Photo Credits: Chanelle Sladics, Adam Moran
I came to New Zealand with both high and low expectations… High expectations because it’s such a pure and beautiful country, with amazing nature and the best milk coffees ever! The low expectations was directed mostly towards the actual snowboard competition. This because the conditions and the weather has been very challenging the last years I have come here. The fact that I also came straight from the beach and it’s the first contest of the year made it’s contribution for my motivation. Anyways, expectations should be limited, weather they are bad or good, so let’s get to the fun part.
After a good 20 hours of traveling, I arrived in Wanaka, a mountain town on the South Island of New Zealand. The town is located by the beautiful Lake Wanaka and is also surrounded by spectacular mountains. The town is mostly based around outdoor opportunities, like for example canoeing, climbing, golfing, skydiving, skiing and snowboarding, but you can also enjoy a flat white at one of the many cute cafes and great restaurants, if you’re not up for that kind of action…
My expectations of bad weather never made it further then the next morning; I woke up to blue skies and warm temperatures and a pristine looking Lake outside my window.
The next days mostly got dedicated to practice for the competition up at Cardrona ski resort and getting a grip on my jet-lag. I was grateful for my jet-lag because there is something very special about driving up to the mountain early morning, watching the sun peaking out over the mountain tops, and actually being awake to enjoy it.
Another favorite moment driving up the steep roads to the mountain, was the random dude dressed as a woman, vacuuming the road by himself. The best part was actually that he had no cameras or friends to document his random activity… It was simply just for laughs!
Up at the mountain, the competition course were looking great, but the jumps were a bit larger than last year, so I was feeling the butterflies already. The 22 foot u-shaped piece of art aka the halfpipe, looked surprisingly good, a bit narrow but something to work with as the days went on. I enjoyed taking laps on the lift, getting my feet back on the board after a longer summer and slowly getting used to the competition courses. The contest days came up fast, with slopestyle semifinals to start off on thursday morning.
I landed one of my runs and qualified 4th, and was excited to get to ride the finals. The next day I landed my two first finals runs and ended up 2nd after the winner Jamie Anderson. My best run consisted of: 360 tap, 50-50 to backside boardslide, 50-50 to bs. 180 off the pole jam, cab 540 indy, fs. 720 mute and a fs 360 stalefish. The course and weather stayed perfect, actually the best conditions I have ever ridden here.
After the finals, I went straight to the pipe for the semifinals. I was pretty tired, but nothing beats some good old adrenaline when you are about to crash. I managed to pull off the best inverted 720 I have ever done, and made it to finals on 5th place, so the the day turned out to be pretty rad! I went to bed exhausted that night, but motivated to ride some more pipe…
After semifinals in pipe I was so tired and ready for bed that I almost forgot about the prize-giving. I made it to the podium just in time to get my moment of fame and congratulate the other girls and guys.
The next morning I tried some good old air-to-fakies in practice, but I was mainly focusing on pacing my energy, since I was running on fumes. The finals started and the first contest run that went down made everybody on the top go; wooohhhh! Spanish rider Queralt Castellet dropped in and did the biggest bs. 900 I have ever seen from a girl and set the standard for the rest of the day.
I was inspired by the American mafia, Kelly, Gretchen, Elena and Hannah, that did not disappoint! fs and bs 900’s, cab 720 and huge airs went down left and right. I laso surprised myself and landed a good run, witch earned me 6th place out of 8th riders in the finals. I also won the creative use of space award, for my air-to-fakie on the first hit, something that I feel very honored to win.
Big thanks to my sponsors, Roxy, Monster, DNB Nor and KAB for the amazing support. Special thanks to “coach of the week”, One Life team captain Chanelle Sladics for holding it down!