by Seth Lightcap. posted on 18 December
Whistler local Claudia Avon has earned the respect of her talented local riding community the best way you can - by f*#kin’ charging!
Claudia tears into terrain with a powerful and confident style and can ride it all - steeps, pillows, spines, even park jumps. It’s no surprise she’s got a ton of local fans. She’s a true all-around shredder who’s loved by all who know her. We’re thrilled to work with Claudia as a member of our new Freeride Collective team.
Claudia grew up riding the icy slopes of Mont St.Sauveur in Montreal, QC. She moved out to Whistler 8 years ago and has been shredding nonstop ever since, meanwhile learning the ways of the backcountry on splitboards and snowmobiles.
Check out Claudia’s 2014 full part and read on to learn more about her influences and favorite places to ride:
What snowboarders influenced you the most?
Not gonna lie, Jeremy Jones and Xavier de Le Rue have been the ones that have influenced me the most. Snowboarding for me is all about adventure, exploring new areas and riding natural terrain. I find it very inspiring to watch their adventures. That backcountry adventure riding style is definitely what I am aiming for.
Describe your dream line
Dream line, hard to say. I love adrenaline, so it would have to be a long and steep one. Nice spines with good snow would probably be the best description of it. But to be honest, I have fun every time I drop into a line, it doesn’t always have to be crazy for me to enjoy it. Sometimes the most cruisy terrain with good snow and good friends is the best line you ride all day.
What is your go to resort shred zone in Whistler?
When it’s too deep to safely go out in the backcountry I will go ride the resort. You have the best chance to find me on the Peak chair at Whistler. I have a secret pillow spot that not many people know about. I can lap those all day long and then come back the next day and still find fresh lines.
What are you passionate about other than snowboarding?
I’m really into building things and mechanics. I love to work with wood, that’s when I really let my creative side go off. I also just bought a welder to start to learn how to weld. Anything that has to be done on my truck, snowmobile, snowblower or anything else I own, I do it myself. Why not, it’s free learning and I am starting to get good at it. In the summer I am an excavator operator and I love it. Surfing is a big part of my life for me too. Whenever I can, I take off and go surfing. In the winter I absolutely love to play pond hockey and snowmobile.
What are your goals for the winter?
You know what, I don’t really have any specific lines or destinations on the list. I know what kind of terrain I want to ride and I’m leaving the options open. The goal this year is to just ride the best snow. Wherever is the best in the Western US and Canada I want to be there. I find it more exciting and surprising that way to make plans along with Mother Nature.
Watch more video from Claudia on her website - www.thejoyriderz.com
by Seth Lightcap. posted on 10 December
Swiss rider Sten Smola is the brains and brawn behind RIDE GREENER, the sustainably shred organization that produced the backcountry snowboarding film STEPS. Sten just released a new video entitled ’3456 Feet’. Catch the lowdown from Sten about the video just below:
To fight one’s way hundreds of meters up a mountain for hours long only to ride down for a few seconds—that might just sound crazy to some people. For a snowboarder, it can be a way to take a first step against today’s environmental crisis. Between the desire to achieve something and the actual accomplishment lies the pathway to get there. It may be short or long. For a snowboarder, this journey can mean 3456 feet. An apparently insignificant altitude difference, which is not realized in lightning speed by some resource-intensive machine. An altitude difference that must be surmounted with one’s own strength. This is done quite consciously, to descend the mountain only one time. To summit only one time, and thereby feel and respect nature’s rhythm.
- Sten Smola
by Seth Lightcap. posted on 8 December
Ever wonder how the top riders on the Freeride World Tour train to stomp massive airs or stay on their feet blasting down a line at terminal velocity? Here’s your answer:
If you want to get explosively fit for winter sports, or any sports for that matter, you must train. Jones riders Mitch Toelderer and his wife Bibi know all about training hard as they both spent many seasons on the Freeride World Tour and Mitch won the FWT world title in 2011. They both still ride a ton and they also help other athletes train for competition at Bibi’s LOFT 41 physio/training space in Innsbruck, Austria and through their website FunctionalSportsTraining.com
Mitch and Bibi just released a new training series designed for winter athletes. The series focuses on functional movements and is specially designed to improve your performance in real life, real shredding situations. The exercises they recommend (like that double slackline medicine ball butt-kicker you see above) work your balance and strength across multiple muscles at once just like snowboarding does.
The complete Function Sports Training series is available by private membership only but Mitch and Bibi have shared a few of the first steps in the program with us. Check out these sample exercises and then head over to FunctionalSportsTraining.com to sign up for the whole program.
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The focus of this exercise is on core stabilization while rotating the upper versus the lower body. Your line of vision is straight forward with an upright upper body position. Out of this position you do deep lunge jumps without giving the back knee a rest on the mattress; at the same time rotate your upper body (if your right leg is in front you rotate to the right and vice versa). Start without additional weight and add some weight if you feel comfortable with the movement and hold a good form while performing this exercise. You don’t need a lot of weight: the more extended your arms the harder it gets! Always warm up before doing exercises like this! - Mitch
Focus Your Run
This exercise improves your coordination, endurance and focus. For a time interval of about 90 seconds (the average duration of a top to bottom run), take a deep riding position on the slacklines. Your partner gives you commands to change the position of the medicine ball continuously to challenge your body to keep the balance. Your partner could also throw the ball and gives you a command for positioning right after. Always warm up before doing exercises like this! - Bibi
Check out several more functional exercises in this video:
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