They Came, They Saw, They Conquered
The goal of the Red Bull Snowboarding Performance camp at Snowpark in New Zealand was simple – get the team together and provide them with an environment where they can progress their riding and snowboarding to new levels.
With a professional coaching team to assist and support the athletes, custom built set-up of two identical jumps, one with bag landing, one with snow, the scene was set for some major progression sessions. With the first week dedicated to the branded athletes, this is exactly what went down.
“I reckon that this is the best training facility I’ve hit yet, the air bag jump is perfect and everybody is learning new things and trying tricks that maybe you wouldn’t try at other places, it’s the best training tool I’ve hit. I’ve tried it [airbag] once before but the impact is a lot less on this one with the step-up and then you just lightly touch down in the bag, it’s really safe. I’ve done some doubles but I’m just trying some new ones and trying to get them more perfected.”—Mark McMorris
The women were represented by the lone Canadian Spencer O’Brien, what she lacked in numbers she more than made up for in performance and attitude.”It was actually pretty funny because none of the riders really knew what we were coming for so it was kinda like – “You’re going to this camp, here’s your ticket, have fun” – so I didn’t really know what it was going to be but I was definitely excited and I knew it was Red Bull so it was going to be cool. When we got here and found out everything that was happening I was really, really stoked!
The setup is really good, this bag jump is a lot bigger and a lot different than all the other ones I’ve hit, it’s really good for learning tricks, just how much air-time you get and because it’s a step-up style jump you’re not getting as much impact when you actually hit the bag, it’s really well set up and It’s a lot of fun.”—Spencer O’Brien
After two days of experimenting and perfecting new tricks on the Bag Jump, it was time to get real and move it next door to the step-up. Once riders became comfortable with the run-in and the jump itself you could see them really driving themselves physically and more importantly mentally into new territory. The majority of the crew were attempting and more often than not landing tricks they had never made before, proving how successful a training environment like this really is. The crew was enjoying themselves, encouraging each other and having a lot of fun, an important factor to successful learning.
Coach and rider Pat Moore (US) had this to say on the week “The past couple days have been a lot of fun and it’s definitely been an experience hitting the bag, but you’re hitting a bag and I think it was cool today to see people taking their tricks and bringing it to the snow. Mark McMorris was doing his double back rodeo 9’s and Seb was doing stuff, so was Scotty James, all around the board there were people putting stuff down or at least trying you know and that was pretty rad because there’s a big difference between doing a trick into a bag and actually doing a trick. I think it was great, it just shows what a scenario like this can do for peoples riding.”
The aim of the game was progression, and progress they did. Athletes reached amazing new heights, pushed personal boundaries and the progression of snowboarding. The camp provided a glimpse into the future of what snowboarding can and will become with such talented riders leading the charge. They came, they saw, they conquered.
Next week the rookies are in town to make their mark.