Behind the Cover of Method 15.3: Elias Elhardt tweaks his way to eternal glory with this classic Method in Haines, Alaska. After selecting the first two covers of Volume 15, watching endless park edit clones and acknowledging (as always) that big mountain riding still doesn’t get nearly enough credit for how incredibly gnarly it is, we were all pretty eager to find a cover shot of someone ripping into a steep face. It wasn’t easy though – with many places, Alaska included, having a rough year snow wise last year – and as our print date neared, it was looking increasingly likely that the big mountain photo we were searching for just hadn’t been shot last year.
We had been talking to Andy Wright about putting together a “My Portfolio” for the Volume and as we discussed themes, Andy mentioned that despite the poor reports from everyone else, his trip to Haines with Pirates Gigi Ruf, Manuel Diaz and Elias Elhardt had actually produced some gold. When we saw the shot, and realized it was not only a Method, but a perfectly composed, first-try blast from Elias, winner of our 2014 Method Awards video part of the year for his part in Pirate Productions' "Distorted Reality", it was on. It may not be the steepest face in the range, and it’s not the biggest drop, but as is the case with most grabs, the method is a careful concoction of tweak, technique and touch and Elias dialed this one beautifully before tearing on out. We were already geared for a Rorschach interview with Elias after his monster season and this cover was the final piece needed to tie this issue together.
Sometimes everything just fits together perfectly - you get one of the most promising backcountry riders today tweaking the shit out of a method in one of the world’s gnarliest spots, all captured perfectly by one of the absolute best dudes shooting boarding, Andy Wright. Choosing the cover may have been the easiest part of making 15.3.