So the past two weeks have been unreal. This diary entry covers two weeks for a very good reason! Week nine would be our last week riding with instructors before our level two exams, and being the good lad that I am I thought that it would be ideal to use this time wisely and revise in preparation. I promise I am in no way a lazy person. As well as being packed with important things to help us with our level twos, week nine was in fact one of the best ones to date. We began our week by practicing our teaching skills as well as developing our riding to that of the level two standards. By this point the ability to teach was becoming a smoother process and the level two seamed in sight. However, Monday was also a day of sadness. While riding from our crib down to the lifts, due to the sun, it seemed that there was snow on a road. Just in case I decided to try and jump the road. Majestically, I ascended into the air, the A-Team theme song running through my head as I graciously glided across the gap. And then it took a turn for the worse. As the angle of my vision changed it became apparent that there was no snow on the road. I sank to the surface like a led balloon, scratching up Celine (my board) right to the core. A single tear rolled down my face as I brought the trauma into the A&E of the snowboarding world. Thankfully Fraser said I could borrow a board of his for the day, which was rad. Due to a guardian angel that is watching over me (and about $70 worth of repairs) Celine lived to ride another day! I have to say, Monday was an emotional rollercoaster for me. I may have cried in the shower in the foetal position in shame upon arriving home.
To cheer me up throughout the day Jamie ‘ Jack Daniels’ of the Highlands and myself built some snow men and snow sculptures around the mountain, which was pretty awesome.
Also by this point my rotations were becoming more and more solid. 180’s had become something which happened with little or no thought. So the only logical step was to try a few 360’s which surprisingly didn’t go too bad. Hopefully in the weeks after the exam I will be able to have more of a play with these. In addition to this I learnt a new trick! The pornstar! Now I know what you are thinking, what a bizarre name. I can assure you that it had nothing to do with any professionals from the adult industry, but involves hucking off of a roller, flicking your legs up and placing your hands above your head. It actually forces one to pull a rather sexy pose, which is probably where the name comes from. Tuesday would also provide another awesome addition to my season. We hiked up the saddle on the cliff and ripped down the cliff.
As if Tuesday wasn’t enough we rode the saddle once more! Even amongst all the learning that we have been undertaking for our level twos, it is always important to remember the main reason why we are here. We are all snowbums and we all love the contact between our boards/skis and the snow. Ultimately we are all here for our enjoyment which on days where there had been snow it is very important that we do what we love to do and rip the crap out of the mountain.
We ripped the mountain that hard, that we ripped well into Wednesday….well we didn’t ride all night, but you get the idea. It was that sick that I was forced to shrelp all the way down. (if you don’t know about shrelping refer to one of the previous weeks diary’s, or in fact the one that knows all… The mighty Google.
Thursday would take on a more serious face however. We had been improving our teaching in certain forms during the week, but Thursday was the day that we would present a lesson to the whole group. By this point as a group we were starting to nail these lessons, which was awesome to see. For some uncanny reason I keep getting given lesson scenarios based upon something that is wrong within my own riding. Within the lesson I realise what I am doing wrong and correct it within my own riding while at the same time teaching it as a lesson and improving the riding of those I was riding with. This was a good insight into what it would be like to teach snowboarding as a career using the level two teaching standards. When taking a lesson at this standard we had been told that the people we would be taking could potentially be up to the same standard or better riders than ourselves, which highlighted that level two had a higher level of analysis and feedback than the previous level one standard.
The last Funday Friday… Truly one of the best Funday Fridays to date. We pretty much spent most of the day doing butters tricks all around the mountain. For those who don’t know what a butters is I will explain and broaden your snowboarding minds. When one engages in a nose or tail press and uses his or her body to rotate the board around is known as a butters. This can be taken up a notch and used on rails and boxes to get that steasy look about one’s self. Instead of taking it into the park we played around with it on flat land, and even had a go at spinning into and out of presses. All in all made for a sick day. We also videoed ourselves once more to pick up on any parts of our riding that may need improvement, however as usual, the second the film was rolling I hit the deck! To finish the day off we hit the boarder cross. We probably shouldn’t have though as we caused a pile up! I hope Jamie’s ribs make a swift recovery before the exam!
Now do you remember when I broke my board? Well of course you do, it only happened on Monday! Well guess what I did on Sunday?!?! That’s right, damaged my board yet again! To be fair, this time it wasn’t a road. When it snows snowbums such as myself get rather excited! We like to ride what looks like fresh powder. However ladies and gentlemen I have to warn you about something. Sometimes even our best friend powder can be deceiving. What lay beneath can only be described as the devil, or rocks as they are more commonly known. So once again I had to take Celine back into snowboard A and E. I won’t share with you how much it cost to get her fixed this time as my bank account is still weeping at the thought, but I got a fancy sticker from the guys at the board repair shop! It says: “NO ROADS”. Wise words there lads, now if I get anywhere near dodgy territory, I glance at my foot and am reminded that roads are not your friend on a snowboard.
And here it is. Week 10. Exam week for level two. Surprisingly the word exam means very little when you have a snowboard strapped to your feet as you basically just get to shred for another week! In addition to this Monday was the last day before exam. Fer took us for a shred which was cool just to regain our zen before exam week. But saying that, exams went by so quickly. One second I was being told on the Tuesday that I would have Jess for my exams, with Luke and Zeph-man Carl in my group, the next thing I remember it was Friday and I was being told that I would be going next for my last teach. Once again I got given something that I had been showing as a slight weakness in my own riding to teach (funny that). So naturally I gave a Taylor Swift themed lesson. Why you ask, because I think she is a lovely woman who makes angelic music, and I found a pretty good way to tie it into my lesson. The way I look at teaching snowboarding is taking aboard a lesson that I learned working at summer camp. If you are having fun, then most of group around you will probably be having fun. So I took that aboard and related my tactics to being Taylor Swift pointing at a crowd to get the crowd pumped in order to initiate a turn with the correct upper body position. In addition to this people had smiles on their faces, so I guess I achieved my goal!
So here comes the most nerve racking part of my whole time at Big White. There we are, sitting in Sam’s being given the usual CASI speech. “Thank you for coming, we hope that no matter what you got something out of this course, and always remember, win or lose, we all booze”. We were then handed our envelopes all at the same time and told not to feel around the envelopes and to all open them at the same time. The reason for not feeling around the envelopes is that upon passing you are given CASI pin badges which are really easily fellable in the envelopes. Despite this I was handed my envelope in a way that I instantly gripped the pin badges before opening it. Apparently Taylor Swift themed lessons were a winning formula for me… I PASSED!!!!!!
LEVEL TWO IN THE BAG BABY. I’m sure that if you go onto the NBS website or Facebook page you can see a picture of just how many of us were successful in achieving our level twos in both skiing and snowboarding, which was awesome! To look around and see so many NBS faces fixed into a smile was awesome. I just want to say a bit congrats to everyone from Nothin’ But Snow who passed their level twos, and to everyone who helped make it happen. Il address them all using their full names…NBSLeigh, NBSSam, NBSAnt, NBSJoey and all the instructors that shredded with us on a daily basis. It’s truly an awesome feeling to have qualifications under my belt that will enable me to do this a job! This truly has been #MyEpicSeason!
So what happened next can only be described as a rampage. Mainly because Carl and myself ran out to the balcony and shouted RAMPAGE, and partly because of all the alcohol that was consumed on this day. What happened that night can only be described as legend, and will go down in the history for generations to come to recall and relive for their selves. I only say that it can only be described as legend, as I have no idea what happened that night. All I remember is that it was awesome and my head hurt a lot in the morning. But it’s not all over yet. Another week ahead of us of rampagery, and most importantly, the park course begins on Sunday! So off to study…totally not a house party going on at SnowPines Saturday night…
p.s. it feels so good to go riding with that feeling of being a LEVEL TWO INSTRUCTOR BABY!!!!