Snowboarding Plans for the 2011/2012 Season

It’s been a long time since I’ve mentioned my plans for snowboarding this coming season. Last time I discussed this, I was aiming to spend the whole season in resort – or at least a few months. That’s not going to happen. By my own words that makes me a wimp – for not having the guts to follow through with the plan. I haven’t dwelled on this – so I won’t dwell on it here, but it’s worth a little coverage…

leg_original_break
There are two reasons that I use to explain this. The first one is ugly. The car driver in my accident was judged to be at fault – so I stand to receive some compensation.

That type of affair can take a long time to reach conclusion; in this case it hasn’t yet. It’s an ugly reason because I’m not a fan of the “compensation” culture that we live in. Seems as though the accident stopped me from snowboarding, I figured that using some money to go do a season wasn’t so bad. But I can’t avoid the fact that pursuing this is optional. It’s a choice; I don’t have to do it.

It’s also an ugly reason because I’ve allowed it to hold back the plans; I wasn’t willing to “sell up” and throw my life down a different road entirely, which is what I would need to do around now, or sooner, to get things going.

The second reason is a bit more legit. To this date, I haven’t snowboarded since the accident. I don’t anticipate any problems, certainly not by 2012, but then again I was planning to start snowboarding in June/July – but was advised not to. Then in August I was advised not to, again. I had it in my mind that I would have been back on the horse before planning multiple months in a resort…

Lurking beneath the surface of things that I probably don’t want to admit to myself – I think that as my leg has continued to improve and I’ve returned to the normal things that people do, I’ve allowed “snowboarding” to return to its previous, comfortable position. Something I love to do, but it fits in around other stuff. When I was out of action for three months with a lot of time for thinking – chasing the things you love got more airtime in my head. I didn’t follow through. Wimp.

I’m still stoked though. Whatever the reasons – things have changed, plans have changed. It happens. I don’t feel worse for it, I don’t regret it – I’m loving stuff at the moment and I can’t wait to snowboard. So here’s the new plan…

 

Breckenridge 2012

Nothing is booked yet, but two weeks in Breck is shaping up to be solid – probably around the end of January/first week in February. To be honest, I don’t know much about Breckenridge as a resort, other that it’s pretty damn good. High on my list, I’d really like to get one or two powders days in when we’re there. I’ve got that new board, the Capita Charlie Slasher, and I want to try it out. Of course there are no guarantees, but I hope Breck can deliver with this.

In general though, I just want to snowboard. The last time I did any serious riding was back in 2009. Since then I did spend two weeks in Morzine, 2010, but I sprained my ankle the first full day on the hill and that pretty much put an end to the shredding. As above, I didn’t snowboard at the start of 2011 either. That’s a big gap; there have been a few trips to the snowdome, but that’s it, a few Friday night sessions in nearly three years…

Breckenridge? Despite not knowing much about the mountains, I have made a short visit to the town, for half a day, during a mini-tour of Colorado. No snowboarding, it was early October. From what I saw, Colorado is an awesome place, so bring it on.

Artificial action, indoors and out

Right now, I’m in Italy. Relaxing. Since June/July of this summer I’ve been planning to try snowboarding at the snowdome in Castleford. It’s been put back, I’ve been getting advice from a physio, but I feel ready now. I’ve done some skating, some running on concrete, my leg is getting stronger all of the time.

Now I need to warm up. Testing the leg is the first priority, I want to know what it’s going to feel like to snowboard. Hopefully I won’t notice it, but I doubt that. The other thought in my head is that shredding for 4 hours in a big fridge is one thing, but snowboarding everyday for two weeks solid is something else – more of a physical toll.

Beyond that, I’d like to make a return to feeling comfortable on a snowboard, doing what I used to be able to do. Then, if it’s all going well, there are a bunch of new things that I’d like to work on…

Between now and the end of the year, the plan is to do as much snowboarding at Castleford and Halifax as time and leg will allow…

A weekend in the Czech Republic

Strangely, my first real-mountain experience of 2012 may be a weekend in the Czech Republic. A friend is getting married and they want a stag weekend that involves snowboarding, as well as drinking. For a bunch of guys that haven’t tried it before, this is apparently a cheap way to get on the slopes. I’m intrigued to see how this pans out…

A week in Europe?

It would be awesome to follow up the trip to Breckenridge with a week in Europe. Vacation time from work is limited, so this may not be an option. If it does go ahead, it will be sometime in March. The question is, where to go?

So what are you up to this season?

Got anything good planned? New destination or returning to a favourite spot? First time away or a seasoned vet? And what are you hoping to get out of your riding this season?

13 Comments

  • Reply September 23, 2011

    Dave

    I had a great time in Breckenridge a few years ago and definitely recommend it. The altitude does take a little getting used to.

    I’ve heard rumours that we’re due some good snow in the UK this winter. Perhaps you can practice then? I’m really hoping to get my kite out and do some kitesnowboarding again 🙂

    Dave

  • Reply September 23, 2011

    dewei

    Gavin, you have had a terrible 2-3 years snowboardingwise and it is all the more impressive you have kept yourself so motivated with the rehabilitation and the website. I think you are doing the right thing. A full season this coming winter is too much too soon. Maybe a season in the Southern Hemisphere winter (NZ) is more realistic? Or even wait until the 12/12 winter? It is difficult to say when you haven’t been back on a snowboard yet.

    As for me, I am actually going to move out of the UK in April 2012 to go back to Mauritius (as far away from snow as you can get!)!. When I made the small mistake of trying snowboarding in March, I could have said, ‘OK, I’ve tasted it, that’s fine. There is no point in pursuing it.’ I took the opposite view of learning and doing as much as possible in one year. Regular snowdome visits. Freestyle lessons (to come). One week with family in Les Arcs in January. I need to find a way to convince the wife that I should go on a one week in a snowboarding coaching camp in March next year! After that, I’ll have no access to a local fridge and, if lucky, get a snow trip every 2 years or so. 🙁

    Maybe, I’ll take up windsurfing or kitesurfing …

  • Reply September 26, 2011

    Gavin

    Hey Dave,

    I noticed the altitude, even just in the small time I was there. I was talking to some people and they said that it’s not uncommon for people to get altitude sickness… As for snow in the UK, that would be cool. I’d still like to try some hiking in Scotland after reading an article about it, a while ago, in Whitelines…

    Cheers,
    Gavin

  • Reply September 26, 2011

    Gavin

    Hey Dewei, for snowboarding, the last couple of years certainly has been up and down, with more on the downside 😉 Writing stuff on this blog has been one of the ways to “stay with it” so to speak.

    Overall, I think your decision to get as much snowboarding in as possible, has been a good one – even if it does mean that you miss it a lot when it’s less accessible. It’s certainly opened up ideas for you, and when you do get away to the mountains, your skill level is going to much higher than otherwise, so you can try more stuff!

    I’m gonna hit the fridge this weekend – so we’ll see how that goes!

    Never tried windsurfing or kitesurfing – no doubt they’re a lot of fun! Out of the board-related sports I haven’t tried, I like the look of freebording…

  • Reply September 26, 2011

    Pete

    Dewei if you live in mauritius kitesurfing would be an excellent hobby. I’m learning how to kitesurf currently (very slowly due to finishing my PhD-now complete, moving house and living in tamworth) and it is very addictive though has what can only be described as an evil learning curve compared to snowboarding and somedays it just doesn’t seem to be working/happening. UK weather and wind conditions aren’t ideal (its cold and the wind is an unreliable fickle mistress) but Mauritius is supposed to be superb for kitesurfing. If your interested in the freestyle side of kiting Aaron Hadlow is worth checking out.

    There are a couple of open commons in Leicestershire that I would consider using this winter if we get snow with a kite and snowboard. I haven’t tried combining them yet. What type of kite did you use for snowkiting (foil LEI)?

    I have two weeks in Fernie booked with coaching, intend to have a week in Passo Tonale in January and hopefully a long weekend in Scotland. Until then weekly visits to a snowdome, south wales and playing on my trampoline (once I flatten out a section of my garden so it isn’t so dangerous).

    Have fun in the fridge and good luck with rebuilding your confidence in your body and on the board.

  • Reply September 26, 2011

    dewei

    Pete

    A few weeks ago, I didn’t know what was kitesurfing. I have since found out that there is a particular spot in Mauritius (One Eye) had a fantastic combination of reef breakers, trade winds and ocean swell in winter. I’ve seen the videos on youtube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXCiqLesPBI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjbXWBdtr1M

    To be honest, they look extreme to me and they freaked me out! Last month, I was on the beach and saw the more gentle version on the lagoon. That looked fun and do-able! Funnily despite being brought on an island, I am not a sea person and I am wary of the sea. I am not a good swimmer (yet). It seems that the kit needed for kitesurfing makes snowboarding cheap! I would not mind giving a try but maybe windsurfing is a more realistic prospect.

    I much prefer snow to the sea! 😛

    My younger brother is into golf. There are nice golf courses now in Mauritius. I think this can wait another 10-20 years before I need to try!;)

  • Reply September 26, 2011

    dewei

    Gavin,

    Good luck with your return to the fridge! Have fun! I cannot help feeling excited for you! Let us know how you get on.

    I’ve just bought a second hand skateboard. Another idea gleaned from these webpages and the snowboarding forums (fora). I never skated before. I think progress will be slow and limited…falling on concrete is more scary! I do like the look and the idea of freebording…especially when watching on youtube. I neither have the balls or am nuts enough to be charging down the mountain roads with traffic on a freeboard!

  • Reply September 28, 2011

    Davo

    I feel your pain, I recently got diagnosed with arthritis in my ankle. Unknown at this point whether I will ever board or ski again 🙁 It’s a nightmare for someone so active to lose their passion.

    Breck is a great resort with plenty of good hills close by. Acclimatisation to the alt is defo a good idea. Don’t go out on the beers on the first night and then hit the top lift next morning – you will pay for it!

    In your situation I’d concentrate on getting the leg stronger – as for the boarding, it’s like riding a bike – you don’t forget. I’d start of with something cheap, local and short to get your confidence up. Good luck.

  • Reply September 29, 2011

    Gavin

    @dewei, thanks! I’m really looking forward to it – just a day away now 😉

    As for getting a skateboard, nice moves! It’s so much fun. One of the things I love about skating is that you can just get right back on and try the trick again. Easier to repeat stuff than when snowboarding. Personally, I really like skating on mini-ramps and small bowls – but maybe I’m just wary of more gnarly street tricks!

  • Reply September 29, 2011

    Gavin

    @Davo hey thanks man – and sorry to hear about the arthritis in your ankle, that sucks! Do you think there’s a chance you will still be able to ride?

    It’s good to hear more promising reports of Breck, and I’ll go easy on the first couple of nights 😉

    As for the leg, I seem to be in a progressive phase at the moment, continually feeling more strength coming to the leg. Although I am reminded often that although it’s stronger, certain things are still quite sore!

    Cheers,
    Gavin

  • Reply October 3, 2011

    dewei

    Hey Gavin,

    How did it go in the fridge?

  • Reply October 3, 2011

    Gavin

    Awesome! I’m so encouraged by the session. Expect a write up (with some evidence) later this week 😉

    Cheers

  • Reply October 4, 2011

    dewei

    Sweet! 🙂
    Well done!

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