Hump Day Goes Antarctic with Xavier De Le Rue

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P: Tero Repo

When it came time for his boardercross racing suit to be put out to pasture, France’s most popular snowboarder ever, Xavier De Le Rue, grabbed his big ass balls, told his sponsors to eat a bag of dicks and he hopped in an aluminum flying bird to take steep and deep to the next level. Snowboarding has never been the same. Over 10 years of the biggest, burliest mountain lines later and this rad dad ain’t quitting anytime soon. Pop a squat, strap in and unleash the beast. We all know Xavier will be.

P: Tero Repo

Take us back to the beginning. Your first day shredding.
My first day riding, it was in ‘91 or ‘92. I don’t remember that much, but what I can remember is the pain I had the day after, and how stuck to my bed for two days I was. It took me until the season after to try again. I guess at that time I used to overdo things that I liked…. hasn’t changed much.

How has being from the Pyrenees influenced your shredding?
Riding changing snow in the Pyrenees made me be able to be more solid on my board and clearly influenced my riding. I guess it is a bit like coming from the East Coast.

P: Tero Repo

You recently took off from downtown Santiago in a helicopter and were deposited upon a mountaintop in the Andes. Please take us there.
That was a trip with some Russian friends. Quite an experience to do that, and be 15 minutes later in the middle of the Andes with no borders and infinite terrain! It was great to do a heli trip in a mellow way. It’s the first time that I go on a trip only for the pleasure, without wanting to go into death defying stuff. I really enjoyed it.

You described Antarctica as your “favorite place on earth”. Why is Antarctica so magical for snowboarding?
If I think about the answer, it was this one image that tells everything to me. It’s being on top of the captains line, 700 meters above the sea with endless sunset, the bay full of ice and icebergs and a run below my feet that dives into the ocean and that is steeper by far than anything I had ridden before. Antarctica is definitely a must go if you have the opportunity.

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Have you ever been in a situation where you were summiting, or about to drop something massive and you needed to take a shit? How long can you pinch one off at high altitude in scary situations?
Haha! You know me well.That happens to me all the time! It’s called stress. Every single heli or hefty session, no matter if I took a shit before, once I have to get into the action, I have to go and hide myself for a moment. Funny!

In TWS’s Nation you described being in the mountains as “A fear I need. A fear I love.” Could you elaborate on this?
Well…. I’ve always liked to push things a bit. I do hate it a lot, but after a while, I definitely have this thing into me that demands for adventure.

P: Tero Repo

From very successful boardercross dude to Big Mountain Rider of The Year. How did you approach the change from one discipline to the next and were sponsors down or reluctant to back you?
I don’t know, maybe they realized that big mountain was my true nature and the fact is that I had been doing it for ever, so I guess they took it as they should have. I am quite happy about it. I was actually a bit scared when I did the switch that people would judge me as a racer, although I had always approached sbx with more of a gladiator appetite and a feel for speed. Sbx could have been the coolest thing if it didn’t get eaten by that shitty racey vibe.

You’re a fun family dude. Recently saw a photo of you dressed up as a women and killing it. How do you balance being a rad dad with your chosen career path of laying your life on the line constantly?
I guess I want to show my kids that I love life, that I embrace it and that I embrace my choices. Even though things don’t look like it, I am very careful in the mountains and I just choose my moments to send it, and when I do I like to do fully. My daughter has the same thing in her. I know that she understands me.


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You obviously have huge balls. The biggest balls in Europe, if not the world. How do you keep your big balls in check?
With duct tape….That’s a big word. I am not sure if I have the biggest balls. I think that what I do is a combination of things.

You survived an avalanche over 1.2 miles in length. What was going thru your mind before you went unconscious, what happened, how long was the recovery and ultimately what do you believe saved you and what did you learn that day?
My ABS clearly saved me. It’s strange, but I didn’t even have the time to be scared of dying. It’s been my biggest lesson and I guess that it has been the perfect reminder when things don’t feel perfect up there that avalanches and accidents don’t happen only in movies or to others. It’s been the best thing that ever happened to me, and I guess that it has become my safety angel in some ways.

23-year-old French men, Marcos Siffredi, was last seen September 8th, 2002, by his sherpa about to get radical on the Hornbein Couloir at Mt Everest. He was the first person to descend Everest on a snowboard the year before via the Norton Couloir. Thoughts on Marcos and whether you feel the pull towards Everest and that direction as well?
No, I like snowboarding above all, and going somewhere for one month to slide down one line and having a high percentage of death is not something that makes me dream at all. Sorry about that, but I don’t want to die snowboarding.

Congratulations on your successful kickstarter campaign now bringing to the market, Hexo – a camera that flies behind you and films you. This is some next level stuff here, Xavier, but what happens when everyone at the resort has these flying behind them down the mountain?
I guess it will be way too much, but I don’t ever see everyone having one as you say, at least not to the point where it will be impossible to deal with it. At the same time, if you get in crowded areas you are not allowed to fly closer than 30 meters from people so that solves the problem.


You were the first person ever to win the freeride world tour 3 times in a row, You were big mountain rider of the year, an olympian, and have had many a stand out video part. Where do you go from here and what do you have left to accomplish in snowboarding?
I love the expedition thing right now, organizing trips where no one has gone. That’s something I really enjoy. I also love working with my pals from our production company, Timeline, and really look for new angles, new ways of shooting. That’s something that makes me excited about what I do. And by the way, that’s also how I got into that drone project.

Thoughts and plans going into the 2014/2015 season?
You will see…. hahah.

Xavier, in closing, can you share some words of wisdom with the Yobeat faithful?
Go out there and kill it, but remember that you are just a little shit up there that can be wiped in a second if you are not humble. How poetic.

3 replies
  1. basshole
    basshole says:

    “Go out there and kill it, but remember that you are just a little shit up there that can be wiped in a second if you are not humble.”


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