New things.

I’ve never been one for holidays really. I’m a practical kind of kid and tend to spend my downtime in either collapses recovering from excesses, doing tasks that cannot be avoided or spending the time on some activity that I consider to drive my development as a human through education or experience. Not that much of it isn’t self absorption or hedonism.

That said I’ve been to a few countries: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, America, Mexico, Guatemala; even places as exotic as Scotland. I’ve never been south of the equator though, which is something of note. I think however the thing about all these international visitations is that they’ve all been the result of a direct association with another person, the one or the group who was going and with that cause in place, I tagged along. I had no agenda for going other than company, or curiosity. Mostly I was instructed to go, or had no choice to stay behind. Significantly I’ve never gone alone.

So, it’s a slightly strange feeling to have just booked a couple of plane tickets and some accommodation for a solo trip to some mountains. I’ll be sharing a bunk room with three other humanoids, but I’ve never met them, don’t know their names and have no idea if I’ll get on with them other than the assumption that as the delightful person I am they’ll take me straight under their wing and we’ll be bestest friends for life before the first broken leg happens.

So there we are, the longest winded way I could find to say “I booked a holiday, GO ME!”. Also: SQUEEEEEEEE SNOWBOARDING WOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Bleeding ages till January, isn’t it?

Not usually one to bang on… (hah!)

But sometimes there’s something that sticks out and makes a difference in your life that can’t really go unsung. I’ve seen other people around me get vocally excited about unexpected but interesting technologies in feminine care, camera equipment, mobile phone technologies etc.

My revelation comes in the form of clothing. You guys might have spotted that I’ve been snowboarding a little bit once in a while, and since I started I’ve had to get expensive bit of equipment after expensive bit of (beautiful) equipment. It’s been a fun process learning the limits and applications of various bits and bobs and as my skill and ability have increased the various methods of injecting snow at high speed into various crevices have multiplied. I’ve played around with snow skirts, belts, layering and all sorts but the snow was still creeping in.

When I did my snowboard course with the Maverix team I was given a discount code for UK Tall Tees who make almost offensively large DWR coated sweatshirts. I got mine through on Thursday last week, and it’s barely come off me since, much to the entertainment of my friends. It’s so thick, warm, fuzzy and well made.

I got to give it a work out at the slope at Hemel Hempstead this morning and I had the best session I’ve had in a long time, complete freedom of movement, comfortable warmth and crash after stupid crash after stupid crash, the snow simply never made it to skin! I rode regular and crashed, I rode switch and crashed, I popped some little jumps and crashed, and the snow stayed on the cold side of the clothes the whole time.

I can’t recommend this product enough. UK Tall Tees.

Debilitated.

Whims are whims.
I checked a couple of freestyle course websites on Friday as I sometimes do, wistfully wishing I was booked onto one.
Fatefully I installed the Maverix iphone app I saw advertised on the internet and clicked it to see what it did. It told me there was a single vacant slot on a day course on Saturday, the next day, the day after payday. Slightly spendy, but with a bleak outlook for the weekend I just had to have it. Of course the iphone app didn’t manage to complete the purchase properly and for some reason the phone number went to a broken answering service, but since we were in Covent Garden a quick subtle trip to the apple store to “try out” a Macbook Air was easy to do. I broke most of my personal rules by buying a thing with a credit card on an unknown and untrusted computer in a public space…. that’s how much I wanted to go boarding 😛

Skipping on, where am I now? Flat on my back in bed trying to stay awake after one of the hardest car journeys I’ve ever had. I don’t recall last time I was this shattered! Monday is the day after the day after, so I think it’s that which I’ll have to look forward to the most.

Maverix are a nicely relaxed but utterly efficient bunch and I’d recommend any idiot suicidal snowboarder should send them some pennies for their time.

I’ve spent the morning building confidence on the box, almost exclusively on 50:50s, but with a few goes at the teaser intro to the frontside boardslide. The other people on the course were way better than me, but I have to remind myself how new I am still to the sport. They were nailing, and sometimes utterly stuffing backside boardslides. I wussed out of trying them to be honest. I don’t see the point till my 50:50 is feeling solid.

A break for lunch and a look at some of the photos and videos and a giggle about some of the better falls and we went back out to warm back up and hit the kicker.

Straight airs with grabs are pretty damned fun. I have to admit that ramps are way more my kind of thing than boxes. I guess you can probably get more hurt with decent air, but the boxes just look *hard*.

I rounded off my day on the training slope working on the technique for 360s and at about 3:30 the guys headed back to the kicker on the slope to give the spins a shot, I gracefully excused myself at that point, poured my self into the car and tried to stay awake all the way home.

9:30 – 3:30 with an hour for lunch is a full day if you ask me. Maybe next time i’ll make it to 4:30 with everyone else.

I do still bloody love snowboarding!