Monday, 10 December 2012

Copper North American Cup

On saturday the 8th of December I competed in the North Face Park and Pipe Open at Copper mountain. It was a fairly early start as the rest of the team and I had to be there for quarter to 8. That meant I was up at half past 6. Practise started at quarter past 8 and it lasted 45 minutes. In that time I only managed to get 3 runs. It gets really hectic in practise because everyone is trying to get as many runs as possible to everyone skips the queue.




I was really happy that I landed my first run and that meant I could try and up my second run. On my second run I did a 1260 on the my third hit. I hadn't done one since I had been in NZ but since I had done a lot I managed to land on my feet.

I finished up 22nd overall which I am really happy with. It was a really tough field so 22nd is a good result. I managed to beat people like Jossi Wells, Noah Bowman and tyler Seaton which I was pleased with as they are Xgames skiers.






After we the guys competition the rest of the team went and watched the girls compete. One of the team members Rowan Cheshire qualified for the finals. It was a great result for her and for the team. Unfortunately none of the other girls qualified.


As you can see by the photo weather wasn't great. But it was just good to get a run down and since it is early on its something to work with. It means I know what I have to work on and I know what is working well so it helps me progress.

Here is a short video of my run. Enjoy....




Monday, 3 December 2012

Copper Training

After spending some time in Denver I went down to Frisco. The British Ski and Snowboard team moved into a big house in the centre of town. It is incredible. It is a 9 bedroom place. It has jacuzzi and a games room. Since the whole team is together it's a really good vibe and everyone is motivated to go to training and work hard.

The team and I have been training at Copper Mountain because it is the only resort with a halfpipe open at the moment. It is an amazing pipe as always but since it is one of the first open in North America it is absolutely mobbed. It is ridiculously busy. All the different teams are training there. Both snowboard and ski.






The lap for the pipe is quite long. So to make a bit more interesting I downloaded an app for my phone that tracks the speed you have gone. I managed to go faster than a car on the motorway at home.




If we are not skiing we go to a trampoline facility called Woodward. It is basically a soft play area for adults. It has trampolines, foam pits, a sprung floor and even a snowflex jump into a foam pit.
It is a great place to learn and practise new tricks.



Videos to follow........


The local magazine at home did an article of one of the girls on the development team and myself while I was away. I was really happy to get an interview and especially to have it in my local magazine.




Monday, 26 November 2012

Denver

On the 21st of November I flew out to Denver, Colorado for the majority of the winter. I have a friend who has a golf scholarship to Denver University so I spent a few days being a tourist around the city. It was really good fun as most of the time I don't actually get to see the cities I fly into or resorts I am training in. It made a bit of a difference having a few days free.

On the first night I was there I was lucky enough to go and watch the DU basketball team play. And two nights later I got to watch the hockey team play. Unfortunately they both lost. But it was enjoyable all the same. The amazing thing was they played both games in the same stadium. So as soon as the basketball was finished they had to lift the floor and get the rink up and water on it so as to freeze it.






The day after I arrived it was Thanksgiving. I was lucky enough to be invited to the head golf coaches house with her family for a meal and a bit of a gathering after. It was really weird for me as it felt like I was celebrating christmas in November. It was a really great evening though.






On my last day before I went up to Breckenridge Mountain I went skiing at a resort called Winterpark. I hadn't been there since I was about 13 when I did a tour round the USA with channel 5. There was not much snow so it meant that they only had 3 runs open which was rubbish but it was really enjoyable to be back on skis and on snow.





On the way up to Breckenridge I stopped off at a place called Redrock. It is a big stadium/music arena/amphitheatre. They hold gigs etc. in it. It was really impressive seeing some of the information about it. They had 3 million workers on from 1936-1942.




More updates to come soon about Breck. Stay tuned!



Wednesday, 21 November 2012

STV

Last week I managed to do an interview for STV news which is a TV channel in Scotland! I was really lucky to get asked to do it and it was a great chance to promote British skiing.


http://local.stv.tv/edinburgh/magazine/201508-heaven-is-a-half-pipe-for-edinburgh-skier-hoping-to-make-it-to-the-top/


There is a short link to the interview and the article. Hope you enjoy it.



Sunday, 18 November 2012

Scottish Dry Slope Freestyle Champs

On Saturday the 17th of November I went to Bearsden Ski & Snowboard Club for the Scottish Dryslope Championships. It was originally a big air and quarter pipe event but it turned into purely a big air competition.



The Slope

I made it through to Glasgow for lunch time and got a quick bite to eat and managed to catch up with a lot of people I hadn't seen in a while before practise started. Practise went really well but it was really busy as there was a lot of competitors. A lot of youngster turned up for the event which is a good thing as it shows the grass roots skiing coming through.


Quick Bite To Eat
www.stevenmckenna.co.uk

It was a two run qualification for skiers and snowboarders. I managed to qualify in first which I was really pleased with as I felt I was skiing reasonably well. My runs were a switch 720 truck driver followed by a switch 900 japan. I managed to land both of them which gave me a bit of confidence for the finals.


The final was a three run format and your best two runs were combined to give you an overall. It was a really good format which benefitted me as I am quite a consistent skier so I was able to put down three solid runs. First run I did a switch 720 truck driver. Second run I landed another switch 900 japan and since I had landed both those and was feeling good I tried a switch 1080. I landed it and rode away. Since I had qualified in first I was dropping in last as it was reverse order and other such as Chris McCormick and Grant Donald had landed two really good tricks it put a bit of pressure on me. 



www.stevenmckenna.co.uk





www.stevenmckenna.co.uk

Everyone rode really well all day and I was especially happy from Chris McCormick who had just come back from a serious knee injury and was skiing incredibly well. Even after the competition everyone kept skiing and snowboarding. It was a really big session. It was a great event and would like to say thanks to Snowsports Scotland for organising it as well as the sponsors Freeze Pro Shop and Bawbags Underwear for supporting it!

Friday, 16 November 2012

STV Interview & Bawbags Warehouse

This morning the guys at Freeze Pro Shop managed to sort me out with an interview with STV. It was short notice but I wasn't going to pass up an opportunity like that. I drove up in the morning and wasn't sure what to expect. Turned out that they just wanted a chat and then to film me doing a bit of skiing.




After the interview I just skied as I normally would and they moved about and filmed me. It was really enjoyable to ski at Hillend again after the weekend seeing as it was packed with student and now it was quiet. 





The main reason was to find out about the British team and also about support that is place. They managed to get a hold of Midge Whyte who is one of the partners at Bawbags Underwear who are sponsoring the team this year. 



Midge Whyte
After the interview Midge invited me out to the Bawbags warehouse to see how things were run. I was very impressed when I went out. It was all very well set up and organised. Thankfully Midge let me wander round and pick up a few pairs of boxers. Including the new GB Freeski Team boxers.



They are called the Cool De Sacs. Which is a new style they have just started doing this year. With 100% of the profits going to the team. 




http://www.bawbags.com/acatalog/info-58.html     That is the link to the website where you can buy them. Just be sure to use the code GBFREESKI.

Keep and eye out for the STV interview soon! 


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Bawbags Underwear

One of my current sponsors Bawbags Underwear has just released a limited edition of Cool de Sacs in association with GB Freeski. They have been made to help support the Gb team financially. The proceeds from 1000 pairs goes directly to the athletes - like myself. It is such a generous thing for them to do and I am very grateful to have them as a sponsor!









They come in a girls and guys version- use the code GBFREESKI at the checkout!


Thank You Bawbags!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

BUDs

On Saturday I went up to Hillend Ski Centre for the British University Dryslope championships. Even though I am not at university they run a ProAm event each year which is sponsored by Freeze Pro Shop. It is not a huge event but it is amazing fun. There is always a lot of people watching and they play good music so it's a really good atmosphere.










It was the university competition on during the day and then at night it was the ProAm. It was really good fun to be able to ski in at as Sketch from Syndicate Clothing was commentating. It is very limited but some of his comments are reasonably funny. 


It was a jam session format so basically everyone was just riding their friends. It was a really good vibe and by this point all the racing had finished so everyone came over to watch on the jump slope. I managed to win the ProAm which I was really pleased about as it was the 3rd or 4th year in a row I had won. 




http://www.stevenmckenna.co.uk/




http://www.stevenmckenna.co.uk/


Overall it was a great weekend and I had a lot of fun. Afterwards we all ended up going to the prize giving and there was a band playing. It turned out to be a good evening as well. 

BUDS 2012 Highlights from BUSC Events on Vimeo.






Here is a short video from the weekend. I am in at about 4.57 I think! Enjoy! 


Monday, 5 November 2012

Ski and Snowboad Show

After the Freeze Festival I spent a couple of nights in London and then on the 30th I went of to the Ski and Snowboard show at Earls Court. I was coaching for the whole show which I was super pleased with as it was a great opportunity to spend the week down there.





I was coaching on a small beginners slope. My job was to coach the general public how do to freestyle skiing such as sliding a box or going off a kicker. Also the Ski And Snowboard Show had an airbag provided by the Airbag.net. The point of the airbag is so that the public would be able to practise doing tricks without worrying about hurting themselves as the airbag was a soft landing in comparison to the slope.

The Airbag

The organiser has arranged a competition to be held on this airbag for the general public and it was judged by Eddie The Eagle! It was really nice to meet him as he is a past olympian and since that is my goal he could relate to what we were trying to do long term!


The Coaches With Eddie The Eagle 

They also organised a competition called The Battle at the Brits. It was a rail jam and it was amazing fun! I managed to win it which came as a bit of a shock but it was amazing. It was such a fun event and I had a great time competing in it. A lot of people were they and they all entered as well. 



James Webb and I at the top

Closed eyes at the bottom of the slope
The jump was really good fun. I managed to do a front flip on it! It was very small but still reasonable easy so we had a little session on it one day with the rest of the coaches!




It was a really fun week and I was very thankful to be part of it. I would recommend to anyone that is able to get to the show next year. Do it! It is worth the travel.





Relentless Freeze

On the 26-27th of October I was in London competing at the Battle Of Britain at the London Freeze. It is a skiing and Snowboarding event next to the iconic Battersea Power Station.


Battersea Power Station


I travelled down on the thursday night and stayed at a friends house from London. On the friday I went to the event and competed in the competition. It is a big structure made out of scaffolding and snow put up just for this single event. It is so big that it requires a lift to the top of the drop in to hit the jump.









Top of the run in

Colin Holden and I at the top before my run



It was a daytime event with the internationals later on in the evening. I managed to finish up 8th over all which I was really happy and pleased with how I had done. I mainly ski in the halfpipe so it was the first time in over 5 months I had hit a big jump. It was a really fun event and I am glad to be part of it!


On the Saturday it was the snowboarding. A lot of my friends were competing that day so I went along to show some support. Billy Morgan who is a good friend of mine won the international event. It was great to watch and it was a really impressive performance by him. 



Here is the video from the Freeze of the international skiing event later on!








That is Paddy Graham doing a backflip on his final run at the London Freeze! Very impressive!


The following week I was at the London Ski and Snowboard Show so there will be another post about that very shortly!




Monday, 15 October 2012

Westbeach In and Out

On the 13th of October I went to Bearsden Ski Centre for the Westbeach In and Out contest. It was basically a big air event but since there was also a quarter pipe they decided to have a session on that as well. People from all around the Uk came because it is/was such a good event.




It was a tough competition because it was a long day's skiing as well as a lot of great competitors. The format was a jam session qualifier into a jam session final followed by a two run super final. The two run super final was a combined score which meant you had to be really consistent. This benefitted me because I ride at Bearsden a lot and I am used to the slope!







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Thankfully I was having a great day and managed to come out on top. There were a lot of good skiers riding but I ended up with the win which I was really pleased with! In the final I did a switch 900 japan and a switch 720 truck driver.






Tom Coe, Me, Chris Wadsworth

It was a great event and I would like to say thanks to Westbeach for putting it on! The next one is on November the 9th in Milton Keynes! Hope to see you there!

Friday, 7 September 2012

New Zealand Update

On the 10th of August I flew out to New Zealand to train for a month whilst doing two competitions. It took a ridiculously long time to get down here as I had to travel across London whilst the Olympics was going on to change airports as well as an 8 hour stop over in China and a night in Aukland. It took over 64 hours from door to door. It was worth it though. It is an amazing place. The views are incredible.

View from Cadrona mountain


The first competition was a FIS World Cup in Cadrona. It was the first Olympic qualifier for Sochi. I managed to finish 23rd which I am really pleased with as it is part of the qualifying criteria to stay inside the top 30 for the whole season. So I am off to a good start. There was a lot of good skiers there such as Torin Yater-Wallace and Thomas Kreif. Thankfully it was really good weather for this event unlike the NZ Open. I didn't manage to make the finals but still did a decent run that had a left side 1260 and a right side 900. 




Top of the Cadrona halfpipe




Once the WC had finished in Cadrona, we started training at the famous Snow Park. It was a bit surreal really as you always saw it in movies and things and thought it would be somewhere that you would never end up going. And then a couple of years later you are there training beside all these guys. 

It is a great resort(if you could call it that?) It only has one lift and the whole mountain is of man made snow as well as all just being a park! It had a really good halfpipe. It was very different from Cadrona so it took a bit of getting used to. The weather held up until the day of the competition which was a bit of a shame. The conditions weren't ideal. It hadn't frozen the night before so the halfpipe was really slushy and soft. Since the weather wasn't great they bypassed the qualifications and went straight into semi's. I landed both my runs which I was really please with as the lead up to the competition didn't go as well as planned. 
Snow Park
Halfpipe at Snow Park


I managed to finish 22nd. Which was a better result than in the WC. So I was really pleased that in a week I had bumped up one place. There was more competitors in this event as well as it was a non-FIS event. It was really good fun. Very relaxed but everyone was focused at the same time. 

I travel home tomorrow so I will have a long trip back to get an edit together. So make sure to check back soon! 

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Saas Fee

For the past two weeks I have been training in Saas Fee, Switzerland and it has been amazing. It was a really tough two weeks but definitely worth it. The pipe wasn't as big as I had hoped but it was still in really good condition.
Halfpipe


Since Whistler I had been practising a lot of my tricks onto the airbag so it was time to take a lot of them back to halfpipe as I wanted to be able to put a run together for New Zealand. I was trying lots of different combinations of tricks and one of them was an un-natural flare to a 1080. This is how the end of run will hopefully look.









The weather in Saas Fee this year was the best I have ever seen it. It was really cold in the mornings on the glacier and then warm in the afternoon. In the afternoons we tended to do fitness. This included sprints, core work and flexibility work. I was happy to do it though as it was outside in the sun. If we didn't do fitness I had some time to myself. We did lots of different activities like football. One of the evenings a big group of us went down hill scootering. It was far from safe! We all wore helmets so it made it safe!





Scooter Gang

Another some more of us went down to Visp, which is a small town about an hour away from Saas. It is a really scenic drive down through the valley and on the way down there is the most amazing waterfall! It was really incredible!



Ben Kinnear and myself


Waterfall

It was a long lift ride up to the top of the glacier. It took about 45 minutes to an hour. It was worth it though as it had a really good view of the whole mountain. You got to see the bottom of the glacier as well as all the ski runs. It was strange seeing them without snow on them as they still had piste markers and crash pads.

On the first day of the second week I was training a full run with a variety of tricks that I would use in my run. I had a bit of a hard crash on my right side 900 and managed to knock myself out. I also managed to crack my helmet. Luckily I always wear one. It would have been a lot worse if I wasn't. It possibly saved my life! So make sure to always use a helmet regardless what you are doing.




Broken helmet that saved my head






On the 10th of August I am off to New Zealand so hopefully there will be more stuff to put on my blog!