New Zealand - Part 2: Spring Camp

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New Zealand - Part 2: Spring Camp

Spring Camp: Empty, Private Park.

During our week of Spring Camp, it felt like we had the entire mountain to ourselves. While the pipe was brimming everyday with heaps of people, there weren’t many people there for Slopestyle at all. With the New Zealand slope teams having private training on the backside of the mountain, this left a group of 7 skiers to hold down the park, featuring Brad Prosser and his group of athletes; Nick Goepper, Victor White, Robin Gillon, and Howie Smith.

Some of the squad: NIck, Victor, Brad, and Robin. Pic from Victor White

Some of the squad: NIck, Victor, Brad, and Robin. Pic from Victor White

Each day we’d start out in the main park, and if the weather was good enough we would head over to the big air jump. While most days were faced with something from wind or snow being a little slow, we made the most of it, and all came away with something valuable from our experience.  

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During the week of shredding with the crew, we all had such a fun time and helped motivate each other. In the evenings we would go to the river to jump off the Albertstown Bridge, and sitting in the river for a bit to ice bath. During a couple of nights we had the occasional dinner/poker night with the crew. They were a really fun group of people to ski with that week, and I look forward to the upcoming season of hanging out with them.

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From the time we spent there, a few memories stand out. Day one of spring camp it was a bit windy, and they had just opened the big air jump for us. The entire time I’d been down there, it was closed, and no one had hit it that day. All of us were standing at the top of the jump being nervous, until Ted came to the top and offered $20 to whoever hit it first. Upon hearing this Howie, whom was the youngest in the group, quickly jumped at the opportunity and dropped in. At first we were all pretty nervous that he wasn’t going fast enough, but thankfully cleared the jump with time to spare. This helped start the entire session, all thanks to a $20 offer.

Dropping into the Big Air Jump - Photo by: Brad Prosser

Dropping into the Big Air Jump - Photo by: Brad Prosser

Mid week through the session, a public figure made his way to the mountain in a helicopter that landed in the parking lot. This was the instagram star Dan Blizerian with his entourage of ladies, who came out to New Zealand to see Shaun White doing some training. This was also the last nice day of weather we had, so everyone was going pushing their limits. Unfortunately a bunch of injuries happened, including one from Shaun White. While the group Dan was traveling with stuck out, it was very unexpected, it was pretty cool to see someone like that just show up on the ski hill, and getting flown in and out on a helicopter.

The Triple.

During the camp I finally was able to land a trick i’ve been dreaming about for years, the triple. With the crazy season around the corner, there’s been a huge pressure to get new tricks. After last year’s contest season getting a triple became much more of a necessity. Last winter I had even tried a couple, the first one during a practice for X Games Big Air where I spun out, and may of gone to the Future for a brief moment. The second was attempted in Austria at a resort called Mayrhofen. Each triple attempt had been a different rotation to my left side with what I considered to be more “comfortable” with, but unfortunately those attempts didn’t end up going that well. For this reason, I decided to consider spinning to right instead since out of the doubles I had, it was the most consistent when it came to the flippy rotation. After giving it a few tries in Utah on the airbag, I knew it would come around the way I wanted it to. While I was still very nervous the day I finally tried it in New Zealand, it felt amazing trying it. My first attempt I went so big that I had to open up and starfish after the third flip so I wouldn’t over rotate. My second attempt, I still went big, but still landed and rode away.

This was a very amazing moment for me.  After all the years of work and preparation put into my skiing, it was such an great feeling to finally get past that hurdle. What even made the moment sweeter was the group of people I had surrounding me. My coach Ted was at the top of the jump rooting me on, along with our buddy Brad. At the bottom of the jump was my old coach and good friend Mike Hanley. Mike was the first person I saw after stomping the triple and hugged twice from how stoked we were. Once I got up to the top, another round of hugs and high fives from the guys, and went to do a few more. Being surrounded by that group who have worked with me over the past couple seasons, and for them to be there for that, is easily one of my biggest highlights from skiing so far.  

One of the guys in the group named Victor was doing a video blog and featured the entire group riding around. This last video blog features my triple, along with other entertaining commentary for our time there.    

Milford Sound.

The day following Spring Camp, with the mountain closed. Ted and I decided to make one last fun journey while in New Zealand to go check out Milford Sound. This was Ted’s first time seeing Milford Sound, and my first time driving there. While on the way right before getting there, we met a few of the area locals, who apparently loved the roof of our car.

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Driving into a fogged and rainy Milford we hopped on to a boat Tour, and took a ride around the Sound. Really stunning being on the water, and taking a full grasp of how big the Fjord is. Following a great boat tour, we started to make our way back towards Queenstown. Staying in the town of Te-Anu, then heading straight to the airport in the morning and flying back to the States. 

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So happy I went to New Zealand for the Spring Camp. Over the years I’ve heard from many people how good it was for jumps, and I was very happy with how productive it was for the 3 weeks we spent there. Shoutout to all the buddies that made this trip so memorable. Brad for being the most gracious host, Cardrona Park Crew for keeping the jumps prime for us all session, and my audio sponsor JLab. Midway through the trip our radio stopped working in the rental, and we used my Micro speaker everyday to keep the tunes bumping.

JLab Crasher Micro Speaker - MVP!

JLab Crasher Micro Speaker - MVP!

 

 

Till next time New Zealand,  

-Noah

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New Zealand - Part 1

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New Zealand - Part 1

On the heels of a very productive trip to Utah, and a quick day stop in Spokane to see family, pick up new gear, and get some much needed boot work done at the Sports Creel, I was off to New Zealand for spring. This was my third trip down to New Zealand, and the latest in the season I’ve been there.

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The past two times I’ve gone to New Zealand has been for the NZ Winter Games. Due to coming back from an injury this spring, I unfortunately had to miss it this year. But decided to come later on in search of spring-slush conditions.

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On our way down to New Zealand, Coach Ted and I had a long layover in Auckland, and decided to go check out the town. This was my first time actually going into the Auckland, and got the chance to see the downtown area, along with going up the SkyTower. 

Auckland SkyTower

Auckland SkyTower

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Shortly after making our way back to the airport, and hopping on our final flight to Queenstown. Making a mandatory quick stop at Fergburger, then finished our travel journey in Wanaka, arriving to our buddy Brad's spot. Being in a zombie-like state from traveling 30+ hours, we tried to stay up as late as possible, late being closer to 8pm. The next day we were up early to go shred.

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During that first week of skiing, we had most days filled with overcast and clouds. Since neither of us had skied in awhile, we used the time for getting warmed up, and used to the new boots. For those who haven't gone through the experience of new boots, it's usually not the most enjoyable time. On occasion, side effects of new boots include, pain, soreness, lack of confidence, and a general negative outlook on life. After skiing in them a bit more, and getting my liner stretched by Jason at the Sole Lab. I was finally feeling good in them and skiing well. Right in time for the weather to improve for week two.

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In week 2 the weather vastly improved, and I was finally able to start sessioning the jumps. With the feet feeling happy, this was the start of my progression period. Thanks to the boot canting job I got at the Sports Creel, I was doing some of the best right side tricks I've ever done. Feeling much more comfortable and able to ski stronger. Midway through the week, Ted and I stayed late to enjoy a day of sun which also included me finally landing a few Dub 1620's. This trick I had only previously done on accident, one morning in Winter Park. That morning I slipped out on the takeoff, spun out, somehow stomped it, and rode away smoothly. Unfortunately the camera man missed that shot, but I've been wanting to try one on purpose ever since. After doing a few more of those, the rest of the week spent getting ready for the Spring Camp happening the next week. Feeling very exhausted from a hard week of skiing, along with bad weather coming through, Ted and I took out much needed down day before Spring Camp started. 

Next up part 2: Spring Camp

-Noah

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