Two snowboarding sessions in 8 days and I’m loving being back on my board. Things have been tough on the snowboarding front this season, work has been hectic and not only did I not get away to the mountains but I haven’t even managed to ride indoors on a regular basis. Freestyle sessions are normally on a Thursday or Friday night, which makes it hard for me to get to a slope, I’m either battling work or traffic and it’s meant that I’ve only managed to sneak in a couple of Saturday sessions.
We decided to take the opportunity gifted by the bank holiday for #thatwedding last Friday to head up to MK SNO!zone for the Friday night freestyle session. It was fairly quiet (most people seemed to have decided that street parties or the pub were a better idea) but this meant the park stayed in good condition and we got plenty of runs in. It was good to be able to spend the evening sessioning the kicker and I managed to get a few grabbed spins down without picking up too many bruises.
Last night I managed to escape the office a bit early to miss the traffic and headed up again. I really had a brilliant evening, although the kicker felt a bit whippy the rails were spot on. For the first time in ages I actually enjoyed myself and felt like I really progressed. I have a genuine dislike of gas pipes and they seem to be the favourite toy of the UK scene right now, so it was great to ride a park that had a good mix of rails, boxes and pipes. Not only that but it wasn’t all side-on hits for a change. I’ll admit it, I struggle with side-on hits, it’s taken a while to get my head round the technique for them and also to calm my flailing arms so I don’t fall off the moment I get on. Not riding them on a regular basis as well means that each session I go to I’m battling my nerves and it takes a while to get settled back into it. Last night though I managed to pull myself together and not only hit the side-on gas pipe but step it up to hit the side-on bench as well. Best of all though was the gap kink bench! It’s been ages since I had to gap a box, everything always seems to be either side-on evilness or ride on beginner stuff sunk deep into the snow, so it was great to see the park team at MK put out a decent gap on to something that was more than 6 inches out of the snow. I’m not saying I wasn’t scared (I was) but it was good to step it up and push myself on something I knew I could do.
It seems that even though I haven’t been getting much snow-time the work I’ve been doing on the mental side of things has worked. My arms are much more relaxed, and if they do lift as I pop onto things they return to relaxed position much quicker than before and I just feel more positive. I managed not to get myself into a negative thought process loop yesterday and it really made a difference, instead I managed to beat the fear and try stuff that a year ago I would have bottled out on.
I was also really impressed that not only was the slope freshly groomed for the session (meaning no icy patches or skier moguls on the run-ins), the snow was super fast AND the toys held up well. The park team are obviously putting in a lot of effort to get the features built and iced in well and I for one appreciated the fact that everything wasn’t destroyed within half an hour.
All being well I’ll be heading up again this week, not only is there the standard Friday session but Saturday sees the monthly Park Strife session (a bit later in the month than normal because of the bank holidays and some ski racing), and here’s the park plan.
You can also meet the Park Team behind the set-ups at MK SNO!zone in this short video:
Park Team Interview #1 from SNO!zone Milton Keynes on Vimeo.