Last week, I was lucky enough to do some pre season shredding, and on actual snow, no less! This was a bit of a step up from Calshot…
I went to Austria and got to hang out with one of my favourite people to ride with, Sabrina Burnham, who absolutely rips on a snowboard, as well as old skier friends Nathan and Joe, and new skier friend, Ben, and I had THE BEST time!
Being mid-November their local mountain, Kaltenbach, wasn’t open yet, but it only took 10 minutes to drive to Mayrhofen, 40 minutes to get the bus to Hintertux and 20 minutes in the gondola to get to the glacier (or gletscher, as the Austrians call it). It was up at 6.45 to get a few hours of sun on the jumps before if went behind a mountain and the whole park was in the shade. Now, I realise I might have made it sound like it wasn’t very good, but all the travel time was totally worth it! The bus is a great place to have a nap, befriend children (totally innocent, I swear) and it was a nice drive. Plus, the park at Hintertux was awesome. Even riding the icy icy piste was great because it was November.
Setting up for a front 270 out
However, my body was not so great; 6 months of not skiing had made my legs soft and jelly-like, despite all that time in the interseason spent running. But at least I still had my park legs – sort of. I’m not going to lie; I rode pretty terribly, but in my defence, most of the features were a bit bigger than I would usually start on.
Getting my legs back
But it was good for me, in a kind of humbling way. Instead of spending ages on ride on boxes it was side on rails and metal down tubes and big(ish) jumps. My spin to time-in-the-air radar was completely off which led to a lot of slamming/knuckling/questioning of my abilities, and after 3 sessions at the dryslope I was over popping onto every rail in sight. But maybe I was still having nightmares about changing the shape of my knee cap at Calshot (see previous blogs) and over compensating.
A rare, well timed 360
So, I wasn’t quite at the same standard I was at the end of last winter, but at least I could still do some stuff. We also spent a day in Stubai (and discovered that the rumour of an exact replica of the Olympic slopestyle course was just slightly completely untrue) which did have a really easy ride on box, as well as a really easy flat tube and I managed to pull off some of my nemesis tricks: the K-fed and blind 270 out, so maybe doing all that hard stuff helped out after all…
Now just to wait for the parks in Avoriaz to open…
All pictures are GoPro stills taken by either Sabrina, Nathan, Joe or Ben. Thanks guys for filming and to Joe for sending me the footage and Nathan and Sabrina for putting up with me and my constant forgetfulness/inability to make it through the day