Salt Lake City – Geneva

Yesterday I went up to the hill and watch the Men’s and Woman’s Slopestyle final. The event actually got some really good weather which meant for a super good show from all the athletes. There were a few questionable judging moments but I think in the end they got the podium 100% right. Congrats to everyone who skied yesterday!

Right now it’s time for Laura and I to head to Salt Lake City and jump on another flight. Believe it or not we are flying back to Geneva and then heading to France for the next stop of the SFR tour. I think I am starting to become a little run down as I have woken up with a blocked nose and a clogged head (feels like I have a bowling ball in there if that makes any sense). I’m going to have to try and sort this out as fast as I can as we have training the day after we arrive which is immediately followed by qualifiers and finals.

Not the best timing to start feeling like this but I guess it’s expected when you are on the road as much as I am.

Time to fly,

//Russ

 

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Tough day on the hill

To say today was a hard day in the office would be an understatement. I was in heat 1 for the event today and we seemed to have the worst weather of the event. It was dumping snow and speed was a real issue. I struggled with speed in training finding it hard to clear the jumps and I was sticking on all of the rails because of the fresh wet snow that was falling from the sky. The rails were like sliding sand paper and made it hard to do any tricks.

Run 1 for me was super scary because I changed what I was doing on the jumps mid way through my run. I landed my top rail but came of a little early on the next rail. It was a small mistake and I knew I would loose a few points for it but I decided to keep going with my run as I didn’t think I would loose too many points if I managed to stick the remainder of my run.

The plan was to do a left dub 10 into a right dub 12 but coming into the first jump, I just didn’t feel like I had the right speed for the dub so I opted to do a right 9, which then put me switch into the next jump. I haven’t hit the jump switch the entire time I have been here and I went for a switch dub 9. Luckily I landed but since it was the first one I had done and it wasn’t the cleanest, I knew it wasn’t going to cut it.

I knew I had to land my 2nd run in order to qualify into tomorrows finals. But with the snow falling harder and harder as the 2nd run went on, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. The 5 people who dropped before me all came up short on the jumps which made me super nervous as I didn’t want to knuckle and hurt myself.

I managed to landed all the rails clean and came into the 1st jump with more speed than I expected, so I did a left dub 10 on the first jump and put it to my feet. It all came down to the last jump, a right dub 12. I thought I was going to go pretty big as I felt like I had a lot of speed, but in the flat bottom of the jump and on the take off I soon realised I didn’t have as much as I thought. I did the right 12 and didn’t have enough airtime and slide out on my side.

It frustrating not landing your run but I think it would be more frustrating if it was sunny and I had of crashed. It seems like we are having no luck with events this year with weather. There has only been 1 or 2 events with solid weather and the rest have been super sketchy.

Watching heat 2 at the bottom with Tiril. Bobby slayed it and made it through to tomorrows finals.

So all in all I am obviously bummed I couldn’t land my run but I am really stoked I am healthy. It’s a tough pill to swallow when you crash but this is the way the sport goes, especially when its snowing more than Utah has seen all season ;)

Going to watch the finals tomorrow and then Laura and I are heading back to Europe on Saturday.

Stay tuned for my thoughts on finals,

//Russ

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Light Years better….

Today was the 2nd day of training here in Park City and it was light years better today than yesterday. I guess the park crew took the feedback from the athletes and gave the jumps a lot of love and got them to a point where we could actually do tricks. Although it was icy, which meant there was still a decent amount of impact on the landings, the jumps worked much better.

I managed to do my tricks on the jumps which was no easy feat as I was kind of scared with how icy it was. I’m feeling reasonably confident with the run I have figured out but I have only done it once or twice. Which I think for me is pretty smart. I know I have done the run, which is comforting, but I think its smart to not push it too far when the course is this icy.

It looks like the weather is meant to roll in for Thursday and Friday which is exactly when qualifiers and finals are. Definitely not ideal but there is obviously nothing we can do about it.

Day off tomorrow and I can’t wait to relax and rest the body. I feel like I haven’t stopped over the past month so rest days are very important to me right now.

Over and out,

//Russ

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Park City Grand Prix day 1

Today was the first day of practice here in Park city for the Grand Prix. I have been seeing photo’s on Instagram and Facebook for the last month showing how warm and slushy it was here in Park City. Today how ever was freezing and the snow was bullet proof which definitely wasn’t nice on the body. I was really looking forward to riding a slushy park but I guess it’s just not meant to be.

The course is pretty sick but definitely needs some love from the park crew and groomers to get it riding well. The rails in the course are super sick and I really like them, but the jumps however are really bad. I’ve got to give it to Park City for being able to even put a course together considering how little snow they have, but the jumps really need to change. They’re super flat take offs, flat landings and you have to hit them super fast. I think if the landings are winched up higher and the takeoff’s get some pop added to them they will work fine.

I managed to figure out a run on the rails but decided not to do anything on the jumps. From what I could gather at the top of the course, the jumps are being tweaked tonight so they will be completely different tomorrow. Not much point in doing tricks if they are going to change. After figuring out the rails I went back to the public park and cruised there for a few runs before calling it a day.

Tomorrow we have training early in the morning which is going to be FREEZING. Hopefully the jumps are way better tomorrow so I can do some tricks :)

View of the rails from the top. As you can see from the background, there is no snow here in Park City

Tom with a flat 5 on the first jump

Tom, switch 5 on the 2nd jump

Messing around in the public park this afternoon

Time for a stretch and to relax for the afternoon,

//Russ

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Back in the USA

Laura and I are back in the USA and we are in L.A. The flight over from Geneva was pretty mellow. It was actually quite nice to just sit and do nothing for a day after all the hecticness that had been going on over the past 2 weeks.

The next event for me is the Park City Grand Prix. The reason I am flying through L.A and spending a day here before flying to Salt Lake is because I picked up a new helmet from the Redbull office in Santa Monica.

I decided to get myself a Giro helmet this time around purely to mix it up a little from the past 3 years. Same design but a different helmet. Thank you Redbull for being so rad and giving me such an epic custom helmet. What do you guys think?

Tomorrow Laura and I are heading to Salt Lake city and then up to Park City for the grand prix. Looking forward to skiing park city again. I have heard they don’t have too much snow, so hopefully they can put together a good course.

Time to hit the hay

//Russ

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