Few skiers have had as broad an influence on the sport as Eric Pollard, and few have suffered as much for it. A pioneering figure throughout the formative years of skiing’s “new school” renaissance, Pollard’s singular style and vision has helped to shape not just the way many skiers seek to move across snow, but the equipment they use to do it.
During a 2013 trip to Sochi, Russia, Pollard broke his leg and subsequently developed compartment syndrome, an extremely painful buildup of pressure in the muscles around the injury. After 11 surgeries, a bone infection and nearly two months in trauma wards, Pollard was left with a partial paralysis of his left foot that threatened to end his days of skiing, snowboarding and surfing. Ever the innovator, Pollard didn’t let this major setback get in his way, and developed improvised adaptations to his gear that allowed him to keep riding—perhaps with fewer acrobatic antics than before, but more soul than ever.
After a few years of near radio silence—during which he’s been busy raising a family, creating art and designing skis, outerwear and other gear—Pollard returned to filmmaking this fall with an artfully crafted 20-minute piece called “Drawn from Here.” In part, it’s a recounting of his injury and recovery; but more than that, it’s a poignant portrait of one of skiing’s true visionaries, and an inspiring and thoroughly enjoyable plunge into his unique aesthetic.