Saturday, 14 December 2013

Goodbye cold cold glaciers!!

Soooo as November came to and end, it was finally time for the lower resorts to open and the end of frostbitten toes and glacier parks!!!

We made a little trip over to Kaunertal though on its last few days of Park. I went with Nathan and two girls also doing a season here, Polly and Bianca. It was a second stop of the Wir Schanzen tour, and we thought we'd make a trip of it and go and stay two nights in a town just down the valley. It was wonderful bluebird on the day, but unfortunately the park stays in the shade for most of the day, so it was extremely cold waiting around for your turn!!

The comp didn't go so well for me, although I think everybody was struggling to actually pull off any nice tricks as everyone had frozen feet and even legs by the time it was time to drop!! The little kids still seemed to have bundles of energy and warmth?! They must have had their Weetabix! The park set up was also really nice, I'm looking forward to going back up there in Spring when its not minus 100!

I think I ended up in 6th, but it was still fun to meet some other girls from around the area.  There are a lot of girls who live down in Innsbruck and travel up to all the different resorts, so it'll be nice to get to know some of them over the season and go shred! There is an epic view of the Dam on the way down from Kaunertal too!!

As there has been lots of early snow in the valley we've also tried to do a bit more urban riding. We went up to a spot just before Hintertux a few weeks ago and set up a jump over a tunnel.
The tunnel
 It seemed pretty big when we got there, but I thought I could manage it. But by the time we built the monster of a kicker, which was a good few meters back from where I had imagined, I decided to leave it up to the boys!! Even they found it quite a challenge.

Building the kicker

Beasty Kicker! Check!
It was pretty exciting to watch and see how something will turn out after making it yourself. Joe did a kinda sketchy straight air, being the guinea pig...he said the kicker was a bit whippy so just went straight back up and backflipped it!!! Crazy boy!! But he absolutely stomped it, it was great!

Joe Webster throwing a huge backflip!

After that we made a pow kicker off a cat track and hit that a few times. That was pretty fun! There wasn't a lot of base yet but it'll be a good spot to go back to once it's snowed a bit more!

Me doing a stalefish into the pow!
Some good weather has set in since all the storms which is nice. Unfortunately I've hurt my shoulder a bit so i'm resting or a few days! Penken park is now open and Kaltenbach set up this year is looking sick!! So hopefully in a few more days that'll be open and i'll be able to go shred! :)

Kaltenbach park is almost ready!!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

First few weeks back in the mountains!

It's been great being back in the mountains, and finally getting to shred!!

So far, it's just been glacier riding as the main ski resorts aren't open yet, but they're meant to open this weekend woohoo!! I've mainly been riding Hintertux as its pretty close to our house, but have also been over to Stubai a few times.
Keeping warm in all my new gear! Thanks Westbeach and Celtek!
My friend Chloe (Hardy) came out to visit last week for a bit of a pre season shred and see what Austria has to offer! We rode a few days up at Hintertux, with a mix of weather! And then went over to Stubai. The park there is pretty fun but again the weather was a bit iffy so we could only really hit the rails. It was lovely getting to ride with her again as we did a season together in Chile a few years ago :) She's one of my favourite people to ride with as were good at getting eachother to try things!

On an off day we went to the climbing wall down in Ashau. I've never climbed before, but Nathan used to do it a lot, so it was nice to have a taste to see what it was like! I really enjoyed it, it's fun when you fall a few times (but stay up as you have the rope) and then eventually make it past a hard bit. The hardest thing i found was gripping with my fingers on some of the holds, as i'm not used to that. But the actual climbing bit wasn;t too difficulty (i was only doing the easy ones!)

Nathan getting extreme!!
The novices :)

On Sunday I went over to Stubai again with a few friends for a competition. The 'Wie Schanzen' (we hills) tour. There are four stops all together around Austria. The weather (as always it seems on glaciers) was pretty bad, it was super windy, snowing hard and a white out!! It ended up just being a small rail jam as opposed to slopestyle. Everyone struggled to see and have speed to do tricks, but I managed to come away with third place so was happy :)

Girlie shred :)

Soooo, since then its snowed loads all the way down to town. Haven't really been up to Hintertux much as you can't see anything. We went to do a street rail on Sunday which was really fun! Although, speed wa sa big issue. The boys managed to hit it on their skis with two of us flinging it in, but I couldn't get the speed on my board. Next time!!

Joe setting up the down rail
The boys managed to get some nice shots, here's Nathan!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Back to the mountains!! :)

We're back!! Finally back to our nice little apartment in Stumm (near Mayrhofen). We drove out on Wednesday nice and early to drive through the day. It was raining sooo much in Germany, Nathan did really well doing all the driving!!! I was navigator and sandwich maker :) We made it 'home' by 9pm so wasn't too bad! We woke up to some cool cows jingling around in the field behind our house...MOOOOOOO!

Overview- 8/11/13
Thursday was set to be bluebird so we head straight up to Tux glacier for our first day of riding!! It was so nice to be back on real snow, the snow domes have been good to ride over summer but it was nice to cruise a bit and pick up some speed! 

The park set up is really good up there! We got there a bit late to hit the jumps as the light starts to go at about 12 behind the mountain at this time of year, so we just hit the rails. They're all really nice and you can get lots of hits. It's a much better set up than what we left last spring as they were still building everything for spring park at that time of year.
8M Down rail + Box + pyramid

We had two nice sunny days, then it was super snowy on Saturday.  I went up to hike with a friend Joe as its nice to try out some new things when the snows nice and soft! Even if you cant see that much! We went and hiked this little down rail for a bit, up at about 3000m! Hardcore altitude training! Nearly got landed on by Joe trying to get a cool shot!

So I'm all set now for another awesome season! I can't wait for everything to start opening, gonna head to a few more competitions this year as there are a lot in Austria. There's one in Stubai in a couple of weeks so we may all head over to that and check out their glacier setup. 

I'm also stoked to be on the Celtek UK team this year :) Keep my hands nice and toastie up at the glacier!! Check out all their cool and crazy gloves here!

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Love Jam baby

Last weekend I did my first wakeboard competition. It was held down at Liquid Leisure where I've been working over summer. It was super fun helping organise the comp and also getting a chance to compete and get out on the water. A nice way to end a really fun summer!

Westbeach have written this nice blog post on it :) Thanks Westbeach

Sabrina styles her way to a medal on the wakeboarding lake

Sabrina styles her way to a medal on the wakeboarding lake
We’ve always said that Westbeach UK team rider Sabrina Burnham walks on water – and now she’s got a medal to prove it. Ok, it proves she rides on water at least.
While most of us have spent the summer pining after the powder and waiting for winter, Sabrina has carried on shreddin’ but this time on the cable wakeboarding lake at Liquid Leisure in London.
And the practice has certainly paid off as she charged her way to a silver medal in the Amateur Women’s category at the Love Jam 2013 contest in October. Each rider was given eight minutes on the cable to impress the judges by hitting as many tricks as possible on the rails and kickers.
“The judges were looking for style, difficulty and variation,” said Sabrina. “The main thing was trying not to fall off, because if you did the clock was still ticking and you had to run back to the start to get back on. So it was a balance of difficulty and safety.
“Unfortunately I fell on a switch frontside 360 on my second lap, so quickly swam out, got to the start and back on the cable. I went straight for the 360 again and nailed it. Next lap I went for the 540 and got it first try – I was stoked!
“It was a lovely way to finish off my summer at the cable park, it’s been awesome still getting to shred but doing something slightly different. We then went in to have a big after-party and got stuck into beer pong!
“I’m ready to get back out on the snow now, in two weeks I’m back to Austria for winter.”
You can read more about Sabrina’s antics on the wakeboard lake here. We can’t wait to see how all that extra practice pays off when she hits the snow.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Summer Snowboarding

This summer, as well as wakeboarding, I've been riding up at Hemel Snow Centre. They have 2 freestyle nights, Thursday is a mellow set up, great for trying out new tricks and it's never too crowded. Fridays vibe is much different, there is a full park setup and it's time to step up your game as everybody is throwing down!!

I've mainly been going up on Thursdays because of work over summer, but now that has died down i'm gonna be up there as much as possible until its time to head back to Austria!!

This summer i've been riding the ladies GNU pickle. I got this new board at the Snowboard Test (Spring Break) back in May. It's a tiny little 140 and a great jib stick. It's soft and lightweight so perfect for in the snowdome. I like riding a small board for jibbing, as you're less likely to catch anything on rails and it's much easier to manoeuvre. You can really get some great presses out of this board.

For out in the mountains this winter, I've also got a GNU Velvet Guru in a 143. I haven't used this much except for trying it out at the board test, but am saving it for once i'm back out to Mayrhofen. It should be great on the jumps and more stable at higher speeds, and i'm hoping to have that extra bit of float in the pow! I'll keep you updated!

I also just got some goggles for winter, so now i'm super excited and counting down the days!! Thanks Dragon :)

Thursday, 12 September 2013

It's getting chilly...

It's getting a bit chilly now down at the lake! Summer appears to be over, which is a shame, but it means i'll be back out in the snow soon! Yay!!

On the plus side, it means i can get out my new Rocket Dog trainers to keep my feet warm!! :)

I've been going up to Hemel a bit more now, it was hard to drag myself away from the lake when it was 30 degrees and sunny!! But it's been great getting back on my snowboard a bit more. Finding me feet again and start getting ready for winter!!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Westbeach Interview

Thanks Sue for doing this cool interview with me about Wakeboarding vs. Snowboarding!! If you're thinking about giving it a go have a read and check out my short clip I put together!! :)

So, after back to back winter seasons our UK rider Sabrina Burnham decided it was time to get a summer under her belt. It could have all gone wrong staying in the UK, but as it is, she has bagged herself a job at liquid leisure, a cable wakeboarding lake in Datchet and the sun has been out to help her progress! Check out this little interview below, along with some photos and a wee edit of Sabrina in action!
Sabrina, when did you first get into wakeboarding?
I started, like snowboarding, at university. It was the middle of January so not the best time to learn! But by spring I loved it and was going several times a week. After uni I started doing back to back winters which meant up until this summer I hadn’t been in 3 years!
Where is your home… er lake???
This summer I started working at a cable park “Liquid Leisure”, in Datchet (near Windsor). I’m from Cornwall but wanted to be able to wakeboard, and get to the snowdomes through summer, so this was the perfect place! It’s only a 30minute drive to Hemel who sponsor me too so that’s handy! :)
Rail fun!
How different is wakeboarding on a cable to a boat on the sea?
The sport has really changed, on cable there is no actual ‘wake’. Instead there are obstacles – kickers and rails – to keep you entertained. On a lake the water is a lot calmer than the sea, and most cables have an island running down the middle to help keep the water flat.
So you’re pretty good on a snowboard too, how similar/different is it?
I find the two sports very similar, even having not riden my wakeobard for 3 years, within the first session it felt like I hadn’t stopped! The only thing was my arms! You need to be strong wakeboarding, I felt like my arms were going to fall off after 3 laps! The rail tricks are very similar, and the wakeboad obstacles are a lot wider so you don’t have to be quite as precise. It’s a good chance to try out new tricks that you aren’t quite ready to go for on a snowboard. Kickers are a bit different, as spinning past 180 involves a handle pass, but it’s still good practise. I’ve got cab 5′s now on my wakeboard so i’m oping to take that onto the snow this winter.
Is it the same feeling when you’re heading into a kicker or a ‘rail’ as when you’re on the mountain?
No, heading towards obstacles is different, as you have to cut out away from the cable on an edge, and then you flatten off. So you can’t line yourself up like on a snowboard. Working out the cut, to make sure you make it to the end of the rail can be tricky at first, but once you’re on, it’s like being on your snowboard!
Does wakeboarding help your snowboarding?
Yes, i think so, even just going up to Hemel after a few weeks riding on the cable i felt my front blunts had improved. For the rest of it – we’ll see this winter! It’s much less intimadating trying things on a wakeboard as the water is much more foregiving than icy snow!
Intense look on concentration!
What tricks relate across the two sports?
Rail tricks convert across the best, getting used to moving your body into certain presses/tweaks. The rails are also pretty long wakeboarding so theres time to play around and get creative, and then condense it down to a snowboard rail!
What new tricks or improvements have you seen this summer?
Lots actually! I’ve learnt to spin 360s both ways and now 5s. I’m working on backside spins but it’s a bit more tricky on the cable. On the rails generaly playing around, trying to make up some creative switch ups that I wanna start trying on my snowboard.
Sabrina wakes up over the kickers, pa ha ha ha!
What advice do you have for someone who wants to start wakeboarding?
Do it! It’s so much fun, and it’s a nice change from snowboarding whilst still getting to hit rails and kickers! We get lots of beginners here at the lake, my advice is to go on a kneeboard first to get the hang of the corners! They can be tricky and it involes lots of crashing and walking back from the first corner, so have a go on a kneeboard to get the hang of it first and then you’ll be sweet! I wish someone had told me that, as i spent lots of time crashing at the first corner!
Do you intend to take the wakeboarding world by storm like the snowboarding world ha ha? Domination on the cards???
Haha, nope, not quite. I do want to keep doing both sports now I’ve got back into it! I realise how much fun it is, and it’s nice to get some sun and warmth! And i think it’s good to have a break between the sports else you lose some motivation! As much as i’m enjoying wakeboarding now, I’m going to be really excited to get back to Mayrhofen! I do want to keep pushing myself in both sports though, and maybe do the odd competition if i can on a wakeboard, just to give it a go!
Check out Sabrina’s last snowboard edit here!
If you fancy giving wakeboarding a go, go and hit up Sabrina at LiquidLeisure

Monday, 29 July 2013

Summertime! Update

Well, it's been an awesome summer so far!!! I feel very lucky to have had so much sunshine and warmth after so much winter :) The lake has been very busy since it got warmer, which means I have been working long hours, and only really getting to go wakeboarding on my days off. The water is up at around 25 degrees though so no more wetsuits! yipeeee

It's been awesome wakeboarding again, I had forgotten how fun it is, and it's so nice being on the water on a hot sunny day! It's also been a nice change from snowboarding everyday, but its still a very similar sort with the same buzz of trying new tricks and landing things for the first time. I got some pictures and things taken a few weeks ago, by Stephan Beaumontski, a photographer who wanted to get some different shots....waterskiing and wakeboarding was ideal :) 

We've just had the Wakeboard Nationals on too, which is a big British event, so loads of relaly good riders have all been coming down to practice, which has been really fun. I got to watch a bit of the Qualifiers on Saturday but then was off to York for a wedding! :) Nathan's mum has just got married, so we've been up here in York celebrating. It also meant Nathan flew back from New Zealand so double win :) It was a loely wedding and I got to meet more of Nathans family which was nice. Congratulations Janet and Graham!!

I've been having fun going up to Hemel Snowdome some weeks to still get a shred in! The set ups there have been really fun, and i've been trying some new tricks that I've been doing on my wakeboard :) Although, the last few weeks I haven't been able to drag myself from 30 degrees sunny lake to go up and put my snowboard gear on!!! But, make the most of it while it is England! made a nice edit for me from a few days riding up in Kaurnetal for the Snowboard Test...thanks very much for that :) Here's the link... 

Saturday, 20 July 2013

New Sponsor! Rocket Dog Shoes

I've just got some lovely new shoes in the post from my new sponsors Rocket Dog :) They are perfect for down at the cable, nice and comfy for a long days work, and i've received loads of compliments already :) Happy Feet!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Lake life - The Gym

This morning I had my first session in the gym for a long time! I booked myself in for 9am before work, and had a training session with James. We're really lucky here at Liquid Leisure as the gym is on site, Lakeside Health & Fitness. I did a run around the lake and then we worked on leg strength as my main priority, some core and some upper body.

Getting back into wakeboarding recently has been a workout in itself, getting my arms strong enough to do more than 5 laps on the cable! So I'm going to try and get into the gym once or twice a week in between wakeboarding and riding up at Hemel to keep strong for the next winter season in Austria!

Wakeboarding has been going really well, as I say i'm getting stronger so i can ride for longer which is nice :) I've learnt lots of new tricks, and tried some of the rail tricks up at the snow dome last week which went pretty well! The movements are very similar so it's nice to try things out on a wakeboard that I wouldn't be as comfortable trying first time and falling onto hard snow! The water is nice to cushion your landing! I'm actually finding it a lot easier to spin cab on the wakeboard, so have my switch 360s dialled...but seem to have lots my regular ones...oops.

I'm going to try and make a short edit over the next few weeks :) Here's a nice shot of this evenings sunset!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Liquid Leisure!

So, I'm back in England!! first summer in quite a few years...although so far i've only seen the sun twice!!!

I've got myself a job down at Liquid Leisure Wakeboard park, i'm working in the shop over summer,which will be a nice change from being in the snow. There is an awesome cable here, with lots of fun obstacles, large and small. It's been three years since I've been riding, but after one session back on the water it's like I never left! Now its time to start trying some new scary tricks on the water that I can then start to do on my snowboard!!

It's really cool here, we have a Hot Tub, Table Tennis, Sauna, Volleyball and obviously all the Watersports! So I think i'm gonna be having a lot of fun! I've got myself set up in a nice little caravan, which i've gradually been making more homely. 

I'm still going to be snowboarding over summer though, thanks to Hemel Snowdome i'll be joining their team and riding on their Freestyle nights! I went up last week and met everybody, and had a little shred! It only took 30 minutes from here so that's perfect, I'm going to try and get up there most Fridays after work!

So if anyone wants to come down and try out Wakeboarding let me know!!

Monday, 13 May 2013

The Board Test/Spring Break!

After finishing up the season in the Zillertal valley, and leaving our lovely little apartment, we headed over to Kaunertal (also in Austria) for the Snowboard Test, this year also known as Spring Break! I had never been before so i was really excited to check out all the new stuff and see friends that have been in various places around the world!

Luckily my Tirol Snowcard that I've been using for the season also covers Kaunertal, as it's just on the edge of Tirol. Westbeach sorted us out with a nice apartment for the week, and also let Nathan come and join us for the week....he must have been the only skier there! The weather followed on from what it had been like over in Hintertux, a bit grey and rainy, but we were lucky to get a few days of sunshine!

I met Matt, from GNU snowboards and got hold of two lovely new snowboards for next season. I tried out a few, and decided on a Velvet Guru in 143 - this is slightly longer than the B street i've been on for the past few years, as I want to try something a bit longer and stiffer for hitting the jumps next season. I also got a Girls Park Pickle in 140 which i'm going to use in the snowdomes over summer. It's soooo soft and fun to jib around on, so should be perfect in the snowdomes! So thanks very much for that!

The highlight of the week for me was going up to the glacier at about 8pm for a night shoot with Westbeach. Once we got up there the piste basher came to meet us, and took us to the top of a park to session a rail.....but not just any rail. But unfortunately that is all top secret for now!! Watch this space!

There were lots of events going on through the week, on  the first day was the Whitelines Rail Jam, which was a stairset with the choice of a Down Rail or a Down Flat Down. The atmosphere was really good, and the finals were in teams rather than individual which made it a bit different. They did a method competition on the Hip, and also a Big Air another day..but the weather wasn't on our side for the big air.

We got a little bit of filming done in the week, so i'll have a little edit coming up from that shortly, thanks to James at Gonzilla.

On the last night was the Quiz...which I had been warned, wasn't any old quiz! It involved putting on, and taking off lots of clothes and even some semi-nude pictures!!! But it was a lot of fun, and nobody really knows how they got home!! A good end to an awesome week! Can't wait til next year!

Saturday, 27 April 2013


In our last few weeks in the Zillertal Valley, we were hoping to ride Hintertux Glaciers sunny park everyday.....this was not the case! The park sits right on top of the glacier, which means it tends to hold the cloud. We've had a bit of a grey and miserable most days the park sat in the middle of a nice bit fat grey cloud!! So we started to watch a new series to keep ourselves entertained; Game of Thrones... but in under a week we got hooked and managed to get up to date! 

So then we needed a new activity...Nathan drove up to Hochfugen one day, which is one of the resorts near us that has now closed, to see if he could find any snow to play on. He managed to find an awesome vvrrrrr tube (a corrigated tube) which we built into a jib and sessioned almost everyday for a week!! At first it was only a few of us, but one day pretty much all the left over seasonaires came and we had about 15 of us! The shaping got better everyday, when Si Cudlip came along he made it his masterpeice, and kept closing it for 're-shapes' was turning into a real park!! haha

Rowan's cork onto the tube!
 I think everybody learnt some new tricks, and as it was a nice mellow tube, tried things they hadn't done before. Rowan even went for a switch backslide cork 270 off the heels!! Which didn't turn out so well....once he removed the cork though, he nailed it! :) It all turned out to be a lot of fun! Now...back to Game of Thrones...

Back Lip / Front Lip

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Hintertux Glacier

So, spring is here and after some really slushy last days up at the Penken Park, the park up on Hintertux glacier is finally open :) I've been looking forward to riding up here, as i've heard the jumps are really good, and we got here a bit late at the start of the season to catch the park. The shapers from Kaltenbach park are working up here, and they did a great job down in Kaltenbach, so I was excited to come ride the winter snow and not slush! (The park is up at 3250m ish). 

I've finished work now, which is great as I kept missing all the sunny days and having cloud on my days off! But now we have another 2 weeks to ride here before heading over to Kaurnetal for the Board Test (Spring Break). The kickers are really nice, you can get a lot of air time on the second medium jump, which takes a bit of getting used to, but is also nice as you don't have to worry about knuckling :) We keep meaning to get more filming/photos done but there doesn't seem to be that many sunny days (even though it's spring)! And when we do get some sun, we just want to hot lap! But here's one from yesterday of me doing a Front 360 Indie :) (Unfortunately it came out a bit blurry as someone walked in front of the camera just as I dropped! Oops.)

There are also lots of nice single barrel down rails of all variations to ride, but they have a lot more jib features that'll hopefully be ready soon! Some are currently sitting at the bottom of the hill waiting to be heli'd/driven ? up to the park! But they look sick! And there seems to be some plastic tubes (donkey's and thin / thick tubes) which should be good for learning some new tricks on :)

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Morzine and the PBRJ European Finals

So, after a few days in Tignes, it was straight over to Morzine for the Peanut Butter Rail Jam European Finals! I have done this competition for the last few years, and the finals are always a great day, and it's awesome to see the (very high) level of riding across Europe. Once again, for the third time this week, it was dumping with snow on the day of competition! This didn't matter so much for me, as I was keeping warm hiking and riding, but it meant Nathan was standing in the snow watching for the third time in 5 days! Luckily, Volcom are really awesome at putting on these events, and provided lots of food, drinks and even a BBQ!

Here's the Setup: (We went back on a nice day to get photos, the camera had already taken a bit of a beating in the snow this week! So no pictures of me riding unfortunately).

Practice went well, I made it through the rails, although it was a bit slow as it was quite a flat run in. In qualifiers I didn't ride quite as well as I had hoped. It is a hard competition, not only because of the level of riding, but also the format. You get a 15 minute heat, where you need to hit all three rails. Your best trick on each rail is added together to give your score. It was quite a long, hard hike as the run in was flat they had built a snow mound to drop in off. So, you need to really land your tricks first, if not second time as you don't get many hits.

I got OK tricks on the Down Flat Down and Down Rail, and then tried to hit the double rail to down rail....this didn't go so well. I was a bit scared, as it was a metre gap onto the double rail, and then a gap to the down rail, but I knew i'd regret not giving it a go, and only one other girl had hit it, so thought I'd go for it. I managed to slip out of my boardslide and got tangled between the double rail, hitting my shins pretty hard. I had to weave my way out of the rails, shake it off and hike up to get a hit on the lower down rail (missing the double rail this time). But now I am left with a numb shin..I guess that's better than pain!

So, I didn't get into the Super Finals on the day, but oh well, I tried! It was fun anyway, and nice to get to ride with Miss Katie Blundell a bit more too (she had qualified in the Laax qualis). We stayed in the freezing cold to watch the Finals and Prize Giving. There were some real bangers! The level of riding in Europe is very high, the Finnish ruled on the day. I think they podiumed in every category!

Here's a link to Volcom's video, to see what went down on the day!

With all the comps done, we stayed on in Morzine for the rest of the week catching up with friends. Both myself and Nathan have done seasons there, so it feels like home! My sister was also out for the week, so I got to spend some time with her too!! Now were back in Austria, Kaltenbach and Mayrhofen are closing now, but we have a month to ride Hintertux glacier, and the park up there should be rad! I'll get some pictures/footage of that!