SNOWBOARDER Magazine found out early this morning that snowboard pioneer Jean Nerva has passed away at the age of 58. Were it not for Jean and riding partner Peter Bauer’s extreme exploits in the European alpine, snowboarding wouldn’t be where it is today. We offer our thoughts to Jean’s friends and family and invite you to read a page from our 30th Anniversary issue featuring Jean and Peter in our Mountain GOATs feature, showcasing the riders whom we consider to be the greatest of all time. RIP in peace, Jean and thanks for laying the foundation to help make snowboarding and this publication a little bit edgier. – T. Bird
30th Anniversary Mountain GOAT: Jean Nerva
In 1989, just as racing was beginning to succumb to freestyle's universal appeal, Peter Bauer and Jean Nerva arrived in America with asymmetric boards and hardboots and damn near righted racing's course. The duo found themselves shoehorned between tweakers like Craig Kelly and Jeff Brushie in Burton's team video Chill. Speedsuits, gate-bashing and accents aside, Peter and Jean's fluid cinematic arcs charismatically showed turning as never before, and legions of groms set aside their Sorels in favor of plate bindings and plastic boots. Peter and Jean's perpendicular position to the snow became widely regarded in North America as "Euro carving" and the craze took off with Jean's infamous "You carve, you carve, you carve, no slide!" quote from Chill becoming the movement's mantra. The highly impractical asymmetrical Burton PJ pro model boards became coveted by the carving set, and the art house-eque Pachamama, starring Peter and Jean, was released in 1989. However, hardboots, race boards and Euro carving was quickly eclipsed by the Summit County new school jib movement of the early nineties, which came with its own impractical trappings. As of late, Euro carving, or as it is still quixotically called in Europe "Vitelli turning" is once again en vogue proving that everything eventually comes full circle.