Thursday, 29 September 2011

Never Lose Your Confidence

Went to Milton Keynes snow dome again yesterday for a snowboarding afternoon. I felt like I was progressing really well, being able to switch from my edges faster and more consistently - which was ace. However, after I took a break and got back on it for some reason I got into the habit of turning my shoulders which inevitably made me fall over, and consequently I really hurt my coccyx. I lost all my confidence. That's probably the worst thing to have happen, especially when you know you can do it. After a couple more runs of throwing wobbly's I focused more on keeping my shoulders straight and using my head to guide me. I did spend a while over thinking about what I should be doing, but at least I left with a smile on my face when I could do it again! I guess these things happen when you're practicing something new, it's a good learning curve - you learn and get better by the mistakes you make.      

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Roxy Love

Tried out my new board the other day at Milton Keynes snow dome. Not sure how long this deal will last for because it was for the summer, but it's only £25 for 4 hours slope time - bargain! Took quite a while to get there, but was definitely worth it. Haha, I was actually quite worried because to get to the top of the slope there is only a button lift (which to remind everyone are those small black disks on long metal poles which you put between your legs and it pulls you along) and I've seen how many fails and bails have happened on the one above...HAHA, what a tool.

Fortunately I didn't fall over on it once or make a tit out of myself - I was very glad especially as right next to the lift all the really good freestyle riders were grinding rails and getting some serious air! So yup that was a success along with how much I am even more in love with my board! 

Compared to the board I had my lesson on at Tamworth, it's rapid!! - a very well waxed surface and the edges are sharp (I have magne-traction on my Ollie Pop board, which is where the edges are wavy like a butter knife, this creates additional contact points and a greater edge hold). I found after a while the snow became quite icy, so my board was kind of perfect for those conditions as it continued to still have ridiculously good grip. It also has BTX Banana Traction (rockered design underfoot for greater nose-to-tail contact) and new C2 Camber (which is basically 2 cambers, one under each foot - camber means the curvature of the base of the snowboard which effects handling and carving) The rocker/camber definitely made it more stable, and overall I think it's a board that won't limit what you want to do on it. Can't wait to get back on it! 

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A Little Something Motivational...

I came across this quote today, and wanted to share it: 

'The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.' 
- Lao Tzu (Chinese Philosopher)

I know it doesn't really have anything to do with snowboarding, but I feel with everything I've been through over the past couple of months what with me desperately trying to organise Whistler, and other things that have gone on in my life, it's important to remember to always believe in yourself and be motivated in the things you want to achieve in life however good or bad your world is swaying. 

I thought this would be a good quote to remember, especially when things aren't going so well, because it shows hope that when you actively try and get somewhere and get the ball rolling it can, and will, open so many doors through which you'll be able to achieve so many things you may never have thought possible. 

Don't feel afraid to turn to someone for help as well. Everything always works out. :) 

My Inspiration

A bit about Erin Comstock: 

  • Grew up in Lake Tahoe 
  • Began skiing at the age of 2 and racing at 4 years old
  • At the age of 12 she was obsessed with snowboarding
  • Sponsors: Roxy, Vans, Active, Park City and Rockstar Energy 
  • She started competing at the age of 15 and has been in lots of competitions since as well as being in numerous films and on the front of magazine covers
  • She's 33 now and still travels around the world snowboarding
  • Stance: Regular
  • Favourite Trick: BS 540's and BS 180's

It's awesome there are talented female snowboarders out there, big inspiration!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Roller Coaster

Organising Whistler is literally turning out to be a roller coaster ride. Gawwwd. Now I'm not going until the end of January! Spoke to a really nice girl yesterday on the phone and she was telling me about how she did it last year, and that visa's for the new year came out on boxing day. I really hope this is the case for 2012 one's because then (well my plan is...) to go out late January when I have my visa and stay out there working until the end of the season. I guess at least I have a good job I enjoy for the time being where I can earn money up until I go. Positive to take out of it, I'll have more money saved to take away with me. 

If you're enjoying watching snowboarding video's, if you haven't already, check out another of Curt Morgan and Travis Rice's films. This one was made in 2008....

Monday, 19 September 2011


So I'm booking my single flight to Vancouver this afternoon, leaving on 8 December. There is so much to sort out though, after that I need to arrange my transfer that will take me over to Whistler, then have to book somewhere to stay. My thoughts on that are a hostel for a week and then hopefully I'll be able to find proper accommodation. I also need to remember to buy travel insurance as well. 

It sucks I'm from England really, I always envy those who have learnt from such a young age due to them living near mountains - it being second nature to them. It's such an expensive sport to love and want to do a lot though, sob, it will be gutting if I come back quite good, and then not be able to go out again for a while. I guess for me it will be a hard hit back into reality when I return. 

I was thinking the other day though how awesome it would be to just work in an amazing mountain resort, but then it occurred to me what would I do in the summer chipped in...could always go to New Zealand when our summer is their winter...ideal! 

Who knows, might become a pro, get sponsored and be able to do it for the rest of my life...hmm in my dreams! 

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

What Is Possible...

Watched 'The Art of Flight' last night and words literally cannot express what a jaw dropping film it is. For starters the cinematography is overwhelmingly brilliant - nothing but the best from state-of-the-art film making equipment. The soundtrack is awesome too, exactly as I expected, including Ghosts N' Stuff (Nero Remix) by Deadmau5...absolute choon, have a listen below. Everyone check out this Travis Rice and Curt Morgan film, you will certainly be blown away and gripping the edge of your seat as the best snowboarders of our time go on their quest of riding untouched mountain ranges - John Jackson, Travis Rice, Scotty Lago, Mark Landvik...absolute legends!

Monday, 12 September 2011


Within the world of snowboarding and skiing it seems there is much debate over which is 'coolest'. To be honest, speaking from a girl who used to ski and now boards, I think both are incredible sports and both are as 'cool' as each other. So now we've got that cleared up...I can talk about how boarders (and equally skiers) make themselves look awesome on the slopes. 

Here's a check list:

  • Baggy pants - girls check out Nikita clothing, I have the Isotope pants in black/grey/white, they are awesome.
  • Matching jacket - Again this is personal preference but I think matching jacket and pants look good, I have the Cyclops jacket .....take a look....>>>
  • Gloves/Socks - Warm hands and feet = happy you. (I know because I'm the girl with bad circulation in those two places!) Make sure you buy thick gloves with an inner glove. It makes all the difference. If you know you suffer from cold hands, Burton do some really great gloves, as well as Dakine. A lot of people would recommend Mittens, depends on your preference. If you want dexterity in your hands and fingers don't get them. Don't forget to wear a pair of decent thick woollen socks, only wear one pair at a time though, common misconception by many thinking that if you wear two or three pairs your feet will be warmer. Wrong. 
  • Beanie/Helmet - Don't listen to anyone when they say wearing a helmet is gay. It's a lot 'cooler' to still have a brain that works if you end up wrapping yourself around a tree or rock! So please, especially for beginners...wear a helmet! Two brands I'd recommend: Bern and Red.
  • Goggles - Lets face it sunglasses are not appropriate eye wear for the mountain, especially when you're pro-ing out all over the place, hehe, sooo decent goggles are essential. I have a pair of Dragon's (only thing is they don't do fully mirrored lens) so if you want a pair like that go for Von Zippers. Another good make are Electric. A word about Oakley, massively overpriced. Also don't forget about the different coloured lenses you can some research before you invest in a pair. My lens is pink ion which is best suited for bright sunny conditions. 
  • Bandana - Not really essential, but definitely something to wear to keep your nose warm, although to be honest, I have one and it kept it warm for about half an hour before all the condensation from me breathing made it soaking, ha, so yeah. Although saying that I've heard this Oakley Europe bandana is pretty good and keeps quite dry. To be honest, bandanas are always good to wear around your neck anyway to keep it warm. Plus...they always look cool when you're geared up and have your goggles on! 
Oakley Europe Bandana
in Blue

Everyone knows what an expensive sport snowboarding and skiing is, so don't expect outerwear and accessories to come cheaply, although the wonders of the internet and discounts! If there is something you find you like in a shop, make sure you jot down the full name of whatever it is and check on the net first before buying it...odds are you can find it cheaper on there.  

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Edge to Edge

So I had my snowboarding lesson yesterday at Tamworth snowdome. Not only did I get an extra hour for free because the instructor I was meant to have called in sick...but I was in a group of only four and the instructor, Andy T, happened to be a complete legend - declaring me recreational standard by the end! :) 
Can't wait to try out my
Ollie Pop board now!

I always found 'turning' really hard. My failures previously were due to me trying to swing my whole body round to turn the board - fatal error! Andy told me to stop thinking about it as 'turning' the board and think about it in terms of just changing your edges. That way helped me a lot, and when I was managing to do it successfully, it really occurred to me how important but fairly effortless just looking in the direction you want to go is, as well as keeping your arms glued to your side, (to stop you corkscrewing around as you'll unbalance yourself if you move your arms around a lot = falling on your arse) and the slight movements in your toes and heels enabling you to switch edges. I think everyone should call turning a snowboard, edging!

I guess everyone gets taught in a different way, but I most certainly would recommend any beginners to have a lesson there. It's pricey, but every single penny was well spent. Lovely atmosphere, instructor's that actually know what they are talking about and an easy place to get to. Plus, I tried out my new boots and they are spot on, can't really fault them in anyway. Great day! 

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

A Happy Post

Erin Comstock - Roxy rider
and massive inspiration!
Even though I'm still annoyed with myself for not being able to get my IEC visa...I've come to the conclusion that there is light at the end of every tunnel however rubbish it is, meaning I'm still going to Canada! Yay :D . Apparently British Citizens who have owned a passport for over 10 years, as of this June, don't need a temporary visiting visa and can stay just over 6 months without one. So that's what I'm going to do, go for a few months funding myself with money I make back home. That means one thing - more time on the slopes, hopefully I'll be a pro by the time I come back. Eeee. 

So excited for tomorrow though, two hour snowboarding lesson, I hope I don't make too much a tit of myself. I'll let you know....

Monday, 5 September 2011

A Rant

Well it looks like I'm not going to Whistler anymore to do a season. The IEC (International Experience Canada) visa I needed closed taking applications on August 9th. This however was not written in massive bold print on the Canadian High Commission's website or really seemed to be of importance at all. Then when I checked on the BUNAC website apparently they ran out of their 5,000 visas in July! 

I know it's my fault - I should have just applied a lot earlier and this will be one of the biggest regrets of my life. I just don't think it's fair, what happened to spontaneity, for those people after they finished school or uni to realise actually I do want to take a gap year or a couple of months off doing something I only really have one opportunity to do, and now is it, to find out that they can't do it because they came up with the idea too late. From reading forums and something which I'm going to pass on, BUNAC applications for 2012 IEC visa's will likely be opening mid-January (apparently that's what happened this year), but it takes a couple of months, meaning you won't actually get it until March some time. Meaning if you're reading this and thinking about doing a season in Canada for winter 2012 just apply asap as soon as applications open again. No one even told me there you go. 

Urghh, the one time I'm not as organised as I normally am and it costs me my dream of doing a snowboarding season in a country I've never been to and have always wanted to go to. Sods law I guess.

What I'm taking away from this pile of crap a situation is literally just be over organised when it comes to planning going off travelling. Correct research on good websites which gives you valuable information about what's needed in order to apply for visa's, jobs etc is vital and don't listen to anyone who says there's no rush.. otherwise you're bound to get disappointed. I hope this at least depicts the devastation and that you really never want this to happen to you...I don't think I've ever felt this flat before in my life, especially as a university graduate who's now lost in this world of unemployment and rubbish economic climate. Great.

Apologies for this rant. 

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Comfy Feet

A good pair of snowboard boots = essential

I wanted a pair that felt really comfy, sturdy, had a good lacing system, were easy to get on and off and that looked girly - the girly girl I am! There's a lot to think about when buying a pair, especially your first so take time over it, trying on different makes allowing you to get a feel of them. Also be careful about sizes - make sure they fit when you're wearing thick suitable boarding socks AND don't forget a lot of them are in american sizes ie. a UK 6 will be a US 8.5 and so on, so just double check, especially if you're buying them over the net.

After doing lots of research, reading endless reviews, and trying on different styles...I found the boots made for me! They are the women's Nike Zoom Force 1 in turquoise and white. I will let you know how I get on with them when I try them out for real on Wednesday, but from walking around the house with them on they are everything I wanted in a boot (mentioned above). From the reviews I've read apparently they are one of the comfier boots around. The lacing system took me a while to figure out, but once I got the hang of it - simples! Nike's pretty new to bringing out snowboarding products but I think their stuff will be popular. Also a big plus their designs are awesome and they literally look like a pair of sweet high tops! Will be good for walking around the mountain in...even the resort...and who knows, just general day wear, or red carpet like Pharrell Williams...... HA!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Bargain Boards

If you're looking to buy some snowboard or ski stuff for this up and coming season, look no further than 'Bargain Boards'. A really good, reliable and easy to use website which has some cracking sales on. Not only that but delivery is speedy and everything I've bought has turned up in great condition. Lovely people as well who are right on the other end of the phone if you want to inquire about anything. 

Check it out: