THE TECH FILES
Elias Elhardt’s Dakine Setup
After hanging up his contest boots a few years back, German rider Elias Elhardt has quickly become something of a backcountry freestyle boss. Ditching the bib for a chance to film with the Pirates crew paid off immediately, and he scored the ender of Distorted Reality (which was easily one of the Euro parts of the year) and showed he was more than ready to rub shoulders with the likes of Gigi Rüf, Nicolas Müller and the rest of Europe’s backcountry royalty. He backed that up with some more hammers in last season’s Perceptions (where he also showed he’s no slouch when it comes to big mountain lines), and just recently he appeared in the Pirates mini movie, Follow Your Nose.
Off the board, Elias is one of the most shred-stoked, good-natured dudes you could hope to meet. Always grinning, he’s keen to spread the goodtimes and for the past couple of winters he’s been doing just that with the guys at elooa Camps – and if we were wanting some pro tips we can’t think of anyone else we’d rather get them from.
The dudes at Dakine have been wisely backing Elias for years, and seeing as he’s just been honoured with some more pro model swag, we decided to hit him up about what’s cooking with his Dakine gear for our latest instalment of The Tech Files. And if you’re digging the swag Elias uses, make sure you hit up the Dakine site for more colours, more info, and all that jazz.
You’ve been part of the Dakine crew ever since they started their outerwear program. What drew you to become part of that crew?
At that point, I’ve already been riding bags and gloves since a while. I was super stoked on the products and the team behind the brand, so that when they started to do outerwear, getting on board was a quiet natural evolvement.
How has their range evolved from the first season to today?
The outerwear worked good from the start but throughout the past years it’s definitely been getting better every season! With snowboard legend Peter Line as a designer, the outerwear gotten a really cool and clean look. Also the quality works really good for me out there in the field.
How much input do you have in the design and development of the outerwear?
I see Peter and the other designers at team trips or sales meetings from time to time. Then we usually always take some time to discuss what works good and what could be improved.
You’re mainly riding in the 2L Gore-Tex Smyth jacket and Woodland Cargo pants. Why is that your go-to gear for most conditions?
I really like the Smyth Jacket! It’s a high quality shell jacket, which works perfect for different temperatures. When it’s cold in the mornings I wear a baselayer plus a fleece or even a puffy jacket underneath and when I start hiking a lot throughout the day I only keep the baselayer and the shell jacket on. This helps ensure I don’t sweat so much, but always keep warm!
Also the Woodland Cargo Pant is perfectly breathable and waterproof with 2L Gore-Tex, plus, it’s isolated with Permaloft. Being in deep snow a lot of the times it helps to have that extra warmth in the pants.
What features you’re particularly stoked on?
The like that the jacket is super light and that it’s got a lift ticket pocket on the left sleeve. Also there’s a little string inside the right pocket, which I always use to mount my car key. The pants are really durable and I use the inner waistband adjuster instead of a belt.
You also have a signature mitten and backpack combo. How’d that come about?
I guess that’s because backpacks and gloves are the two key products from Dakine, which they’ve been doing for a long time already. So that’s probably why they gave me the chance to develop my own signature glove and backpack. As that always worked really good, it’s already the fifth edition we’re doing this season!
What made you pick the Baron mitt and Mission 25L pack as the basis for your pro models, and did you make any Elias-specific tweaks to them?
I chose the Baron as this glove uses high quality fabrics and is super warm. Mittens are probably always a bit warmer than normal gloves, plus I like the style! The Mission Backpack is a super classic Dakine backpack model, which they’ve been improving for a long time now. So everything on that bag has it’s place! Also, it’s quite an allround backpack, which works good for school, the skatepark or the backcountry!
What were you going for, design wise, with these pieces?
I was looking for earthy, natural looking colours and fabrics. The inspiration for this year were leaves, which take all these amazing colours in fall.
Last season was a bit brutal for you. Can you tell us what happened, and a bit about your involvement in the Pirates’ Follow Your Nose project?
Yes, last year was quite tricky! Gigi and I planned to ride the whole year together and had great trips in mind, so I was super motivated and confident at the start of the season, but on the the first trip, on the second day in Japan, it all turned out different. I underestimated the impact on a landing and hit my teeth into my knee. This caused a pretty deep cut, which unfortunately also got infected during the rehabilitation. So I couldn’t do much but wait during the winter months. At the end of March I was slowly getting back again and was stoked to catch some great powder days at home as a easter present in April.
We hope this season will be mercifully knee-to-face-free for you. What do you have on the cards?
This season I’ll be filming for the Nitro and the Transworld movie. Besides that we’re planning on doing a Dakine project on hiking and riding lines at home. So, there’s cool things coming up and I’m really stoked to get started again!