Snowboard Holiday

Firstly, apologies for not putting out a blog post last week although I feel I have good reason and will divulge further on that later but for now, I am back! After spending a week in La Plagne with friends snowboarding, I have returned to regular life. The weekly blog resumes.

This time I thought I’d talk a little about the holiday and return to my usual mountainboard musings next week (probably one about how I think #mwfc17 will pan out right now).

Perfect Timing

The title says it all really; we had perfect timing. Rumours were going around the resort shortly before we left that the season was going to have to be cut very short due to lack of snow and unseasonably high temperatures. I few days before we arrived there was a big dump of snow and the temperature dropped back to what it should have been. This provided a good, and refreshed, base layer on the slopes.

The day we arrived it was snowing, and it snowed through the night. It wasn’t heavy but was enough to result in a couple of extra inches on top of the groomed pistes by morning (and who wouldn’t accept an extra couple of inches?!). We awoke to fresh snow and blue skies – the ideal combination to re-find out snowboarding legs after nearly a year off (and for me to test a recovering ankle).

During the afternoon of the first day, the clouds rolled in and the snow began. We didn’t really get a break in them until Thursday, but it snowed rather heavily up until Wednesday morning and provided us with ample fresh powder to play in, maxing out in waist deep powder on Tuesday. It was pretty dry powder as well so made for some excellent clouds and face shots!

The last few days of the holiday were glorious sunshine, resulting in a couple of super fun, slushy afternoons. We got the best of both Worlds and we really couldn’t have timed the trip any better.

Great Company

One of the biggest components that made the holiday is who we went with. We travelled in two groups and went to a resort where two of our friends, Shay and Hannah, are doing a season. Lei, Andy and I flew out and Nick, Kayla and Adam took the snow train.

We rode together as a group every day and played card games most evenings, always having a laugh. I don’t really know what else to say other than to was an awesome group of people with continuous smiles and laughter… With 7 boarders in a group of 8, we did have some competitive fun – going for fastest top speeds, spraying each other with snow, trying all kinds of jib tricks, side hits and runs. On the speed front, everyone on the trip had a top speed of over 30mph!

Everyone had a great time and progressed a bunch over the week which was really cool, especially after already starting at such a high level. I’m hoping we’ll be a regular snow group going forwards as we have tonnes of fun.

Fully Immersed

Something I am very pleased about is that I was fully immersed in the trip. All too often when I go away, whether for competitions, holidays or work, I still focus on and think a lot about the same things as when I’m at home which often prevents me fully appreciating the break and the experiences I am experiencing.

This time was pleasantly different and the main reason I didn’t write a blog post last week – I didn’t think about anything in the future or the past, I just lived in the moment. Cliche, perhaps, but this is a very uncommon occurrence for me. Before I knew it it was Wednesday and I very briefly thoughts ‘whoops, I was planning to put a blog post out on Tuesday’ and then as quickly as the thought appeared, it was gone again until Monday.

I even took my notepad with me, fully expecting to end up spending a few evenings considering how best to write the algorithm I need for my BoarderX spreadsheet, ready to write down thoughts and notes as they occurred of an evening but I didn’t touch it once. I didn’t even think about the spreadsheets at any stage.

It was fantastic, I really feel like I got away from everything and was able to fully enjoy the trip and give me mind some relaxation time. I enjoyed the holiday more than I usually would and came back refreshed and energetic instead of returning at the same level of mental and physical lethargy that I left with. I felt free and happy.

The Ankle

He held up rather well! I was stretching before heading out each morning and having a good stretch/rolling pin session once we got back to ensure he stayed strong but overall the ankle was very positive. Sure it hurt at times and I couldn’t do everything I wanted – certain presses/butter and jib tricks were quite sore as well as the occasional flat landing, but on the whole I could do a good 90% of what I wanted pain/niggle free and without any discomfort.

To a degree, my ankle even got better over the course of the week! Excellent news and to me it shows that my ankle is on the right track and that using it like I want to is the way to get it back to full functionality. Time to up my mountainboarding again, although I’m still going to avoid skateboards for a while longer.

Back to reality

Now I’m back I have to switch back into work mode (inside and outside of my job) and part of that is knowing what I need to do. Switching into ‘job Matt’ is pretty easy – I know what I need to do at work and I switch into my professional self easily. However, remembering what I need to do outside of work is always trickier – I really need to set up a better system of recording what I need to do.

I definitely need to get back onto the World BoarderX spreadsheet and timing system. The spreadsheet needs finishing and the timing kit needs testing and then updating.

We have an ATBA-UK committee meeting coming up so I need to prepare the schedule and the stuff I need to bring to the meeting. I also need to arrange a spreadsheet training session for the committee so everyone else can become familiar with and be able to run the competition spreadsheets. Oh, and I need to get on with filming a few ATBA-UK Shorts (they’re good fun and I can do a few at a time which is great).

My website has quite a list of things I still need to do on it so I need to allocate some time to that. Also, I can’t believe it’s mid-March! In all honesty, we really need to get moving with finalising and realising the formats for the World’s as well as additional information the riders and spectators need for the event. That’s going quite high on the priority list.

I really need to get mountainboarding more regularly as well. I might be heading to Moscow at the end of the month/start of April for Breakthrough Festival and it’ll be a 30ft jump with double backs, double fronts and 900s expected. The 9s will be fine, I’ve already done a 7 on a small jump this season and it’s more of the same, but it’s been something like 2 and a half years since my last mountainboard double to a landing! I’m not too worried – as long as I can hit and pit or a bag and send some low-risk double backs then I’ll get them dialled back in on the jump (sometimes it’s easier to double flip the bigger jumps than single flip).

Plus more. There’s always more. I need to fully test the new S(D)OTC spreadsheet, create a new Registration spreadsheet to make registration quicker and easier for the ATBA-UK volunteers plus much, much more.

Blimey, on that note I had better get back to it!

About the author: Matt Brind

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