Wow, it's been awhile since i last wrote something, partly down to laziness but mostly down to the NZ season being on point. Mother nature took its sweet time, but it was oh so worth it!
We had one of the biggest dumps of snow that NZ has seen for a long time and then it just kept on being topped up with cold snowy nights followed by sunny mornings. I have been trying to challenge myself with bigger drops and more technical features of which Treble Cone has more than you can shake a stick at. Im slowly discovering that its a mental state, there is obviously skill involved but there is a point where you plateau out and taking that next step is purely in the mind........everyone has the fear but the next step involves harnessing it and using it to match what you want to achieve.
For me 'the fear' had been stopping me from stepping up to bigger drops but i'm slowly getting over it and beginning to see that i can do it if i have confidence. It's kind of refreshing to be going so far out of my comfort zone but i'm really enjoying my riding now because of it.
New Zealand are stepping up their game in freeride competitions now with the newly rebranded "The North Face Frontier' which allows Skiers and Snowboarders to compete in a 2 star and 4 star FWTQ event. I had qualifier for the 2 Star but missed out on 4 Star qualification by one space (4 star places are allocated by your world ranking number)
The 2 star was on the same face as last year, The Shadow Basin at 'The Remarkables' . NZ is different in the fact the face can be skied even up to the day before the event, which means if you want then you can practise.
I couldn't get over there to do this, and looking back i wished i had made the effort to do so. On the day the weather was perfect although the snow was pretty firm, but that's why these events are so great....you normally have to ride in far from perfect conditions.
Snowboarders were running towards the end this time around so that conditions could soften a little bit, this meant i had a lot of time to pick my line....sometimes a good thing and sometimes bad. I always find a line but then change my mind a few times, which is super stressful. This time i was pretty confident with my choice, one big drop at the top of the venue, followed by a smaller one, then on the second half of the face i had another big drop followed by a final one. It looked like a nice flowy line with not much traversing and i could put some powerful turns in.
Nerves play a big part before dropping in, everyone deals with it in their own way. I tend to go quiet and think my line through, but as soon as my name is called i get excited and seem to calm down.
The first drop went perfectly and i sent it a lot further then i realised i would, landing further than some of the skiers, annoyingly i couldn't shut down enough speed to hit my next drop. I tried to put in some nice turns but found the snowy pretty bumpy and my technique let me down a bit, i lined up my next big drop but i didn't hit it fall line like i wanted to, instead i came off to the side meaning i landed heavily on my toe edge sending me into a mini ragdoll and missing the final drop.
Without that fall it would have been a great run, the MC even saying i had been sending it, but it doesnt matter if you can't land it. I was pretty disappointed with myself for a while, but now i'm looking forward to the next one. It's a learning process with freeride and the only way you learn is by getting it wrong!
The competition was incredible and watching all the other competitors was so inspiring. I cant believe how high the level was.
Hats off to The North Face and Freeride World Tour for such a great comp and The Remarkables for giving us such a fun venue.