The slopes at Kaunertal

The Snowboard Test 2011 Kaunertal

My last snow trip of the season and always an epic one. This event sees the UK’s snowboard industry go for some type of end of year bash in Austria. This was also the first outing for the new Maxtrack-mobile. It makes a world of difference to have a comfortable modern van.

Last year we had good snow but poor visibility. This year we got lucky with loads of sun and super fun spring slush. The trip started out with an epic drive. I made a detour to Bournemouth to pick up the Never Summer tent and some other bits and bobs before continuing on to Dover. Tom Tom as always failed me – luckily I had anticipated this and bought a European road map. Navigating from country to country is easy, but on a per junction basis it is not so fun. A couple of minor detours via Brussels city centre and then a few hours later Munich city centre delayed us somewhat. The next step of getting into Austria and navigating mountain roads was less easy with the map. Again I anticipated this and we set off almost a day early.

Marcus Woodbridge and Rhys Crilley were the co pilot and navigator for the trip. Once at Kaunertal we found our apartment and got our lift passes then went straight up the hill. By “the hill” I mean the 40 minute drive up the side of the mountain with 29 hair pin turns. We were pretty beat after driving all day but decided we really should snowboard – so we got on it. It was amazing to ride again.

After a quick session we got the stand set up and headed back down the mountain. It is a long and hectic week juggling working the stand and getting boards tested, gathering media, running events and evenings of heavy socialising. I managed to pace myself better than in previous years which was cool.

The snowboarding was great – spring conditions are some of my favourite as the park becomes a bit softer and more forgiving. On a personal level I managed to push my riding quite a lot. I managed front and back 180s with a pretty good success rate and also at reasonable speed. I had my first venture into riding the pipe which I really enjoyed. We also got to partake in the joy of gliding over puddles of water at the base of a slope.

In terms of Board Mag we managed to get some great content. We have previews of 11/12 snowboard graphics, galleries from various events including the Whitelines Rail Jam and the Never Summer Shredneck Mini Ramp Jam and also some party pics from the Analog party which this year had a Royal Wedding theme. It was typically messy. We did however manage to get even messier the following night.

The drive back went relatively smoothly until the we got to Dunkirk to find we had missed the midnight ferry and there was no more till 4am. We just slept in the van. The ferry trip was fine and then I drove us back to Swindon then Bristol on the Saturday morning. It is always pretty surreal driving so early in the morning but it is all worth it when you look back on the epic week we just had.

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