[Photo: Tero Repo/Red Bull Content Pool]
Xavier’s one of the most influential freeriders in the history of snowboarding. As a young buck he honed his speed management and edge skills competing in Boardercross (even going as far as representing France in the Olympics), but shortly after he transferred these talents to focus purely on charging big mountain lines with his unique brand of calculated lunacy. Standout movie parts with Standard Films were chalked off, as were contest wins in some of freeriding’s high-profile contests like the Verbier Xtreme. More recently he’s been producing his own projects - Timeline Missions, Degrees North and his most recent, raw DIY edits are all worth looking up - and his spirit for adventure shows now sign of dimming. We caught up with Xavier for a quick First/Last shortly after he’d finished sailing from Kamchatka to Japan...
Oh… the nineties. The first trick that I remember was the straight leg Stiffy. I definitely claimed it and liked it back then because i thought it was quite powerful as a trick. I used to watch David Vincent doing it, haha.
I guess my last trick has been straight lining on sheer ice in the mountains. Certainly a different environment and perspectives, but I was stoked about it.
I went to Turkey with Nitro on a pretty adventurous trip. It was hard to find snow, and the lifts opened with good terrain but lots of moguls. It seems that it could still be what I am going for nowadays.
"The loosest thing was definitely the sailing at night alone in the cold with the boat shaking like hell and the vomit at the back of my throat."
I took a sailing boat from Kamatchtka Russia to Japan through the Kuril Islands for 6 weeks. The loosest thing was definitely the sailing at night alone in the cold with the boat shaking like hell and the vomit at the back of my throat.
FIRST… SNOWBOARD MOVIE
I don’t even remember… I spent lots of time watching Riders on the Storm. Hell, it was a long time ago. The guys were sending it already doing huge backflips over the road and stuff.
LAST… SNOWBOARD MOVIE
That was The Fourth Phase, because my brother Victor was in it. I don’t watch so many snowboard movies. I liked the footage in it, but I thought that it didn't bring as much as it could have, especially after the Art of Flight.
God… probably Pastis. We had a lot of that and the tasted has stuck in the back of my throat ever since. I can’t drink it with reminiscing on these times.
I am into beer as we built a craft brewery facility in Martigny, Switzerland. It’s called White Frontier, and we have 19 different beers so far. It really got me addicted to that craft beer, but the only downside is that I drink too much of it. Or maybe that’s an upside...
It was in the Pyrenees. We used to do these regional contests that were bad ass. Everyone would be going nuts, fighting with snowballs, going completely crazy at night and not really caring much about the results.
Verbier Xtreme last year. My 15th time taking part in that event. Verbier is the kind of place where the main trick is about grabbing for your life… haha. Quite a scary place for a comp, even after all those years.
"Everyone would be going nuts, fighting with snowballs, going completely crazy at night and not really caring much about the results."
FIRST… POWDER DAY
It was straight on in the early nighties. It’s always been the reason why I snowboarded.
LAST… POWDER DAY
My last powder day was back in April, in Verbier, with my daughter jumping cliffs and having a blast!
FIRST… THING OF THE DAY
I start my days by have a coffee, and then a small yoga session…. the only way to get by when you get older.
LAST... THING OF THE DAY
I won’t tell you that...