Blog: 2009

soo it started snowing again.

After spending 2 pretty cold weeks in colorado, and no snow in whistler the whole time i was gone, it started snowing the day i came home. 70cm in less than 2 days. Stoked.

My last day at Copper I ran into an old friend who set me up with a Gopro HD camera. Such a sweet little camera for POV shots. Took the Gopro up on the hill the last few days and made a short video. enjoy

grand prix at copper

first contest of the year, US grand prix at copper in colorado.
i joined up with the team down here just over a week ago, and for the most part since i've been here it's been really cold and fairly windy. it hit -40 with the windchill a few days ago during the first "official" triaing day. so pretty sweet conditions for pipe riding. yeah...
but we've gotten in there and gotten some quality riding in.
Today was the qualifiers for the comp. Tom (our coach) came walking into the house last night saying "justin i have good and bad news. you're in the 3rd heat" 'soo what's the bad news' i ask. "so is eveybody else"
generally heats are split and radonized according to your fis points so in theory it evens the heats out. but it never really works out that way. There's always an easy heat and a hard heat. My heat today was the hard heat. it consisted of shaun white, louie vito, scotty lago, jj thomas, kazu kokubo, jack mitrani, greg bretz,2 really good finnish guys (janne and iika), another good japanese rider (daisuke), a couple more ripping american kids, dustin craven, and myself to name a few..
there was a few jokes around the house about my luck to be in that heat. heat lists never really bother me but when they were only taking 4 people out of a heat... it starts being a little tougher. so 3 heats, 4 people from each, then the next 4 overall scores to make a 16 person final.

So today, i finally started riding at what i consider a somewhat normal level for me. I had some timing issues on a few tricks the last few days so I was lagging a bit on where i wanted to be at. But today felt pretty good.
My first run went decent i guess. had planned to drop into a switch back 540 to start, cab 9, switch japan, haakon, frontside 9 and a back 9.
I almost decked out the cab 9 (pipe was a little undervert today; 7 people got injured and had to be carted off my patrol. not good). then hit a fairly undervert section where i wanted to do the front 9 and had to settle for a 720. which left me riding swtich again and left me to improvise on my last hit. i settled for a alley-oop switch backside 540. hadn't done one of those in about a year i think. felt good on the take off, came around nicely but i landed a little flat and on my heels. i ended up hooking my heel edge across the flatbottom, dragging a hand and essentially tripoding across the flat. little better than flat out falling but not by much.
too many mistakes. i got a 36.6. and with the heat i was in i needed a solid run.
and the second one wasn't going to be it either. slipped out on the cab 9, ended up at 720 and had to improvise the rest of my run and i decked out a few hits later. day over. 31st place overall i think.

shaun, louie and greg went 1,2,3 for the heat and for the overall scores. Dustin and charles reid are the only 2 canadians to have made it through to finals.

Pretty bummed. I hate not making finals. But i can't beat myself up too much. rode pretty much how i wanted to ride and it just didn't work out on the contest runs. Happens. Gonna watch finals tomorrow, then a few mre days of riding the pipe here before heading home tuesday night.

classic lines, good times and lost tourists in the backcountry

After an utterly epic start to the season we got hit with a little rain on wednesday in the mountains. not expecting much on thursday we went up to check out blackcomb mtn's opening day. Surprise! the clouds parted and the alpine was awesome. We spent the day lapping Spanky's ladder. For today, knowing that the snow was quite good in the alpine, Dave Basterechea, eric soucy and myself grabbed our avi gear and went out for a casual day of hiking a few of blackcomb's classic backcountry lines. Eric had only enough time for a quick (relatively) lap so we started off we D.O.A. It's fun tight chute that runs off the side of blackcomb peak. It tends to get a little wind hammered and with a handful of people having done it yesterday it was a little more chewed than we had hoped for but fun nonetheless and held some good turns. And as a usual occurance from the wind, a rocky exit.
Having left eric dave and i went on to do usueme. as we grabbed a bite to eat on top of the chute, we heard a voice cry up "Please wait for me! I'm all alone and pretty scared!" what? "yeah sure. we'll wait for you" As it turns out, he was a tourist from the states who had met some people, who were going to take him to another line in the area.
Somehow this fellow ended up getting seperated, on his own, lost, with no avalanche gear, at sunset in the backcountry. As we were the closest people to him, he followed our line. So Dave and i waited for him to make his way to the top. Then with the sun setting in behind the mtns, we enjoyed our pow turns down to the valley below.
another awesome day in whistler.

Dave B. dropping into the top of D.O.A.

Eric Soucy, DOA

dave B.

View towards Black tusk and Tantalus range

Me, spicing up my life, riding the bottom section of DOA switch

common sight looking back up DOA, rocks.

blackcomb peak

wedge mountain

myself and Dave, on top of usueme just prior to sunset


it's been a good start to the year!

Whistler has just been getting smashed with snow recently. We're well over the 5m mark for november. Which makes for the snowiest november on record. I've been back from Hawaii for 2 weeks now and have ridden powder 13 of those 14 days. the one missing day was right before the hill opened and i helped a friend move. It's been the best start to a season i've ever had. Just never seen anything like this in november. been amazing.
I was supposed to be on a plane right now headed down to Copper colorado to go ride pipe, but they're pipe isn't quite ready yet, they don't have much natural snow and we've got lots here. So that plane ride has been postponed for a little bit.

winter's here! get out there and ride.

Today, 3rd day of Whistler mtn 09/10 season.


Whistler opening day!

Had an awesome time in hawaii. Met up with skiers sarah burke and rory bushfield for some surf sessions. super fun. Waves were pretty much epic the whole time. Loved it.
Came home on the overnight flight tuesday night, arrived in vancouver at 5am, and was hiking in the squamish backcountry a few hours later!
Hiked Paul's ridge both wed and thursday this week to ride some powder and get some no-boarding in. Amazing to have surfed the north shore of hawaii one day and be riding BC powder the next! There's about 140cm just below treeline around squamish which is a fair amount for this time of year.
And whistler opened today. Epic. super good opening. I'm pretty sure everyone for miles around was there. Rolled around with photographers Jeff patterson and john Scarth, and met up with tons of friends everywhere. was an awesome opening day on the hill. Played around with my new little cameraand made a video of the day. the version on youtube has better video quality, and since they killed the zepplin song i switched it to trouble andrew.


Slowly making my way home from NZ. small stopover in hawaii for a few weeks to get some surfing in. It's been pretty big for last week. This weekend was insane, double triple overhead at most break on the north shore. So we went to go watch pipeline do it's thing..

last day of riding for 08/09

well, little late on this one. had my last day of my 08/09 season last saturday in New Zealand. was pretty much the day we were hoping for. weather was amazing, no wind, and the pipe was, uhhh, ok. little undervert and got pretty slushy pretty fast, but it was pretty decent for sure.

With the wind finally dying down, good weather and my ankle finally back to 100% I got around to trying the tricks i was wanting to do. I've been working on several different double corks through last season and this summer. It's how i hurt my ankle in august. Was pretty pumped on being able to do them in the pipe again. So was working on one for abit then the pipe got too slushy so i decided to try some front double cork 10s. i thought the pipe was a little slow but took a few warm up hits, was feeling the wall and went for it. All felt good but i was a little short on the rotation so i tried to jam my front foot in the wall and spin my board around it, but my binding had other ideas. SNAP! day over.So with that my 08/09 season is over.
09/10 coming up in a few weeks!


always something...

today was the day we've waited for since the start of camp. the wind actually died, it was bluebird and absolutely gorgeous. unfortunately the pipe was under vert, and turned to pea soup slush very very fast. the melt has been taking it's toll on the pipe and the walls are shrinking. it kind of feels like late spring, cause it is, and you just can't seem to get everything to align perfectly.
Thankfully, the Bagjump has been setup this week so we've been entertaining ourselves on that for a good chunk of the day. It's a lot easier to just take care of 2 small hits then a whole pipe. and the walls that we're hitting into the bag are at actual full height that a pipe would be. so really good practise none the less. It's pretty much stress free riding cause you can try whatever pops into your head and see if it could actually work without worrying about the consequences like we normally would. I've been working on 2 different double corks over and over. The pipe hasn't been crazy good for those this week, so jumping into the bag has been the best way to practise them the last few days.

Tomorrow is our last day on hill. Supposed to be another beautiful day. hopefully the wind stays light and the pipe will have some more vert. we'll see. either way it goes, it'll be fun. snowboarding always is.

snow and surf in a day and the never, ever, ending wind.

kia ora from NZ. Our trip has been going pretty good so far. We're all stoked we've actually gotten in 5 days a week of riding. a few of them have been pretty suspect days but we're riding. The weather has been slightly difficult this past week and a half. Super slushy (way too slushy), crazy bullet proof ice, foggy, rainy, snowing, and wind. wind every day. A typical day has little wind down here in wanaka and howling winds up on the hill. we're stoked when it's only 40km/h up there. but we hear from the locals that the wind stops in like, february. awesome. But generally the sun pokes out at some point, the wind will gust and back off for a second or two. so we just wait for a quick break and drop in.

last week i took brad martin for a snow and surf day. a few friends lent us some boards so we jumped out to the west coast after riding to get an afternoon surf. It's only the 4th time in my life i get to do both in the same day. For being obsessed with both sports that number kind of surprises me. the surf pretty much sucked but it was fun. chest high kinda sucky shorebreak. a few dolphins swimming around. no matter the conditions whenever i get to do a double day i love it. brad had a blast too. so totally worth the effort.

The bagjump has arrived. The japanese team paid to have the bagjump down here and a few other people are getting in on the fun. I got a few jumps on it yesterday, and tomorrow we're gonna have dustin craven, jeff batchelor, brad, sarah conrad and myself hitting it. The setup is an idea that i'd talked with the bagjump guys about this summer. a big spine with both sides groomed with the pipe cutter so you can easily hit both sides into the bag and it's still like hitting a pipe wall.
If i can get it up i'll post a video of us hitting it. internet is super slow again this trip.

It's super windy out today(90+ km/h winds), so no riding. I'm gonna hang out in the backyard, ice my ankle in the creek, go on a bike ride and enjoy my second spring of the year.


what it says. jackson bay.

brad martin suiting up for his first nz surf session. i didn't tell him about the west coast being real sharky until after the surf..

west coast driving

spring time

the neighbor's backyard

13 people in a house means a full garage

bagjump setup


Subscribe to Blog: 2009