after using it, and take care of the edges, especially on packed snow. Try different settings edge bevels in different conditions. By settings, I mean you can set your edges with different angles. On a stock board, it’s 90 degrees. I set mine with 88 degrees of inclination. It is very sharp between the bindings, but it decreases at about 15 cm of the end of the effective edge, that means the edge that can be in contact with snow. With the experience, you’ll find the right one!