Friday, August 1, 2014

Really Gotta Wanna... RECOVER!


Its crazy to think, just a month ago I was getting surgery in Portland Oregon for my broken back (see the last blog post). I was not only insanely fortunate in the accident and how I broke my back, but in the recovery as well. Seeing as the two vertebrae I broke are the two which don't move very much I was released for walking the day after my surgery, and for simple/ moderate activities (stationary biking and swimming) after a week.

Any of you who know me through snowboarding, know that I don't really have a "slow" or "moderate" switch... I pretty much only have a "go" switch, which is full blast. This characteristic; which may haunt me later in life is consistent through exercise and most other activities I partake in. Let's just say that simple stationary biking has already turned into 35 miles in an hour and a half, and casual swimming is full laps and movement for a solid hour. 

On that same note I'd cut out my pain meds two weeks after surgery and have been fully drug free now for a week and am feeling about as mobile as ever. My level of pain is low and consists mainly in my lower back where I most likely blew out some muscles. 

I know many of you have been following my progress through my social media posts and what not, which I can't say how much I appreciate. But wanted to tell everyone how much all the support, well wishes and messages have kept me motivated and having a positive attitude.  I couldn't be doing this with out all of your support, and am so grateful to have so many wonderful people in my life!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Things don't always go the way you plan...

Just over two weeks ago I experienced an accident that if nothing else has opened my eyes. 

For those of you who have not heard I was snowboarding up on Mt. Hood Oregon, and broke my back. Now as human nature has shown our minds immediately imagine the worse; No I'm not paralyzed, and yes I will snowboard again. Neither of these things were a given when the accident happened though, and I am truly blessed to be able to say they are the truth.

Now with that out there I'd like to you to remember no one really knows what's next for our lives. Ive always chose to live with this mentality; the idea that you never know, so live everyday to the fullest. An accident like this makes this mentality a little more of a challenge, but when it comes to being passionate about something we always have to weigh the risks. For me it has always been with more passion tends to come more risk. Like many of you out there I am a thrill seeker, but I've come to seek my thrills through snowboarding. Snowboarding isn't necessarily the riskiest activity out there, but I'm personally not satisfied unless I'm pushing myself; learning a new move, going just a bit faster, or sending a feature a little bigger.

Back to my recent injury and the situation leading up to it. I mentioned risks and at no point had I imagined what happened to even be a near possibility. It was a feature myself as well as plenty of people had hit, I was just attempting to jump it a bit differently. As I said before I'm not content unless I'm pushing myself which is exactly what was happening here. The feature in it's most simple state is a mellow hip jump; meaning you go off straight and land going 90 degrees the other direction, or across the slope (see diagram to the right). This feature has been in the same spot and relatively the same shape for the past three years, and I've always had the urge to send it all the way over, like your classic table top. Unfortunately for me this hasn't normally been a possibility, but for some reason this year it just looked "do-able". Now a major reason it's not "do-able" is the cat track that runs wraps along the bottom edge of the landing. With my passion to push the limits I found a way around the cat track and spent my lunch building a little jump from the landing over the flat area (cat track). With this jump in place I had a feeling that it would a cool unique line that hadn't been done yet.

I have to say with out hitting the feature and even if you had it was hard to really see the potential in my newly created feature. For me on the other hand I had actually prepared, calculated and dialed in the chances of the feature working. I had maxed out the hip feature, literally as big as possible with out running into the cat track. And actually hit my "new feature" about 5 times before calling over a filmer and photographer to get the shot. In those 5 previous attempts my speed seemed on point, and trajectory right on mark. I honestly can't say I know or will ever know what wrong, whether I went just a little faster or maybe popped a bit harder, but the next thing I knew I was missing my landing spot and floating over the whole landing (see diagram). 

Let me start by refreshing the idea that I was truly lucky and had it not been for some great medical staff, friends and ski-patrol I'm not sure id be walking today. As I had basically flown 90ft straight to flat I was forced to stay flat and for the next 30 minutes, to do something I had yet to do for my entire life; sit absolutely still. I knew it was crucial but, everything in my body just wanted to jump up and run around. Any ways, once again with the help of my great friends and great ski patrol I made it safely to bottom of timberline and to the care unit there where I was first checked and waited for the ambulance. From there I was transported by ambulance from T-Line to Welches where I would be picked up
by life flight. Back breaks are an interesting/ scary injury, mainly due to the uncertainty. So no lack of precautions we're taken in transport to Portland. The goal was to keep me 100% stationary until X-Ray/MRI just incase there was a spinal issue.

After a quick yet expensive heli ride (27K), I made it to the trauma unit at legacy Emmanuel hospital in Portland where I was taken maculate care of. From there my blur of a night consisted of cutting off my snowboard gear, getting an CAT scan, MRI than patiently waiting an opportunity to go into surgery. About 24 hours later I was in surgery getting my L1/T12 aligned with 4 Titanium skrews and 2 rods. Lucky for me this new titanium armor creates a bit of an internal back brace and allowed me to walk the very next day.

Let me pause here to say for the next 4 days in the hospital I was pleasantly greeted by way more friends than I could have ever imagined! Thanks to the support of all these friends and the multitude of messages I received I never would have been able to stay in such high spirits. AGAIN I can not begin to express my gratitude for all the messages, visits and positivity from everyone!!!!

Recovery... To be Continued...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014



Please check it out


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Opening weekend at my new home mountain... Keystone!

Last weekend officially set off my winter here in Colorado. Keystone Mountain opened with an amazing early season park, so we got to work trying to get some shots. With the help of my two little brothers Sam Bell, and Sy Murdoch we put together what I like to think is a pretty fun opening weekend edit. Here is the video which was posted on Snowboarder as well as a few other sites. Check it out, enjoy, and let me know what you think

and some of photos from the day

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Splitting the Seas to Sochi

Splitting the Seas to Sochi

With the announcement of Slope-Style In the 2014 Olympics; the contest scene, and outlook of athletes took a turn towards something new and exciting.

Whether or not you are the most core snowboarder or most competitive, the idea of going to the Olympics is a pretty cool idea (at least somewhere in ones head, even if never stated or expressed). Slope-Style in the Olympics not only means more eyes and appreciation for what we love to do, but obviously the possibilities of more monetary support. Now with anything in life there are haters; claiming it's selling out, and that it's not what true snowboarding is. At the end of the day, even with this outlook it's a necessary evil to allow us to continue what we're doing as long as possible.

Now back to before with this announcement, all of us contest riders started looking at any possibility of making it to the Olympics. Changing country of residence if necessary, basically trying to figure out any way possible to make it. Even I started looking at getting dual citizenship to Israel as a second chance in case I didn't get a chance to try out for the US team. With that said through my efforts last year, I qualified in the top 8 of the US from the World Tour.  Which guaranteed me a spot to compete for a chance to ride in the Olympics for America. Now this is no where near an easy opportunity or am I a shoe in to be one of the 4 US team riders invited to compete in the Olympics. What it does mean though, is that I am guaranteed an equal shot with 7-13 other riders to compete at 5 contests between December and January to see whom might be the most fit to represent America. At this point I call it a success and am fully proud of my self for how far I've come. To be recognized as a boarder that could potentially represent the US of A is a huge accomplishment in itself, whatever may happen at this point.

As this 2013/14 season gets underway, trust that I will be giving it everything I have. Starting with a proper diet, off hill training as well as traveling to other countries with snow to get an early start at on hill training. Currently I am in Australia getting an early contest out of the way. And next on the schedule is a trip to Chile to train at legendary resort El Colorado before heading back to the US to get situated for the first contest of the US qualifications; Dew Tour in Breckenridge December 14th.

Thanks everyone who has ever taken time out of their day to follow my progress, cheer me on, or support me in anyway. I have no doubt in my mind that I would never be where I am now with out you all. So with that said please enjoy my travels and let me know what I can do to make my story more interesting and enjoyable.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Summer Snowboarding at High Cascade Snowboard Camp

With any sport practice makes perfect, and repetition promotes consistency so with summer rolling around the choice of what to do comes up.  As far as snowboarding goes, there are multiple options of staying tuned and sliding sideways.

Easier options being Mt.Hood or Whistler both with fairly accessible snowboard camps where a rider can get a job at the camp, or attempt to get sponsor passes where the camps supports get the rider in. Each of these choices have there benefits and weaknesses obviously. With working at a camp such as a coach you have to spend some of your time coaching kids and actually working versus being on a sponsor pass where you have the opportunity to ride and train all day. With this said being a sponsor pass sounds like the more ideal situation, but its much more of a short term situation. With a past in going to High Cascade (HCSC) I've decided to take the coach route, for my third year in a row at this point. I find being a coach not only allows you to spend all summer on your board doing what we all love, but creates a unique opportunity to learn how to coach your self, and starting seeing ones riding from an outsiders perspective.

Now with my route being coaching at HCSC there are also a little less accesable but pretty sweet opportunites to travel to South America, buy a season pass and ride a whole second winter. This is definitely a viable option, but with training and contest driven snowboarding being my priotity Ive decided to save that for future summers.

With my choice being set here at HCSC Ive attempted to make the most of it and try to not only learn new tricks and refine my style, but also get some exposure through various snowboard websites and social media outlooks. Ive included a list of links at the bottom if there is interested in seeing some of my riding and what goes down on a regular basis up here.

Whether you an avid rider, or simply looking for a Snowboarding fix during the summer I highly recommend checking out HighCascadeSnowboardCamp ( any of the other shedding options listed.

Snowboard Camps

An Article on Summer Camps

Video Posts which I have shots in

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

2012/13 Contest Season

The contest season

At this point in snowboarding contests have become a key player in how the world perceives what we do. Contests promote progression as well as help spread word of the talent, and the dedication this "sport" takes. Obviously everyone has their own feeling about contests, but at the end of the day; even if riders don't consider themselves contest riders, there is still a push to do at least a few. If not for the potential monetary earnings, for the push from sponsors and getting the exposure.

With the x-games wrapping up we can see that the level of snowboarding has gotten insane. Even in the street event which incorporates the rebel "I don't give a fuck" attitude, still had some new and amazing rail tricks... With a side of shirtless back flips. Not to say that these tricks might never have been done without contests, rather that contests pushes the progression in a faster pace.

Any ways for me, contests are definitely a double edged sword. I love the atmosphere, environment and feeling of being at contests; But they definitely don't always go how you want. It's hard to take the thing you spend basically everyday doing, and turn that into two runs. Hence why jam contests really incorporate the snowboard vibe that much better and really show off what snowboarding is. Imagine if a basket ball game only consisted of free-throws, it doesn't matter how good you are, your going to miss one every now and then.

For me, this season started off with a few more misses than lands... Which is obviously part of the game. Each contest is still a learning experience and great opportunity to have some fun and work on new stuff. But as my comfort level rose and I figured out what I would need to do with my boarding, things started turning up. I can't say I had any major podiums but definitely feel like I held my own, and proved my worthiness this season.'

As I said before contests are a double edged sword, even with all the money there is in podiums and the production of events; if your not getting on those podiums it's pretty difficult to make the cost to earnings work out. For instance, for 6th place at the European Open, I only got 600euros which does not come anywhere near the cost of going to Switzerland and competing. So even though I worked my way from 100-6th and risked my body for a week, I still came out in the negatives. Or 7th place at the shakedown in Montreal, which didnt provide any monetary money at all yet I made finals and was part of their tv show. Thats aot of pressure, work and energy going into something that may or may not provide any earnings, yet there is still the potential so we keep doing what we are doing.

With all this said, I absolutely love snowboarding and want to be a part of it and make an impact. And for me I feel that impact will come easier through contests. So I'll keep doing what I can, attempting to prove myself, an make my mark on what so many people, including myself care so much about.