Every year Team Snow Xchange runs three on snow training camps. Participants get ten hours of intensive training over one weekend at Porters Ski Area. Ruby is one of our sponsored riders and junior coaches in our X-Ten Gym. Here’s her round up of camps from 2015…
X-Ten Collective is where I spend the majority of my time. I live and breathe the air of that place, I work there. I train on the tramps there and through this my plans are to become an amazing rider who can venture around the world to ride on some spectacular terrain.But what really took things to the next level for my riding was our training camps. gained what what no other experience could give me. Sure I can ride, throw a few things ‘hoping’ to land. Jump on this and that, here and there, trying to be ‘cool’, but really I had no clue what I was doing! All I was doing was making stuff up as I went along, and for a while yeah, it worked, but it got to a point where I stopped having fun. My riding wasn’t moving forward and I started losing hope that I would ever become a mildly alright rider. Camps changed this for me.
The progression I had made within the first, what, 10 minutes was UNBELIEVABLE!! My riding improved a huge amount in the six days I spent on the snow with Team Snow Xchange this season. Three camps, Three weekends, two days and a tone of learning to jam in. Surprisingly enough the majority of the training wasn’t on jumps, on rails or in the air, we didn’t work on speed or even on the park. We had the whole mountain and we worked on one slope.
Just riding. We worked hard on riding. The on snow clinics we had every morning taught me how to not just ride, but to analyse riding, and how to improve myself on my own terms with the right tools. Now I knew I could go away and work on my own riding in my own time and actually improve because now I know how to actually ride. The foundations have been laid and I am beginning to really ride. 101 tools to ride with.
I don’t think I could ever forget my first camp. The focus everyone had snapped into was out of this world. Even Eli, the one who is never very serious was as focused as a bean. We had started all flamboyant and excited but as soon as our boards touched the snow we had focus. It was one of the best atmospheres I have ever worked in. Sure we had fun, but it wasn’t just with jokes and playing around. We were enjoying learning and feeding off each other.
The mornings were where we were entranced in our boarding. We worked hard and listened to every word our coach threw at us. But in the afternoon; that’s when it got real. Throughout the camps we switched up the afternoons. Sometimes jumps, sometimes rails or sometimes just big mountain riding. This was such a good way to work. I never knew what was going to be next so I had to think about incorporating everything we had done in the morning on all areas of the mountain. The five hours of hard work each day payed off as we usually finished with pizzas, guitar and cards back at the lodge.
Snowboarding is a complex sport. There are many angles you can take to approach your riding and not many people are aware of this; they see snowboarding as a fun and exhilarating way to waste time. To some, snowboarding is a way to get away, others its a way to find beauty in nature, but no matter what it is, it means more than the world to you and you become attached to the mountain. You are in a new environment, at mother nature’s mercy and so insignificant in comparison to the world. The feeling is amazing. Overwhelming. You would think of snowboarding as a physically exhausting sport, right? You’re right but there is more than just the physical side to snowboarding. The mental side to snowboarding is larger than you would think.
The camps allowed me to manage both the physical and mental side of snowboarding. As you become aware of this, it becomes considerably easier to keep a clear head to focus on what you are doing.
I found that as we were taught the more complicated side to snowboarding, it allowed us to put it into practice. There were two competitions throughout the three camps we had. The first one was a night rail jam. It’s a friendly competition where we can just chill out and having a good time with a few prizes on the side. It was great fun and a whole new experience. Next was the Super Cross. This was a bit more serious. With the our coaches there it gave us an amazing advantage and gave us the opportunity to work hard on figuring out the course. Where to slow down, what line to take, all that jazz. All we had to do when it came down to it was to put our hard work into action and really think about our riding, what we had learnt and what we had been told to improve on, this was the place where we could experience it for real.
My overall thoughts on the camps is that they gave me the tools to progress as a rider in my own time and knowledge I can pass down to others. I can always work on my riding and always find a way to make it better.