Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ride Shakedown- Quebec, CAN

Not even being gone for a week, I was now back in Montreal, Quebec for the Shakedown. This trip was so unorganized I was pretty much winging everything. Luckily things fell into place. Pat Bridges, along with Ride Pro Hana Beaman and Volcom rider Jess Kimura flew into Montreal 20 minutes later than me. We all got into a taxi and drove about 45 minutes outside Montreal to St. Sauvier. It was about 1pm and the rail jam started around 6pm. Jess and I both didn't have anything set up for lodging, so we tried a few spots but they were so expensive! I was just now realizing how big of an event this was. As we drove up to the resort, I was hit with the actual realization that this was Canada's largest snowboard event. There were 3 bleachers full and bodies walking around everywhere like we were at some kind of concert. By night time there wasn't even room to walk from the course to the lodge. I was very tired, and didn't want to exert too much energy on this rail jam, especially considering the outcome of the last Shakedown in Washington. I got use to the features, because the next day I was going to slay it. Jess ended up winning the rail jam and we left the mountain pretty late. We got a hotel for only $100, pretty cheap compared to the other places who wanted a deposit of $1000! At least it was a nice hotel with big fluffy beds, and we were both so tired, we crashed right away.
The next day we got to sleep in and head to the mountain in the afternoon. Semi's started around 5pm or something, I liked how relaxed the whole comp was. The way this competition is set up is, you have a certain amount of time and within that time, you get to call 2 runs, and if you land what you say you're going to do, then you get your run scored. During the semi's I landed my first run with a 360 and then I called a 720, but failed to land perfectly. I still came in 2nd though. After a few hours of break time, it was finally time for the finals. All I had to do was land my 720 and I'd have 1st on lock. Standing at the top of the course, my heart started pumping so fast just looking down at the tiny people that resembled ants. My warm up was good, and I was finally ready to call my first run with a 360. I over-rotated and caught my heel edge and slammed against the snow. It gave me an instant headache, but I knew I had to refocus and land my next run. I took a few more practice runs before I was ready for my 2nd run. I wanted to try my 720, but so far no one had outdone my 360, and I knew I could at least place with my 3. I decided to play it safe, but it ended up biting me in the butt. After my clean run, Megan Ginter decided to call a 720, even though I've never even seen her land one, she did right then and there! I give her props for trying and succeeding and regret going for the easy win, when I could've probably beat her. Oh well, getting second at my first ever Shakedown comp was satisfying enough for me. I went out that night, and hung out with some of the Shakedown crew. Those french canadians are funny!
The next day, I got to hang out with the Billabong Team Manager Catherine at her and her boyfriend Yan's cabin not far from St. Sauvier. We had an awesome Easter BBQ and the next morning enjoyed French toast made by a real French man! Yan took me to the airport and everything! They were so nice, I owe them big...Hope they come to Utah some day! I wished I was going back to Utah, but my flight was to Denver where everyone on the team was spring riding at Keystone and Breckenridge. One more stop, then home....

Check out photo 4 on Snowboarder-mag.com's article on the 2010 Shakedown.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Ms. Superpark

Snowboarder Magazine brings together all the talented ladies once a year to shred a park specifically designed for us. This year it was held at Snow Summit, CA. Located right next to the famous Bear Mountain in the quiet little town of Big Bear Lake, a couple hours from Los Angeles. Every year my team goes there, but I've always missed out, so I was super stoked to finally get to go there. Funny enough, the canadian girls, Marie and Joanie, that I roomed with at the Billabong Flaunt It were also making the journey from Quebec to L.A. I didn't have a place to stay yet, and they hadn't rented a car yet, so we teamed up and I rented a PT Cruiser for all of us, and they let me sleep in their hotel room on a roll-away bed. (I ended up owing them $5)
Before we drove up to Big Bear, we wanted to check out Venice Beach since we were right there. Finding parking was so frustrating seeing how it was Sunday evening and everyone and their dog was out for a beach walk. After about an hour, we finally found a place not too far of a walk to the beach. There were vendors lined up to take tourist's money for their artwork, little restaurants with tables extending out into the sidewalk and many bikers and rollerbladers, and walkers crowding the sidewalk. We found a little restaurant that looked good and finally got to get some dinner. The sun was setting and the palm trees silhouette against the orange sky. It was beautiful. But time to go because we had quite the journey ahead of us.
I followed the GPS while the girls dosed off and we finally made it up the winding road and found our hotel late into the night.
We slept in, tired from traveling and adjusting to the 3 hour time difference. Today was a free day...we didn't have to be at Snow Summit until Tuesday. It was a gorgeous day, and I didn't want to pass up my chance to finally ride at Bear Mtn. We got up there for half day and rode the park top to bottom. They had so many different options it was hard to decide what to do every run. We saw girls we knew who were also there for Ms. Superpark. It was fun but short-lived. We were anxious to see the set up for the week, so we drove over to Summit to register and check it out. Nothing could be seen from the bottom and the lifts had already closed, so we would have to wait till tomorrow to see.
The next couple days brought some good weather, some wind and clouds, and a little bit of snow. But standing out no matter what was important because this was an opportunity of a lifetime. Anyone who knows about Superpark knows that what Pat Bridges thinks is crucial to you becoming pro. He is the senior editor of Snowboarder Mag and he is "The Eye" in snowboarding. He will take you from the bottom to the top if he sees potential in you. One night, when no one came back to get shots in the dark, Joanie, Mary Rand and I rolled up to the pole jam to wall ride set up where Jess Kimura was getting done with her shoot. She was over it, but we had just begun. It was the scariest thing I've ever hit, but I did it with confidence and started to get comfortable. We were there for probably 4 hours and finally, at 10pm, the photographer and I both accomplished our goals. It was a sick shot, and after about 50 times hitting it, a couple falls, and a lot of snowmobile rides back up to the top, it all worked out and I got the shot. (G.T.S.) How good of a shot, I'm not sure, but Bridges told me it could be cover worthy. Could be. I was tired, but my mind kept me up that night, thinking about how much fun my first photo shoot was. It had been 3 long days of trying to impress everyone, and now it was back to Montreal for the Shakedown. The season was coming to a close and only a few more events until a long break. I was excited but sad at the same time. It had been a long and successful year with bumps along the way...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Billabong Flaunt It Finals @ Mont Tremblant, Quebec

Due to my dislocated elbow, I changed my competition plans a bit. I decided to go to the Billabong Flaunt It Finals instead of the Roxy Chicken Jam. The TTR points weren't as great as the Chicken Jam, but going to the Flaunt It turned out to be a good decision. I hadn't snowboarded since I injured myself at the Shakedown in Washington, and I didn't know what to expect in Canada. I flew into Montreal and got a ride with the event coordinator's boyfriend Yan who was super cool. Mont Tremblant is about an hour, hour and a half from Montreal so we didn't get to our hotel room until pretty late. Catherine (event coordinator/team manager for Billabong) was waiting for us and checked us in right away. Billabong paid for my flight and room because I won the stop at Tahoe, thanks Billabong! It just so happened that I was rooming with Nicki and Natalie, two girls I shredded with in Argentina. There was also a couple Canadian girls I met who ended up traveling with me to the next couple events, but I'll explain more of that later. Everyone speaks french in Quebec, but most people speak english as well, so it wasn't too bad trying to communicate with them. French is awesome to listen to, it sounds so romantic and smooth- someday I will learn some!
So I get to the mountain a day before the comp and get to ride the icy hills of Tremblant with teammates Elin Torterice, Jessika Jenson and Mary Rand. The slopestyle course wasn't quite ready for us, but we got to check it out and get an idea of what will be going down the next day. I really don't know why people would want to ski there during those conditions- it was super icy and cold- welcome to the East Coast! It had been warm and slushy a couple days prior to us arriving so everything was frozen slush...yuck. But sometimes, you just have to roll with what's given to you. It was a nice relaxing day, not needing to be anywhere at any certain time. The village was so cute with Euro-type shops all the way down and a little gondola that took you from the bottom of the village to the top where you get on the lifts. My mom would've loved to go shopping there... good thing for her wallet she wasn't!
That night, Elin and I went to the grocery and got spaghetti to cook in the little kitchenette in my room, then we checked out some breakdancing that was going down. It was freezing out and even the dancers had a hard time staying warm. We didn't stay too long, and warmed our bones up in the hot tub at the hotel. After a laid back day, it was time to get rested up for the big day- slopestyle in the morning and rail jam in the afternoon.
The comp day turned out to be warmer and less windy so it was a great day to throw down. It was jam format, so no pressure on landing your first run. We each got about 3-4 runs to display our skills. There was a flat down box, then an option of a down box or down rail, then two jumps, not too big, not too small. I threw a cab 540 on the first jump then a backside 360 on the second jump. My last run I decided to lock in 1st place by landing my backside 720 on the second jump. I hadn't done it for awhile, but to my surprise, I stomped it. I won best trick and first place with it, so I'm so glad I went for it. After lunch, we headed back up for the rail jam. It was fun, but I didn't have any great tricks and was a little cautious because I didn't want to fall on my elbow. My friend Nicki was killin' it and thought for sure she'd podium, but they decided to give it to a couple other girls. I won $5,000 for slopestyle and $100 for best trick, a big Dakine travel bag, a couple goggles and tons of t-shirts and shwagg. And don't forget the best prize- a ceramic Nixon watch that's worth like $2,000! So in the end, it turned out to be a great comp! It was awesome shredding with all the ladies and meeting new friends! I will definately be doing some Flaunt It comps next year!

Search This Blog