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FWQ Kappl 2*

Today I competed in Kappl FWQ 2*. The competition is not really relevant for the points, because even a podium does not bring enough to be able to make it into the freeride worldtour.

Nevertheless, I really like the area of Kappl and also the contest face is really great. It offers high cliffs and perfect possibilities for spectacular lines. For a 2* competition, the level of riding was pretty high and many great lines have been dropped today.

I chose a line, which at least the crowd liked a lot; it was for sure one of my best contest lines so far. Enjoy the video and judge yourself: (Watch in HD!)

last week I had an amazing trip to Andorra together with Irian and Mikaela.

We flew to Barcelona and rent a car from there. Our first goal was about an hour away from Barcelona:

Montserrat – a beautiful monastary in spectacular mountains.
web-monistery-3

web-statue-2

Fotos by Irian van Helfteren

Next stop was already Andorra, where we stayed one night in the
Mountain Hostel Tarter (http://www.mountainhosteltarter.com/ – 30€ pP/Bed)

Next days we’ve spent at Monicas place – a really beautiful Hostel in Sispony (http://www.booking.com/hotel/ad/borda-jovell.de.html)

Then on Saturday competition started as planned in the skiing area of Grandvalira. Unfortunately, the first girl had a hard crash and broke her Hips. By the strong winds, the Helicopter took one hour to be able to finally rescue her out of the mountain. Therefore the competition had to be postponed to Monday.

I was lucky at the bibdraw and started already as second into the face. Conditions were way better than expected and I had a really nice powder run.

line

The upper part was pretty technical, so I entered the couloir rather slow and controlled. However I got some points deducted for being too slow. The downside part and all the cliffs went pretty smooth.

I ended up on the 4th place, and I’m happy with that (Podium would’ve been great though!).

All in all it was a great trip. Congratz to Miki who won Snowboard girls.

Finally snow allows to play again!

Pow Turns Only

Due to the lack of snow this winter, I created a short clip from GoPro scenes from the last winter. As the name suggests, it’s just about beautiful turns in pure pow.

After finishing my studies, I decided to go up on Arlberg and spend a season of snowboarding here while searching for a new job.
That’s our lovely „happylangen“ (Langen am Arlberg):
https://maps.google.at/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=204059470622149283561.0004cf5476cf6f744b051&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=9&vpsrc=1&iwloc=0004ef15664eb7a6798fa
Langen is a tiny place with about 70 habitants, but still you can feel the winter magic here. The great skiing areas of Sonnenkopf, Stuben and St. Anton are just a few minutes away from us.

Even though we’re not having the best snow conditions so far, I realize that I’ve made the right decision. Living together with Irian van Helfteren and Alina Wanda, is really fun and I hope that it’s going to be a long winter with a lot of pow.

Here are some pictures of our new years eve together with Christian Schnabel before we went out in Stuben:
1549437_10152111655875867_627933190_n 1554433_10152111655475867_122676602_n 1560484_10152111655805867_1838870771_n

Also the riding level with the guys here is sick. It’s an Inspiration to go snowboarding with Irian, Chris etc…
Though snow conditions are not too good, I still think that we’ve had some pretty stunning days so far.

More to come soon.

Thinking about freeride competitions, what are the first things that come up to your mind?

For me, thinking about freeride competitions pops up x different things in my mind

  • ·         Speed
  • ·         (High) cliff drops
  • ·         And implementing freestyle into the backcountry

And in my opinion, those points are the ones that make this sport so wonderful when riding, but those points also provide a great show to spectators.

In the last competitions I’ve realized that so many top rankings only included fluid runs with very little cliffs (1-2m). Buttchecks even with high cliffs or after performing a trick were judged very strictly.

At the weekend I competed in Chandolin FWQ 3* and I had a talk to the headjudge of snowboarding before the competition started. The judge clearly stated that a fluent run is the most important thing; taking a small run and ride everything without a little mistake is much better than taking big cliffs and buttcheck. My thoughts that Freestyle also doesn’t get rewarded where verified when I asked how judging looks like when you do a backflip from a cliff. I was told that you could get in the best case 1 point minus, but up to two minus points if you don’t stomp it properly.

At that point Sascha Hamm who also was part in this conversations said something that I totally encourage: “How can this sport ever progress if you get judged down for the smallest mistakes?”.

I can just say that I always had my top 10 rankings when I did easy lines with small cliffs. And this is exactly the fact that annoys me a lot and restrains the growth of the sport in competitions.

Hearing the judge’s opinion I decided to take an easy line for the competition in Chandolin, though I didn’t want to. Being on top I saw Felix Wiemers going big and jumping a ~10 meter cliff with the ski. At that point I decided to give a fuck about the judge’s idea of ideal freeriding and I chose to also take the same cliff and go big, even though there is a high chance that I can’t land and stomp it perfectly. And so it was – buttchecked two times and getting again quite far behind at place 26 (of 33) but still dropped by far the biggest cliff men snowboard.

Long story short: In my opinion, actual FWQ judging restrains the progress of the sport. It doesn’t pay off at all to take the risk and drop big cliffs or do tricks. Easy errors and buttchecks on big cliffs and freestyle tricks get judged way too hard.

I’d really like to hear some riders’ opinions on that topic!

There’s my line and GoPro video of Chandolin: (Airbag opens after the first drop.)

Line: (pic taken last year)
chandoLine

Also there is a video about the stubaier contest where I got also one of the last in the ranking though again taking the biggest cliff snowboard man, but stomped it. No idea…

(at 2:15):

cheers

update

First event in the season was La Clusaz Radical 4* FWQ in France. We were really lucky with the conditions – lots of fresh pow and sun.
I had a good run except of one crash (big buttcheck) after a pretty sketchy cliff. As crashing is a No-Go at 4* contests, I finished 18/30 in a field of highly qualified competitors.
Bild

After La Clusaz I went to the 2* FWQ in Fieberbrunn. I had quite a solid run (except of a little check on top) and finished 5th. I think the line was tougher than it looked from the downside:

OPEN FACES 2* FWQ Fieberbrunn 2013

On Wednesday it goes to Engadin 4* FWQ to compete again with the big boys again. Conditions right now look really good, so we hope that it’s not getting as warm as predicted in the next days.

update

First of I wish you a nice new years paaaaardy with lots of drinks and naked girls! nice people. 😉 Also I want to thank my new supporters for this season:

GoPro

and

A Headhunter 

After the recent period of bad weather I also cought a cold, which means I didn’t have a lot of time to go snowboarding in the past weeks. Also I’m still in my contract at the internship that I currently do which doesn’t leave so much time for snowboarding at this time.

Anyways I feel to be in a pretty good shape on the board this winter. Snowboarding felt like there was no summer break and I immediatly felt comfortable again. Probably it’s just the great stuff from FLOW that makes snowboarding so easy 🙂

In two weeks I’ll go together with another teamrider from flow to La Clusaz in France to ride my first this years competition. Let’s pray for good conditions! Last year conditions were really bad.
http://www.laclusaz-radikal.com
Here is a short edit of the first good day we had this winter:

FLOW Snowboarding

I’m very proud to announce FLOW Snowboarding as my new Snowboard sponsor for this winter.

I’ve already tested some of this seasons boards, which were great at the Stubaiopening, but I can’t wait to test this seasons Powdergun „Maverick ABT“ 169 in the next days. I’m glad to mention that it’s a camber board!

Great combination, isn’t it?

Check it out on:
http://www.flow.com

and also on facebook, to join:
http://www.facebook.com/flow.europe

Let’s hope that the prediction of 50cm pow on Stubaier Glacier this weekend is correct.

Go with the Flow
😉

wie gesagt hier der Run 2 am Sonntag: