All hail the kickertastic park crew

Just a quick shout out to the park crew at SNO!zone MK for Friday night’s set up. With 2 really good kickers and a mix of boxes and rails that meant the intermediates & experts could both get 4 hits a run if they wanted it was a really good night.

The Boyf, who is normally in photography mode, was especially stoked to be riding with a double-kicker line out as he’s not really a fan of rails at the moment….he has especially asked that the kickers can be out again soon some doesn’t have to wait until the end of the winter season before he can continue to get his kicker legs back!

I was enjoying hitting the Nike box at the top, once I got my head round the kicker on (the angles all looked a bit weird to me), I settled into it and got some smooth tricks laid down. I’m looking forward to this Friday’s Park Strife so I can keep the progression going. With the British Indoor Championships in 20 days, and with 2 work trips scheduled to Munich & Madrid I need to make the most of my snow time.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of the kickers as I was using a rubbish phone camera and couldn’t get the button to press at the right point on the lift, but they were big, smooth & fun! Can’t wait for the next double-kicker line 🙂


Upcoming Event: Park Strife & Airbag

If you fancy a bit of freestyle fun then get booked in to Park Strife on Friday 3rd August….5 hours of serious shreddage and if you pre-book then you get a free 45 minute session on the airbag too!  The last Park Strife was great fun and the kicker onto the airbag was perfect for practising spinning.

See you there!

Event: Who’s Afraid of the Park?

Come to SNO!zone MK this Friday for the latest in the Who’s Afraid of the Park event series that launched last year….this event gives you the opportunity to get some coaching from the slope’s qualified instructors as well as support and demos from the team of sponsored riders.  That means you can ride with me, and laugh when I demonstrate the wrong way to do things (following the old addage of if I fall over, don’t do what I did….if I’m still upright, then so what I did!)

Details can be found on the SNO!zone MK website.  Hopefully I’ll see some of you there.

Thursday Shred

Since we moved I’ve managed to sneak in a few mid-week sessions at SNO!zone MK, something I wasn’t able to do when we were in Essex as I couldn’t get through the traffic after work in time to get to MK before the slope closed.  The Boyf and I headed up there again last night and had a great time sessioning the kicker they had out, in fact I had so much fun on it I didn’t even make it over to the rails.  It was a nice sized kicker, not too much whip and enough of a table that you could hit it mid-speed, although if you came in too fast you did clear the landing and needed stong legs to keep you out of the snow.  This did however mean that it was nicely spinable, enough airtime for me to bring my knees up and grab, not that that stopped me doing a couple of straight legged, ballerina armed attempts.  I did however manage to get some solid frontside 180s with mute and indy grabs, so I was pretty stoked with that.  By the time I’d moved onto backside 180s I’d lost the flow a bit and let myself get a bit distracted by other slope users who weren’t quite clued up about the purposes of the run in and landing, so I’ll need to get on to them a bit quicker tonight, I also want to see if I can transition from nice tucked grabbed 1s to a 360 without reverting to a ballerina-esque pose!

If you fancy shredding tonight there’s another freestyle session from 7pm-11pm with the same layout.  Lots of fun toys and great people to shred with in a relaxed environment.

Check out the Park Plan:

Shredding with the pros & slamming till it hurts

Kat - bench gapWhat a week!  With plenty of ups and downs last week’s shred sessions certainly made their mark in more ways than one.  Wednesday night saw The Boyf and I heading over to SNO!zone MK for a private shoot, not only was it a chance for The Boyf to get some shots of the SNO!zone sponsored riders, but due to a cunning plan dreamt up by Senior Park Shaper & Team Manager Thom Boddington there was a little surprise for the team.  Not only was there a super fun park to shred but we had a handful of extra riders there to spur us on even more than normal…..enter the Salomon/Bonfire Pro Team who were in the country as part of their Team Vacation.  The team only had 2 scheduled stops to meet riders in the UK but Thom spotted an opening in their schedule and managing to get in touch with the UK Salomon Team Manager, the lovely Fuller, convinced them that an after-hours shoot at MK would stop them getting bored and give them a chance to have a quiet shred and get some shots/video for the vacation edits they’ve been putting out.

Getting the team along was no mean feat, these aren’t your normal shredders, this was Scotty Arnold, Chris Carr, Harrison Gordon, Viktor Wiberg & Jed Anderson….so mad props to Thom for thinking this up and managing to pull it off and thanks to Fuller for bringing the team along.  Shredding with these guys has to be my best session ever, not only did I get to shred with Scotty Arnold (who’s one of my favourite riders having starred in the Afterbang movies) but just having uber-pros in attendance really made me step up my riding…as you can see from the photo of me gapping the bench!  The Boyf almost missed the shot the first time I did it as he was expecting me to do my normal slow press along, but a mixture of Kodak courage and a determination not to embarrass myself by looking rubbish in front of the visitors really made me step it up.  In fact The Boyf spotted the pros commenting on my back-lip 270 attempts off the pipe and apparently I got a whoop from Scotty as I gapped the bench!

It was a truly amazing night and I had so much fun, I was still buzzing on the session when it came to riding again on Friday night.

Friday was another great night, the setup was mostly the same as the session on Wednesday so I was feeling quite confident and was soon back into the flow of things, so much so that I started to contemplate hitting the yellow rail at the top of the slope, this had quite a hefty jump on to it but it seem to be about the same height as the gas pipe so I figured I could give it a try.  Mentioning this to Gary Walsh he offered to take me through how to do it and assured me that if I followed his guidance that I’d be able to do it.  Gary’s one of the amazing local riders, who kills it on the rails weekly, so I was more than happy to take his advise.  Taking me through it step by step with in snow diagrams and instructions for each phase of the trick I was soon giving it a shot, each time got a little better from a slight tap of my board on the rail to a brief slide on it before dropping off.  Each time I really tried to listen to his feedback and work on the minor corrections he was giving me (drop in a bit higher for more speed, a bit further over to give me a better line in etc.), all was going well and then it happened….mega-bail, I didn’t get the pop timing quite right, it all went a bit wrong and the next thing I knew I was smacking down on the metal bar on my left upper arm.  I was up out of the snow pretty much straight away reassuring The Boyf (who was shooting at the time) & Gary that I was OK and then took myself to the side of the slope of a quick assessment of whether I was broken or not. The pain was incredible and I felt like I wanted to throw-up, but my hand could clench OK, I could bend and straighten my arm and move it in a circle, hurrah, it didn’t feel broken.  Slams are horrible, especially when they sneak up on you, as this one did, and this left me feeling really shaken.  Not one to be beaten though I rode down, grabbed a drink of water to try to shake off the sick feeling and then squared up to give it a go.  A bit more guidance from Gary and I managed a couple more attempts before the feeling of sickness really started to distract me from trying to do the trick.  At least I gave it a go so the fear isn’t going to be too great when I try it next time the rail is out.  One of the most important things when you have a bad fall is to try the trick as quickly as you can afterwards to avoid getting really scared and avoiding it the next time you ride.

So thanks to Gary (plus additional advice from Alex & Neil) I have at least given it a good shot and I’ll be back to make sure I get the trick nailed as quickly as possible.
Bruise at 2 hours post slam
Bruise - slam plus 2 hours

Bruise at apx 36 hours post slam – getting nice and purple now
Close Up
Bruise, getting nice purple now

Not so close
Bruise, getting nice purple now