Monday, April 30, 2012

Don't just soak in Utah, go for the full ride!

The Adventure!

No one questions how amazing colorado is, but as April approached and the snow rapidly melted I knew it was time to head out west.The final destination may be mammoth, but as the say "it's not where you go, but how you get there". And when deciding who to sit shot gun on this ride i could think of no one better than friend and and photog/writer extraordinaire Albo Pardo!

As I said we were just as worried about the adventure as we we're the destination. So with the potential to ride some extra mountains, and see some extra friends we headed a bit north to Utah; Slc and Snowbird to be exact.

As with any area with an In-N-Out, we made our first stop and scarffed down some delicious animal style burgers. (someone had to take alba's In-N-Out viginity) As we waited for good homie and Utah efficianato Adam Drost to get off work, we hit up the American Fork skatepark and took my first turns on the skate since last summer. Not going to lie was pretty rusty and the 90 degree weather didnt help my cause, but it was nice to atleast roll around.

With some help from my friends at snowboard mag, our tickets and plan for snowbird were set. We met with communications manager Emily and some local Snowbird riders (Mark Edlund and crew)  hopped the tram ready to shred.

It's obviously late season and with Snowbird being known for big mountain, I wasn't really sure what to expect for the day. All the thoughts I did have were blown out of the water, as we reached the bottom of the 2 mile "Chips Run". Numerous fun hits and poppers, good steep pitches and a solid crew, I knew this was going to be a super fun day.

This was hands down the case, got plenty of shots (photos as well as face shots) and ended the day with nothing less than VIP treatment as we headed up to "The Cliff" to enjoy the roof-top spa with a nice dip in the pool and nap next to the hot tub. An amazing end to an awesome day at Snowbird thanks to Emily and Snowboard Magazine.

Check out the Alba's Post here Snowboard Magazine Day 1 Post

and stay tuned on Snowboard Magazine for more posts and recaps of our adventures out west.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

One night in Vancouver

Vancouver showdown over the city recap

I'm sitting here going through my crazy adventure to Vancouver and all I can think is how much I enjoy the snowboard industry.

I never could have predicted how much excitement and interesting turn of events could happen in a 24hour trip across the boarder. Off the bat this trip had a downhill motion; we arrived at the train station 5 minutes prior to departure to Vancouver, and as I attempted to pay I was instantly reminded that you need a passport to travel to another county (you think id remember this with how much I travel, but nope forgot it) so we rushed back to the house as Colin began unpacking my snowboard stuff Incase I didn't make it back. With seconds to spare and thanks to Jeremy I arrived back passport in hand ready to head to Canada.

Arriving to Vancouver at a mellow 11:30 at night, no phone service, and only an address of a hostel in mind we hopped a taxi and made our way downtown. Just our luck the hostel had closed its doors for the night, and we were shit out of luck. Convent enough just down the road was another hostel which was still open, we got a room, grabbed a beer and called it a night.

The bright sun glistened as it shined through the morning dew on our big window overlooking the Vancouver space needle. The twin bunk bed had made for a plenty sufficient nights rest. and as we washed up in the communal bathroom our sights were high for the day ahead of us. With a cup of subpar coffee, and a random muffin in hand. We wondered the streets looking for this "C" bus we had heard rumors as the ideal transportation up to the contest venue of Grouse Mountain. A few minutes at the bus stop and the language barrier was picked up on as there was no "C" bus and we were actually looking for the SEAbus which was exactly that a transport across the water to N Vancouver.

The 336 bus cruised up the hill, passengers suited up in snowboard gear and ready to enjoy the beautiful saturday at the resort. Lift ticket and bib in hand we made A quick outfit change at the base of the slopes and headed up to check out the course. 2 Beautiful 65+ ft jumps arose above the stunning Vancouver skyline, giving off the feeling of jumping over the city. Aside from some sticky snow and not quite the steepest landings these jumps were perfect.  Smooth take offs, a nice straight line, and clean sides gave the excited spectators one heck of a show.

The field was narrowed down to ten after semi-finals with some awesome riders and good friends Matt's Kullisek and Colin Spencer having a bit of speed troubles and barley missing the cut. Bummed to not be able shred along side of them in the finals but always stoked to have good homies out there with you. The bluebird skies and recent absence of park  put me in an awesome mood and I was able to stomp my semi finals run seating me second into finals. As the speed continued to get slower the amazing park crew did everything that had to make the course as fast as possible. When it came down to it only a few riders really had the speed to throw their best moves, not to say there wasn't some great riding. But I personally know I felt a bit to slow to perform what I wanted. Resulting in a landed safety run placing me in 4th place, just .1 out of third place. Either way, always stoked to make finals and just need to use this momentum for the ride shakedown in montreal this weekend.

Until than, a last minute ride from a random awesome photographer and we still missed the train back to Bellingham. Just 5 minutes late of the cut off to buy tickets we were forced to take the greyhound bus. A few more bucks a bit more effort of a ride but in the end still a ride down to Bellingham.

Traveling is always an adventure, it never hurts to have a good buddy along side and an open imagination to what can happen along the way.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Who needs gear when you have friends?

Who needs gear when you have Who needs gear when you have friends?

As one of my favorite Beatles songs goes "I get by with a little help from my friends" this was with out a doubt the case this past weekend at the Ride Shakedown at Mont Saint Sauveur Quebec. From getting picked up at the airport to late night sleeping on couches, to snowboarding in different gear, this weekend was fueled by willing and helpful friends! So thanks each and everyone of you! For booking me on flights (sis Erin), to loaning me gear (everyone), to driving me around (Benjamin and Frederyke) to hanging and helping me figure stuff out (Yale and entourage) to driving me back to the states (Joe), to having my back the whole time (shakedown staff) You all made  everything possible and so freaking fun!

Every bit of this trip had its hiccups; from missing my flight through DC and having to sleep on the floor of the Newark airport. To NEVER having my luggage arrive, To sleeping on the road at 4am, to atm's not working, to loosing my phone for a morning. nothing quite went as planned; but with that said its all about the adventure, and the adventure was AMAZING!!

I arrived into Montreal Friday morning with nothing but the bag on my back, and some high hopes. As 11:11am rolled around I set my sights high and wished for a podium and some money to come back home with. As finals came to a wrap my wish had come true and I took my place on the podium aside Seb Toots and Kim rune-Hanson. Honestly cannot begin to explain the honor of being on the podium next to these two amazing riders.  Have to say though its pretty ironic getting my first big podium, when I don't even have my board to bring up with me :)

Shake Down Web Site

Ride Shake Down VIDEO

This whole situation has been the biggest testament to the fact that just relaxing and having fun pays off. I rode the contest in a pair of girls pants, a backwards cap, Joe Mango's goggles, Jeremy Thompson's board and bindings, and the vans demo dudes boots, hahahaha. And because of this I just rode and have fun, i didn't have my gear so i wasn't stressed to ride super well, i just wanted to have fun and put on a good show. I was with all my friends, tons of great fans and spectators under the lights, it would be impossible not to have a smile on my face. So with that said, THANKS again to all my homies that provided me the essentials to ride and make the podium.

I have to say that after Joe Mango was robed of his first place in the rail jam, I can't believe I ended up on the podium. Not to hate on the judging but Mango obviously should have won the rail jam, and didn't even make the podium so from that moment on lets say my expectations weren't to high. In the end things worked out, so this one goes to you Joe Mango who should have been first in the rail jam, and Jeremy Thompson who we all have in our hearts as he makes a strong and quick recovery from his crash Friday night, see you soon buddy, your the man. 

In closing what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and nothing good comes with out a little bad; so fight through the unfortunate events, make the best out of every situations and never stop having FUN, what ever you may be doing!!!

I wrote these for you everyone so hope you enjoy and let me know how I can make them better :)friends?