Thursday, 29 January 2015

World Championships

After Breckenridge I was lucky enough to spend a few days at home which was nice. But next up was the World Championships. It was a big event and I knew it was a good opportunity to get a good result as a lot of the top athletes were at X-Games. I was only going to be out in Austria for 5 days, so I knew I had 5 days hard work then I was home again for a bit of R&R.

I flew into Munich and then had to get a train to Salzburg where I got a lift to Kreischberg. It was in the middle of nowhere. The travel out wasn't too bad as I met up with one of the other halfpipe skiers in London. We ended up getting into the hotel at 11.30pm because the travel day was that long.

The next day we had our first open practise. Safe to say this didn't go well for me. I was in all my new kit which was great but it just took some time to get used to. It was also the first time I had skied competitively since my surgery. Well both my surgeries for that matter. I struggled and I wasn't feeling very confident. Since the event was at night and it was night training it meant the halfpipe was really icy. It was an excellent shape and I really loved it but it just made it slightly more daunting because it was glass.



The second practise went so much better for me. Everything seemed to click and I felt confident again. My run wasn't the best I had ever done but I was making it work. It felt really nice to be skiing back on point after having a tough couple of months on skis. Practise is fairly long so it is difficult to sustain the same amount of effort you would put into comp day. Thankfully Jamie knows us well enough to call it early or keep us riding depending on how we are skiing. Sometimes it is better to be fresh for the next day rather than ski into the ground the day before.



It was competition day and I was feeling good. Training went reasonably well. I was pretty happy but also nervous. I am usually nervous so it was a really good thing. I felt back to normal. Much to my disappointment the contest didn't go my way though. I messed up both my runs and it cost me badly. On my first run I missed a few of my grabs. Which meant I was docked a lot of points. And on my second run I messed up my right side 720. I ended up 19th place which is really not what I was wanting. I was disappointed and very gutted about how I'd done.

It turned out to be a real eye opener that it was going to take some time to get back to my best. I wouldn't be able to just come back just as strong as I was before. It has made me more determined and focused to get back on top and start pushing myself again. After reviewing my run I have lost a lot of the basics of my halfpipe skiing. Now I know I need to go and work on them because without the basics I will constantly be struggling with the big tricks.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Animal Edit

This season I am lucky enough to be part of the Animal ski team! I feel very privileged to be a part of this team with the likes of James Webb and snowboarder Dom Harrington.

I was lucky enough to spend a few weeks in Colorado filming with Josh Birch for my Welcome edit provided with Animal. I was really happy with how it turned out. Unfortunately due to weather and a couple of little niggles I wasn't quite able to get some tricks I wanted. But I enjoyed working with Josh and will hopefully get to again in the future!




Thursday, 8 January 2015

Colorado

On the 1st of December I flew to Denver to finally get back on ski's after a really chilled summer. Unfortunately it did not quite have the ending to the time off I had planned. I ended up getting an inguinal hernia and it turned out to be a slightly bigger set back than I expected. It turned out to be 4 weeks post op till I was back on skis and then another 2 weeks after that till training properly again.

After a slight bit of bad luck I got some good news. One of the Snowboarders, Ben Kilner, through a friend got a couple of us box seats to a Bronco's game. It was my first ever NFL game and it was an amazing experience. It's very different from any other sporting event I have been to. There was hardly any away fans.






Later that night the 4 of us drove back to Frisco where we were living so the next day we could get back on top of training. But very rarely did the weather cooperate with me this season. It seemed to wind, snow or flat light which made things very frustrating. When things did clear I knew I would have to take it easy since I was coming back from the hernia surgery. But after a summer off it felt amazing to be back on skis. The first couple of weeks back skiing were spent at Keystone mainly as not much was open in Breckenridge. They were still in the process of making snow and getting things ready.





As soon as Breckenridge opened that is where I wanted to ride as it has one of the best halfpipes in the world. Along with arguably the best park(if the weather holds out). The weather was good for the first few days and then it came in just in time for christmas. It was a blessing in disguise as it meant me and the rest of the team staying out over the festive period could relax a bit and not stress to much about learning new tricks and training. All of us could just switch off and have a bit of fun.

After the New Year I knew it was time to get my head down and start working hard again. I had a filming project with Josh Birch which I really wanted to concentrate on. So the majority of my focus went into that. I found it to be a good way to get through a big trick list because I wanted a lot of them in the edit. It was really easy working with Josh as we both had a fairly good understanding of what we wanted/needed out of each other. I have faith that he will make a good edit and I am really excited about seeing it!





The next trip for me is the World Championships in Austria. I fly to Munich next weekend for the week. It will be my first contest since the Olympics so I am really excited to compete and hopefully I can get my run down. I might be a bit rusty but I think I will manage ok!




PS. I don't expect anyone to read any of that. All I do is look at the pictures...

Some big news coming soon! Hope you all enjoy.