Tuesday, August 17, 2010



Again I find myself apologizing for the lapse in blog action. We have Kelly Clark and some other Burton riders staying next door, and our girls were nice enough to give them our internet password. Great for building relationships but devastating to internet speed here in our house. It takes 10 minutes to load any page.
The crew is all out celebrating Maverick's Bday so I have some freedom and internet power and I figured I would update our adventures. The NZ Open is over, and I'd say we are over it. The event was a bit loose with rules and field sizes changing at the whim of the staff. Eric B caught it the worst, and was cut before he had the chance to shine, which he clearly would have. Hunter Wood and Chris Waker had Cardrona's park and pipe dialed, but fell short in comp. Phoebe Novello charged a bit too hard into slope practice and damaged her foot. It was so tough to see this girl sidelined as she has been the most positive, helpful and hungry rider in the camp.
Things weren't all bad though. Some fun was had and Ty Walker, Spencer, and Quincy all had some highlights. Quincy landed a crippler in the pipe comp, while Spencer and Ty rode in finals. Ty was our best placer with a 10th in slope.
For the past two days we returned to Snowpark to find a forgotten paradise. Jump lines of all sizes are bordered by a massive HP, myriad rail lines, and a gigantic airbag. After days of competition stress, the crew got back to the work of enjoying snowboarding.
Oakley has intro-level sponsorships with Hunter, Serena, Ty and Quncy, so I figured I would shoot some photos with intentions of conveying abilities to East Coast O rep Stan Kosmider. The kids didn't let me down, all worked hard to get some great riding shots. Feast your eyes on the shots. Your young adults will be back in your sight in 48hrs!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

With the NZ Open upon us, the day's workload and duration have extended. Thats just a way for me to say "no time to type". Practice went well today, aside from Dan Landy breaking his arm. Such a bummer for this young shredder. He had been prepped by Kyle as to how to compose himself under duress, and I was impressed by this young man. Feast your eyes on some photos and wish us luck in the upcoming event. Wish I had more time to convey the level of ripping this team is at, gonna have to just trust me and wait for next update.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Pow to Park.

Today we started our day by doing a few runs to find some fresh snow to warm up before heading to the park. Ian lead us on a nice little hike where we enjoyed the views and then the kids did a cool rock drop. Chris Waker lead the charge and popped off the rock with style.

Cardrona had perfect weather today and the park was groomed up nicely. Hunter Wood was in the lift line and said something along the lines of "Do you ever just feel like your going to have a good day riding?" Well that was just what he did, he was one of the only riders spinning the last big jump in the park doing front 360's and backside 720's. The rest of the SMS Team was riding the park well and getting some of their runs ready for the NZ Open. Spencer landed a switch back 900 on the second jump which will be great for his Open run.
Tomorrow we register for the event and have official training. Wed is Slopestyle pre-qual's. So we'll be heading to the mountain early tomorrow for a big day of practice and hopefully as sweet of a day as we enjoyed today. Take care, Ross
1. Hunter.
2. Waker.
3. SMS Team riders.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Snow Day

A much needed snow storm rolled through in the past two days, making riding impossible but making for perfect conditions in for the upcoming week. We took yesterday off, and were thwarted by zero visibility today. A few kids were still a bit under the weather, so we view two days off as a good thing and are more than ready to attack Cardrona tomorrow.
We went through more of the Dave Redden summer workout today and each athlete showed us his/her best Turkish Get Up. It will be beneficial for the new team members to see these guys run through the moves when fall dryland hits.
Without much new to write about today, I will instead turn this post over to the musings of Poet Daniel Landy, and throw in some photos from the trip so far.





Lions Migrate By The Well Known Poet Daniel Landy

The lions went to the new land with happiness and pride
The lions were hungry to ride
The lions were lead by two fierce Alfa males
It was Ian and Ross who led the trails
Ross knew how to be the best hunter of the pride
Ian was just happy to teach young cubs how to ride
There was Pete, the lion full of stories
Waker the one who has youth and glory
Eric a lion who hunts with nasty tricks
Every time you see him you will be saying sick
Kyle is the most majestical lion anyone knows
Hunter is a funny lion who likes to play and keep on the go
Spencer the certified Mac lion is not scared
Biba is a lioness who is never prepared
Ty is a lioness who has been in many prides and lands
Phoebe is a lioness that always seems to feel grand
Quincy is a lioness with a northern accent roar
Serena is a lioness that is definitely hard core
But in the end we make the best pride
When we set all the problems aside


Friday, August 6, 2010

Kyle Dorfman Update

Two days ago, Kyle fell after spinning off a park jump and cased it with an outstretched right arm. The tip of his ulna broke off and was pulled around the tip of his humerus by the tricep muscle. The result has a technical name, but in our terms he broke his arm and dislocated his elbow. It was quite traumatic, but Kyle never shed a tear and kept composed throughout the entire ordeal. Once the dislocation was identified at Cardrona Ski Patrol, an air evac was necessary. The only somewhat unpleasant aspect of our next 36 hrs was the helicopter ride across the South Island. As Kyle was comfortably drugged and tough as nails, he was able to enjoy the ride, and I could hear him chatting with the medics in the back. The helicopter was impressive and had windows out the back, affording Kyle a view.

We flew into Dunedin, with views of the wave-washed shoreline and historic churches. Landing on the roof of the giant Dunedin Public Hospital was memorable. Once inside we got the disturbing X-Rays which told the tale. Surgery was required, but was backed up for 9 hrs during which Kyle continued to remain calm while I paced the halls looking for answers. He was operated on successfully at 10pm and was discharged the next afternoon at 3 pm. A 5 hr bus ride to Wanaka put Kyle back in a room and bed much more pleasant and appealing than the room he shared with two elderly folk at the hospital.

Kyle will remain with the team to rest up surrounded by fellow riders and positive vibes. He is in a cast above his elbow, but only for 10 days. The day before we travel home he will have the cast off and the operative stitches removed. The casting period is thankfully short, but he will have to rehab his arm for 6-8 weeks before its back to regular strength.
Kyle's demeanor throughout this ordeal was exemplary. In my mind he has joined the ranks of past troopers Randall Stacy, Dan Feldman, Connor Leach, and Makayla Tierney, who all endured trauma with fortitude.
The team has him in their thoughts and threw down for him today in the pipe. Due to a bug going through the houses, today's team consisted of Phoebe, Quincy, Daniel and the Shaws. Phoebe and Serena landed some of their best 540s yet, and all three girls improved their already stylish straight airs.


We will take our first day off tomorrow and let these young rippers rest and recover. Tough situations have visited us, but these kids face each day with energy and enthusiasm that keeps them all strong.
Even I am inspired to endure more pain and to conjure up youthful energy when stressed.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Park and Pipe Going Off at Cardrona.

This is my first SMS blog post so we'll see how it goes. I just want to start by saying I'm having a great time working with the SMS crew that is down here in NZ and I'm so fired up for SMS Snowboarding this up coming season.

The last two days have been sunny and nice at Cardrona so we've made the most of them. The big park was open yesterday so Waker, Beauchemin, Spencer, Kyle and Dan sessioned it getting their tricks back on big jumps. The girls rode some pipe and then joined the boys for some of the big jumps. Ty Walker had a sweet front 360 while Phoebe landed her nice back 360 on the first jump. After riding we did some core, played some ultimate and had a team dinner.
Today the pipe was the best it's been since we got here so we spent most of our day there. The tricks started to really come out with Phoebe and Quincy getting inverted. Serena with her back to back 540's. Ty was styling out her grabs and was landing backside 540's. Biba was charging her frontside wall with some sweet grabs. Dan Landy had a nice frontside 540. Chris Waker was going huge with his sweet style and landing some big spins. Beauchemin was even riding the pipe working on a run to earn himself some TTR points during the NZ Open. Today was finished off with some soccer and some much needed stretching.

I'm so proud of these SMS athletes and how hard they are working. Time to get some sleep so we can do it all over again.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Suns Out, Guns Out


As forecasted, the sun came out today and our NZ first-timers got a real look at Cardrona. The difference in vistas from yesterday was profound. As we reached the higher switchbacks on the access road we looked out on a sea of clouds below us in all directions, with the majestic NZ peaks breaking through and towering over said "ocean". This is a familiar sight to me and veteran Hunter Wood, but it certainly never gets old. Our sights quickly turned from the distant peaks to the peak right in front of us. More specifically, the park and pipe on that peak. A 22 ft pipe, legit park and the surrounding slopes had us jumping out of the vans, almost before parked!
From there the day went as expected. Hot laps ensued and layers of clothing were shed as the sun beat down on our labors of love. Chris Waker lead the way through pipe laps, with his last run being dubbed Best Run of Day by none other than Ross the Boss. No faint praise there and Chris was stoked. Eric Beauchemin has joined the crew and has taken an interest in halfpipe! Great to have this young man with us again, and I could tell he was just as happy to be ripping with us as we were to be with him.


Based on what we have seen in the last few days, 2011 could be the Year of the Handrail Slayers here at SMS. Quincy 270s onto and off of flat and down rails, Ty Walker gaps with grabs. Phoebe is ultra critical of her style (which is not at all bad) and is driven to get tricks with steez. We know what happens when she gets on a mission, look out. Hunter and Kyle bluntslide like they are skating and Dan Landy switch 5050s the flat on a flat-down to switch bs 180 over the down. This one blew Ross' mind.
As the team is young and new, I continue to be surprised by SMS talent and Ross is just starting to get the picture regarding the crew of rippers he now heads.


A big thanks goes out to the staff at Cardrona for helping us out with all our logistical needs and supplying this first-class summer riding experience year after year. This place caters to freestyle riders and have gone out of their way to make sure we have all we need. Specific thanks go to Nadia, Teresa and Ewan for all the help and positive vibes today!

Monday, August 2, 2010

On Snow With a New Crew


If day one in NZ is any indication of the future of this young, fresh SMS Team, then the future looks good. As a coach I never like to start a trip with a cloudy, wet day at a resort with zero visibility and one lift open. It takes effort to stoke the flames and keep kids, who are excited to travel across the world to shred, in the positive vibe zone. I did not need to stress for long today though, this crew will ride any trail in any conditions with zeal at this point. No park, no pipe, no problem! Why not wallride fences all the way down the trail (see Kyle Dorfman photo), and grind chainlink fences (see Biba Turnbull photo). This is the energy and spirit of snowboarding that I love!!! Nothing worse than kids who don't know what to do without resort-made features. These kids rode it the style of Randall Stacy, James Haffner, Beauchemin and Tikos who could and would always create their own stoke.


There were a few short boxes up and it was killer to see how the Best Upcoming Female Squad threw down. Inspired by Ty Walker, the shredettes all worked on and landed tech moves like the front board pretzel, front crooks pretzel and lipslide sameway. Very impressive and I am so proud to have Quincy and Biba pushing the stoke for the established Novello/Shaw duo.
After a few hours of this high-intensity reintroduction to snow, we dealt with the season pass office for an hour or so before calling it quits for the day. As we rolled out the clouds did the same, granting us a view of the park that had been closed and invisible to us all morning. OH MY was all I could say, the set up looks sick. All who saw the park will probably hit the sack at 6 pm tonight just to rush the arrival of Day 2. Killer jumps, tons of rails and a 22 ft pipe await us tomorrow.
As much as the morning would have been a bummer in other situations, it was a perfect way to hold back before devouring the first class set up. Big things coming!
The afternoon included a Dave Redden core session, a short run led by Phoebe Novello and a blast of a skate session with Hunter Wood, Kyle Dorf, and Dan Landy.
Day one: Shred with a new crew, observe new styles coming together, skate with good homies, workout, and a Taco dinner coming up! So dope.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

SMS Returns to Wanaka in 2010

It's crazy to think that "cruising" down to New Zealand has become a regular trip for myself and the SMS crew, but that's how it is. Two days of airport and airplane madness seem to fly by, and perfect East Coast summer days quickly become winter in NZ when the final airplane door is opened. My intention is not to come off jaded here, but to marvel a bit at our fortunate lifestyles.
The entire crew handled the trip like pros, and yet we all arrived in Wanaka full of excitement and chomping at the bit to get our shred on tomorrow. One deviation from the usual in this trip to NZ for me, sadly, was the pillaging of one of my duffel bags somewhere between NY and NZ. Moments after feeling the relief of seeing both my bags arrive in the NZ baggage check I was irked by the fact that my duffel was sliding around the carousel with its back compartment unzipped and wide open. My chagrin increased when said compartment was empty of the two tuning bags, the bag containing all my A/V cords and chargers, and last and least my toiletries bag. As I was in no way notified of a reason for the absence of these items, it was clear that my bag was ransacked. This trip is my reintroduction to work after a nice summer break, and I was already STRUGGLING to maintain my composure. I guess making it safely across the world with 9 high school kids put my loss into a bit of perspective, but these losses were surely tools of my trade and are sorely missed. Oh well, if that is the biggest hurdle in my trip I will be content.
This year's trip is lined up to be one of the best. We have a young, energetic crew that includes new faces. Biba Turnbull and Quincy Court-King are two hungry rippers from Canada and Australia who not only bring talent, but international flare to the team. Guest shredder Ty Walker adds not only energy and skills, but blossoming fame and world-traveler experience. And while on the new addition topic, ROSS POWERS is officially guiding SMS and I we are so stoked to be working with him on his first days at work. This is all quite exciting, yet I haven't even mentioned the rest of the crew which consists of guest coaches Chris Waker, and Pete Davis, seniors Hunter Wood, Kyle Dorfman and Spencer Shaw, and one of the best young female crews led by Serena Shaw and Phoebe Novello.
Before passing over the name of Pete Davis so quickly, let me comment on how much he has already brought to the trip. Aside from taking to guest coaching like a duck to auga, he brings much positive energy and wisdom. His excitement to be here matches the kids and makes me happy to provide the experience for him. More Pete in future trips please!
When we arrived in Wanaka we settled into our first-class condos and purchased food for the week. As I type, Phoebe is fixing our first NZ dinner, which I can smell now. Time to stop typing! As any past reader of the blog can expect, the upcoming days will provide stories which will make for much better blog material.
Bottom line is, the crew is here safe, and what a crew it is!!!!