Xavier de le Rue


First and foremost Xavier de Le Rue is a mountain lover. This remains at the core of all he does. In his heart he is a freerider - and spends his time riding powder whenever conditions allow. His love and skills for both powder and big mountain riding have achieved worldwide recognition. His two recent awards from the snowboarding scene demonstrate this: “Stand Out of the Year” from TransWorld SNOWboarding’s Rider Poll during SIA at Denver, and Snowboarder Magazine’s “Big Mountain Rider of The Year. ”

Beyond the reign of public opinion, Xavier’s incredible success in competition - winning multiple snowboard cross world championship titles and X Games gold medals - cannot be ignored. Xavier was the snowboard Freeride World Tour champion three years in a row, and was twice awarded ‘best line’ of the Tour (snowboard and ski).

His snowboard racing and freestyle background combined with his love for the mountains gives him the feeling and technical abilities he needs to ride natural terrain to the fullest - whether its pillows, mini gulfs, cliff drops or tight couloirs.

With snowboarding, true recognition comes through filming freeride action. This has been Xavier’s main focus over the last four years since the start of his web series Timeline that has led to a series of widely recognized films . For Xavier’s most recent projects, the Timeline crew has traveled to the Antarctic Peninsula and the Swiss Alps in search of the perfect steep lines to ride in full- Alpine style.

When not on the road for competition or filming, Xavier is based in Verbier, Switzerland during the winter. He returns home to the Pyrenees for the summer months. In these off-season months, he enjoys spending time with family, climbing, surfing and mountain biking. 

Nickname: Butcher

Home: Saint Lary, French Pyrenees

Proudest Moment: First seeing my daughter
Favourite Mountain: Antarctica peninsula

Favorite Meal: Good old fat duck… southwestern France-style

Favorite Snack: Saucisson…(English translation: sausage)

Favorite Book: Let My People Go Surfing, by Yvon Chouinard
Favorite Movie: Nikita, by Luc Besson

Most Humbling Moment: Avalanche in 2008

Go to Media Source: France Inter… my only way to keep touch with the world

Inspiration Within the Sport: I like to explore… everything, not just territories

Dream Vacation: Home in the Pyrenees

I Get Amped Listening To: The Black Keys

Words To Live By: Crash and learn

Favorite TNF Product & Why: My neck warmer… I never used one before, now I’m addicted and can’t do without it… and in any conditions.

  • World Champion on the Freeride World Tour - 2010, 2009 and 2008
  • Best Line (Ski and Snowboard) of the Freeride World Tour - 2009 and 2008
  • Swatch O’Neill Big Mountain Pro - Overall Winner in 2009, 2nd in 2008, Winner in 2007
  • Freeride World Tour Verbier Extreme (CH) - Winner in 2009 and 2007
  • Winner of the Freeride World Tour in Tignes (FR), 2009 and 2008
  • Freeride World Tour in Sochi (RUS) - 2nd 2009 and 2nd 2008
  • Freeride World Tour in Squaw Valley (USA) - 3rd in 2009
  • SBX FIS Vice World Champion in 2009
  • Oxbow Back to the Powder in Tignes (FR) - Winner in 2008
  • Boarder-X World Championship - Winner in 2007
  • X Games Snowboard X - Winner in 2005
  • Gravity Games Snowboard-X - Winner in 2005
  • Legendary Mt Baker Banked Slalom – Winner 2002
  • ISF Snowboard X World Champion 2000-2001-2002


  • “Best Guts” award at The Reels Festival 2012
  • Transworld Magazine Stand out Performance of the Year, 2010 and 2012
  • 2009 Snowboarder Magazine “Big Mountain of The Year”
  • Cold Smoke Award 2010: Nominated for “Best Line”
  • St. Lary Freeride Film Festival 2010: Lives of the Artist awarded “Best Shooting” and “Jury Special Prize”

Filming Highlights

  • 2012 – White Noise by Timeline Films
  • 2012 – 2112 by Standard Films
  • 2011 – This is My Winter by Timeline Films
  • 2011 – Videograss
  • 2011 – TB20 by Standard Films
  • 2010 - Deeper by TGR
  • 2010 - The Storming by Standard Films
  • 2010 - Follow Me Down by Relentless (Lives of the Artists 2)
  • 2009 - Black Winter by Standard Films, Lives of the Artist by Relentlessenergy.com
  • 2008 - Aesthetica by Standard Films
  • 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2003 - Nuit de la glisse
  • 2004 - The Ultimate Round

HeadSpace: Xavier de Le Rue on Speed

May 16 2011
Source: ESPN Snowboarding
France's Xavier de Le Rue likes going fast -- really fast. His "normal" clip would be terminal for most; when he decides to pin it, everyone's left squinting downhill. Jeremy Jones has even called him "the fastest snowboarder in the world." This speedy shredding is going down on some of the heaviest lines in AK or the Alps -- not your 9 a.m. groomers -- and, if you've seen the two-km avalanche he survived in '08, you'd probably pick up the pace, too... For the last decade, the 31 year-old has more than made his mark competitively, winning the Boarder-X World Champs four times and, in Freeriding, another three in a row, yet his competitive strengths are nothing compared to his love for the mountains, and for speed in its purest form. The only way you'll ever truly catch XDLR is in Jones's Deeper and Further; Standard; and his excellent Swatch Timeline webisodes every two weeks. How do you know when you're going too fast? To be honest, I can't really explain what could be the alarm in my head, it's more a feeling thing than a reflection. I guess [it's] only a matter of terrain not giving enough space or not providing good enough snow for some speed. It's rare that I get to the point where it's too fast. Xavier doesn't zig-zag across slopes to hit a little lip or cross-court launch. He's all fall line all the time. When I drop into a line, I normally start more or less gently and then build up according to what I find in terms of conditions and terrain. Once I reach some really high speed, it is sometimes better to just keep on going straight instead of putting that turn that could make you explode completely. Fastest you've ever gone? It's hard to say, but when I straight-line stuff, I usually like after a certain speed to spread out my arms a bit and then lean on the air. It's a really cool feeling and it definitely gives more control. Once you reach that speed, it normally doesn't get much faster. You told me before that going faster gives you more time to think. Do you ride in some quantum world? Quite often, going fast makes you float on the surface of the snow and that takes away some of the impacts of the terrain. Another really good reason is that going fast gives you a clear visual on some landings and that makes the decision process way easier. Last but not least, once you reach a certain speed, avalanches become way less of an issue, and that gives some space to think of other things. What advice would you give to a solid snowboarder wanting to work on his or her speed? A bigger board makes a huge difference. The terrain and snow quality reading will be really key and most of all, it's good to choose a line [with] a clean out-run. I think, anyways, that it's pretty easy to feel if you are under control or not. One mistake at the kind of speeds de Le Rue operates at can mean a nasty explosion or worse. His Zen approach? Turn less, flow more: "Going fast gives you a clear visual on some landings and that makes the decision process easier." How has this season gone? This year has actually been fairly tough. In the last three years, I've had quite a lot of luck with all my trips, and the conditions, but this year I've been facing more the other side of the coin. No big deal, it's part of the game, but it's just pretty draining to travel across the globe and come home with that feeling of not having done the job. I've had the feeling that since early January in Japan, I haven't been riding those sessions where everything goes well with perfect conditions, where you can really push your riding to the max. I miss that incredible feeling of arriving at the bottom of my line screaming my love for snowboarding. It will come though -- the season is not over. You've said that riding in trees is a good way to work on your reaction times elsewhere. Can anyone keep up with you there? I'm usually riding alone when I do these tree riding sessions, maybe because I like to stop at some point in the middle of the forest and listen and smell the woods. But it's maybe that I like to fire up sometimes and the best way to not have to wait is to go on my own. I'm not that wild though... I love sharing snowboarding, and especially that part of it that I love: tree riding. Committing to technical sections has never been a problem to Xavier. Neither has the 0-60 rush you get the second you land a drop-in like this one. How important is your equipment, especially the stiffness of your set-up when you start hitting terminal velocity? You will not believe me but when I ride I barely close my boots. And my board, although long when I hit big lines (167), isn't stiff at all. It's funny that everyone thinks that big speed and big jumps mean stiff boots and board. Whenever I ride new gear, especially the boots, it really takes me a while before I can feel comfortable. The stiffness makes me lose a lot of my feeling under the feet. Why should every snowboarder reading this try and pick up the pace next season? Because speed is so fun; to be safe; to reach that PlayStation state of mind where everything becomes so easy that it's almost magical.