Darren Berrecloth starts nearly every day by drinking a smoothie loaded with bee pollen, organic greens, and various body boosting powders from his sponsor Avena Originals. Often, it’s the only thing he’ll consume until lunch and sometimes he’ll fast clear through to dinner. This focus on healthy living is a far cry from the ‘Lucky beer and pizza for breakfast’ lifestyle that some may imagine he leads. At 33, Berrecloth is one of slopestyle’s elder statesmen, among the most influential and winningest freeriders in history - an icon of the sport. Influence
Berrecloth has been a prolific contest rider over the years: winning the Nissan Qashqai Series, the Adidas Slopestyle (three consecutive times), and Monster Park (also, three consecutive times), as well as podiums at Red Bull Rampage and Crankworx Whistler; however, he built his name and reputation through building. Each year he managed to come up with groundbreaking features and progress the notion of what North Shore style bridges could do, while filming some of the most iconic video parts of all time in the process. You can see the influence his segments from Roam and the New World Disorder series hold when watching builder/riders like The Coastal Crew in action today. The boner log, first seen in Berrecloth’s New World Disorder 8 segment, is practically a prerequisite for every slopestyle course on the FMB World Tour today.
| My motivation to build comes from my childhood to be honest. Growing up there was nothing to ride except what we created for ourselves. A necessity turned into creativity and a passion. A true passion is something that never leaves and burns inside until you unleash the creativeness. Also it's pretty freaking awesome to have rad stuff to ride too! |
Berrecloth’s opening segment in New World Disorder 10 was an instant classic, a masterpiece that ranks among the greatest video parts in mountain bike history. Where the Trail Ends was his next major film project and more of an ensemble effort, it showcased a number of riders and focussed strictly on big mountain. Sure we’ve seen him throw down at Rampage, but it’s been a few years since he’s shot any wooden features. In this age of instant gratification and the cheap thrills of a web edit, there’s less incentive for a rider to build truly unique and progressive moves. And I’ll be honest, I’d never made a movie before. I’m one guy with a camera, a far cry from the massive teams found on any Freeride Entertainment or Anthill Films shoot. Would The Claw phone in his segment for Builder?
|I try and use my surroundings and build off the terrain. The original boner log was a blown down out in a logging slash, I built it and stared at it for at least a year, not knowing how to ride it. You've just gotta get out and build something folks, the only way to learn is to try.|
During his BMX years, Berrecloth rode brakeless for a year and a half because he couldn't afford a wheel straight enough to avoid rubbing. Success in riding - and in life - was not granted easily, he has worked incredibly hard to earn everything he has. Berrecloth is highly opinionated and passionate about the projects he is involved with, and was so prepared for Builder that he had a stunt/shot list prepared for each day to keep things on schedule. He can be terse and unwilling to suffer fools, but the blue collar work ethic that took him to the top of the sport is undiminished. He treated Builder as seriously as any other movie in his career.Lifer
I still have a collage of Berrecloth riding photos on my childhood bedroom wall, images of him from the movies that got me hooked on mountain bikes; inspired to ride, and build, and film. They say never meet your heroes, especially when you’ve worshipped them on ink and video since you were 13 years old. It truly was an honour working with him to create another segment that will (hopefully) stand the test of time, and influence a new generation of up and comers to pick up a shovel and venture into the woods. That’s where you’d find Berrecloth, without the magazine covers and DVD segments, without the trips to Nepal and the endorsement money: he’d still be in the forest, building strange things to ride his bike off, just for fun.
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