I was down in New Zealand earlier this summer as a coach for the US Junior Worlds Team. The trip was amazing- I got to see things from a different perspective and it made me respect my coach a lot more! (Coaching is not easy, there's a lot more to the job than just the on snow part.) Regardless, I didn't get a ton of skiing in and certainly didn't have the opportunity to work on any new tricks. Hence "round 2." I flew back down to New Zealand 2 days ago so that I could get some of my personal training in. The resorts are all closed, but Snowsports NZ has a late season pipe camp up at Cardrona. Empty mountain with 5 sleds a 22' halfpipe and a double quarter pipe to airbag. The ideal situation for learning new tricks and immediately doing them in a pipe.
My friend Amy Sheehan has been kind enough to let me stay at her house, which has more character and charm than any home in the states. Her family's love for life and skiing and surfing allows them to be completely content. It is a beautiful environment to be in.
Yesterday I went up to the hill and did some straight airs and alley-oops in the pipe. It was amazing how many laps you could take in a short period of time, but also amazing how quickly your legs tire! I suppose that 13 hour flight and 30 hour travel day took a bit more of a toll than I gave it credit. Anyway, I was feeling pretty good on my skis and am confident that this will be a productive trip. I even managed to do a few of my alley-oop cork/flat 5s into the airbag which has been a summer long project. I've done them on water ramps, on a jump airbag, did one in the pipe and now with the pipe airbag I'll be able to perfect the trick before taking it back into the pipe.