Category Archives: Snowboarding

Spring Camp | Riding with the pros

Around 100 athletes & coaches took control of Cardrona’s finest features last week and the progression was mind blowing. With the Whitestar lift spinning & sleds shuttling skiers and boarders there was every chance for great things to happen. Coach to Shawn White, Bud Keene stated Cardrona Spring camp jump progression setup. If you can’t get it done here, then maybe you can’t get it done at all…

 “…If you can’t get it done here, then maybe you can’t get it done at all” – Bud Keene

The SBX course shaped up beautifully throughout the week challenging athletes from Australia and New Zealand to discover new limits of speed, agility and edge control. I was fortunate to be up there for a few days helping the NZ riders Carl Murphy & Duncan Campbell on their form. After working with Carl during the 2014 season on Treble Cone, it was great to see his progression using the skills from riding TC’s challenging terrain & strength training from the gym.

Carl Murphy Adam Dooney
Carl Murphy Adam Dooney

 

SBX Cardrona
SBX Cardrona

Variations of the AirBag were set up along the Super Pipe wall along with the bottom. The biggest bag in the southern hemi was catching athletes on boards, skis and even a sit-skis! Jody Blatchley has been ruling it on his sit-ski this season and nailed his first back-flips onto the giant pillow. Impressive!

Triples, triples, triples… Cheers of Stoke rippled across the home basin as new personal bests were made. Coaches tactfully challenged their athletes to bring new found air awareness on the jump line. Fewer speed-checks were made every day as racers pushed themselves over the rollers and berms. Old fears were controlled more and more each day as new heights were reached.

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Neversummer Riders throwing down.
Neversummer Riders throwing down.

Exciting and progressive times all week as many of them raised the bar getting ready for the northern hemi winter… Breckenridge will be a destination of choice for the park riders along with La Molina Spain, where Carl will compete in his first F.I.S race for the winter.

 “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear… not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain

Much to look forward to during the next year and it has never been a greater time to be involved in snowboarding.

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Treble Cone Export 33 Banked Slalom

The Treble Cone Export 33 Banked Slalom was another successful event. The event pulled in 60+ riders in open and maters categories. Local and international riders enjoy attending each year shredding for a prize pool of $2000 plus spot prizes thanks to Never Summer & Candy Grind.

It was local talent that stood on the podium this year and I was honored to stand next to some good friends – a great way to celebrate my Birthday! If there was an official world circuit in this event I would sign up in a flash. Until then, I will continue training in boarder cross, coach Paralympian Carl Murphy part time and work with Rookie Academy.

Winter Imports New Zealand
Winter Imports New Zealand

Check out the hi-lights by John-Jo at Flashworks Media. Thanks to 360queenstown-wanaka and Thierry Huet Photography for the images.

Treble Cone Export 33 Banked Slalom VIDEO

Winter Imports New Zealand
Winter Imports New Zealand
Richie Johnston - Banked Slalom Treble Cone Thierry Huet Photography
Richie Johnston – Banked Slalom Treble Cone Thierry Huet Photography

Treble Cone Export 33 Banked Slalom VIDEO

Treble Cone DB Export Banked Slalom – 1 week to go!

The quad lift reaches tower 6 and the SW wind really starts to kick in… Like a sand-blaster, snow is picked up and shot into me, particularly my glove-less hand which is hoping to get a photo of how epic Treble Cone’s pipes are looking.

This last week on Treble Cone has treated many skiers and riders to some cold winter conditions. The gullies are loaded with some high quality snow which has been getting sprayed all over the place by stoked locals and visitors.

The great news is that conditions are looking mighty fine for the Banked Slalom which is being held in 6 days time. An international flavor to the start list is usually expected next weekend including Olympians, World Cup racers and die-hard locals. All of which have an equal chance of winning a cash prize pool of over $2000 and assorted prizes.

35 years young? No problem, there is a Masters category just for you. Thanks to the generous and very supportive sponsor Never Summer Snowboards and Candy Grind, Treble Cone will host one of the worlds most famous snowboard gatherings.  Get your kit tuned by the pros at The Wax Room be sure to enter and I look forward to seeing you there!

Check out the hi-lights from the 2013 DB Export Banked Slalom:

Powder filled gullies! - 7th August 2014 Image: 360qw
Powder filled gullies! Image: 360qw
DB Export Treble Cone Banked Slalom
DB Export Treble Cone Banked Slalom

Treble Cone Opening day 2014

An anxious wait for snow is never easy… When and how much white stuff will we have the pleasure of shredding? That day finally came on Friday when Treble Cone opened her gates and the crowd went wild!

Smiles for miles as we lapped up line after line of fresh pockets both in the Home and Saddle basin. Chris Rogers and Janina Kuzma scored first chair, probably because their kit was freshly tuned by The Wax Room.  As it should be…

Photo: Lachlan Humphreys Filmer/Photographer www.cleanlineproductions.com
Photo: Lachlan Humphreys Filmer/Photographer www.cleanlineproductions.com

The coverage in the saddle was much more than expected, with only a few patches of tussock to keep challenged as you reached the  quad lift. Avalanche debris looked soft from afar, but far from soft… It claimed a few unsuspecting shredders including myself. An involuntary front-flip/rag doll will always provide some entertainment for the onlookers. Wind picked up in the afternoon, however it was ideal because the tracks were filed in for the next day skiers and riders to enjoy. See www.360queenstown-wanaka.com for daily information on where to ride.

Richie Johnston Slashing pockets
Slashing pockets: Photo: Lachlan Humphreys Filmer/Photographer www.cleanlineproductions.com

Even though it was a delayed opening, there was still plenty of terrain and snow to get the legs burning again. Time to get make stretching routine a habit again and dust off the foam roller!

Big thanks to Lachlan at Clean Line Producitons for the shots from Saturday. Lachlan’s film is showing at the out the Mountain Film Festival tonight. It follows a story of Colin Boyd on his path to compete in the World Freeride Tour.

Richie Johnston Photo: Lachlan Humphreys Filmer/Photographer www.cleanlineproductions.com
Photo: Lachlan Humphreys Filmer/Photographer www.cleanlineproductions.com

The weeks ahead will be training the new and return Rookies on Treble Cone. A great season ahead!

Back on board with Neversummer & Candygrind

Carl at Winter Imports works hard to ensure that Instructors and leaders in the industry are looked after. He provides the support necessary and helps out the best he can, especially to qualified instructors.


Really looking forward to the Treble Cone season ahead and riding on Never Summer again! Any questions on the gear, just ask.

Never Summer Candygrind Richie Johnston
New kit for the season including the RipSaw!

 

Arigatō Japan

Whoo hoo! Upgrade! A grin from ear to ear as the sweet girl behind the desk issues me my new boarding pass. After 10 years of chasing winter I eventually score leg room. The trip to Japan is off to a great start! Snow, food, monkeys, people and their genuine culture was on my mind… Keith sends through the snow report for Niseko and it looks fantastic! The first couple of days in Japan are filled with face shots, drops and plenty of stories of the fun filled days riding Hirafu. Wang Lei, Keith Stubbs and I rode Park while the sun was shining on Anapuri. Great to see Wang Lei again and it’s exciting to know the potential and momentum of snowboarding growth in China.

Continue reading Arigatō Japan

A NZ Freeride Story Ep. 1

This will be a great story to follow as a great shred buddy of mine Colin Boyd prepares for the World Freeride Tour. Check out his summary of the NZ season while he trains at Treble Cone & Cardrona during the 2013 season here in NZ. Documented in style by Lachlan Humphreys, they paint a unique picture their journey together.

2013 Winter Season: One to remember!

That feeling you get when the pressure is on… deep in the belly and mind. My deep breathes attempt to calm the roller coaster of nerves. As I visualize the course below, flashes of red and blue flags fade away as the mist rolls in over Treble Cone. The NLP skills were coming in handy in both competition and in instructor training.

Continue reading 2013 Winter Season: One to remember!

Treble Cone Banked Slalom

A celebration of friends, snowboarding and enjoying the mountains… The Treble Cone Banked Slalom was once again a day to look forward to. Athletes from all over the world including Bulgaria, Canada and France competed in the most infamous banked slalom in New Zealand.
Rob Fagan managed fastest male and Carle Brenneman fastest female. My second run put me in second place overall just a second and a half behind the Olympic Athlete Rob Fagan himself. As he came 5th in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics in Boarder Cross, I felt pretty good with my efforts!
A nice early way to celebrate turning 31 which happens to be today!
Thanks to Carl at Neversummer & Candygrind for the continued support to myself and the other team riders. Without his support, events like these would never run. Events like these help remind us how awesome the sport can be, as it is as much a gathering of friends as it is a competition.
Here is a really cool edit made from the day from the guys down at Colab Wanaka.
And to finish the day… An epic wake surfing session with Mark, Colin, Lachlan, Rosie, Sofia and friends!
Official video

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