Seppe Smits

Seppe Smits, in focus.

The Sky is the Limit

An eerie cloud layer blanketed Snowpark with an all enveloping cold calmness, greeting the athletes on day two of the Snowboarding Performance¬†Camp in Wanaka, New Zealand. Undetered by the misty conditions, the riders were straight out of the bus and onto the lift, eager to pick up where they’d left off the previous day.

The bag jump was now familiar territory, proving itself as a perfect training platform providing a soft touchdown every time, enabling athletes to develop new tricks and push their snowboarding to higher levels. Today, the sky was the limit.

The grooming team at Snowpark had worked through the night smoothing out the run-in and fine tuning the takeoff, with the cooler temperatures overnight the step-up jump was crisp and running fast.

Canadian rider Sebastien Toutant was quick to get the action underway throwing down switch double back flips and fellow Canuck Mike McMorris was chucking cab 12 doubles. Iouri Podladtchikov ( SUI ) was ripping from the moment he touched the snow, guinea-pigging the other step-up jump before anyone had noticed, following with a stomped, smooth backside rodeo on the previously unridden feature.

Another rider who took the opportunity to step into new territory was Wojtek Pawlusiak (POL). After ripping the rails all morning he took it to the step-up and threw down his first ever double flip with major style and pop!

My first time on the air bag and I can’t really say how stoked I am, it’s like I can’t really find the right words to describe the feeling, I don’t know… I’m just like,¬†Wahoo… the happiest person in the world I guess… yeah! - Wojtek Pawlusiak

The weather that had threatened all day made a complete turn in the afternoon with the sun bursting through the cloud layer to reveal crystal blue skies. The riders made the most of the pristine conditions and what ensued was a full-on assault of double variations with every type of grab thrown in for good measure.

You could feel the dynamic energy in the air amongst the entire team of riders and coaches, everybody stoked from the session that was taking place, everybody feeding off and supporting each other, a day where the progression of snowboarding was taken up yet another notch.

Tomorrow is day 3…

Red Bull NZ Performance Camp

Seb's one of the best young riders in the game, no doubt. But man alive... Gotta work on that tough-guy stance, bud. Homie does run some mad bling, though...

Redbull Nz Performance Camp

Wojtek Pawlusiak is still the new best name in snowboarding. Sorry, Nicky Fresh.

Redbull Nz Performance Camp

....And this is how your earn those diamonds. Sebastien Toutant, switch backside two-fer.

Redbull Nz Performance Camp

This ain't Spencer O'Brien's first rodeo. On another note, any proper college bar should have a mechanical bull. Just saying.

Red Bull NZ Performance Camp

Mark McMorris is one of the funniest little Canadians since Michael J. Fox. What? Too soon?

Red Bull NZ Performance Camp

Before he was bagged as a pro shred, Pat Moore used to bag groceries at a local market and wore a pin that said, "Lettuce Help You!" ...No, he didn't.