So this year i have decided to enter more Freeride World Tour Qualifier events and to really push myself. Its weird as i hate the build up to the events, i get sick to the stomach nervous.....but for some reason i carry on. I like the mix of nerves and excitement plus the challenge of picking your line, using the features of the mountain to fit my strengths and hopefully Impress the judges.
That feeling when you drop in is hard to describe, all the nerves go away and everything becomes still and your in the moment.
The NZ Freeski is one of the best qualifiers on the tour, the level is so high and the atmosphere is electric. Everyone is amped, both spectators and competitors....its a unique environment.
After having one day already called off due to bad weather and bulletproof snow, Thursday was definitely a banger. There was a fresh top up of snow and it was a bluebird day. The snow warmed up nicely although it still made landings tough.
The snowboarders dropped first to take full advantage of the fresh snow, and they definitely showed we can hold out own. This was the first year that snowboarders were allowed into the NZ Freeski, and we justified our lace in the comp. Everyone picked great lines. We don't go as big as the skiers, but we are definitely creative, picking technical lines matched with big 20 foot drops.
This one didnt go to plan for me, i thought i had a good chance of making the finals but unfortunatly i messed up my run. I missed my entry point at the top, which kind of through me off course. I managed to find a mid sized drop into fresh snow, but i had missed so many of my hits that i knew it was already to late. I ended the run with a technical big drop that was hard to get into and only one other skier hit, unfortunately i crashed on the landing and that pretty much put the nail in the coffin for my run.
I was pretty disappointed with myself but shit happens, especially in comps where you have just the one run. I had never snowboarded that face before and you could tell a few of the other guys knew exactly where to go but thats the beauty of the Freeride Tour.....you just don't know whats going to happen.
Overall it was one of the best comps i have entered, the standard of riding was insane, the atmosphere was killer, the scenery was breathtaking and the people who ran the event should be very happy. I can't wait for more comps this coming winter.
The North Face
Freeride World Tour
NZ Skier Magazine