Pick Your Battles

As you may have seen from the results from the Dumont Cup, I finished in 23rd. My run consisted of a switch 540, a cork 720 and a right side 540. You may be wondering why I didn’t do any doubles? Well the simple answer is you need to know when to risk it and when not to.

Yesterday just wasn’t agreeing with me, and also with a lot of the other invited athletes (only 3 of the 10 made it through to the finals). It had become quite cold, and because of the rain we had the night before, the snow had turned to ice. I was already struggling with the impact on the landings with my knees when it was soft, so the ice didn’t help at all. I’m only 1 year out of surgery so even if I feel 100% things like this remind me that my body still isn’t. On top of that it was also breezy and flat light which wasn’t ideal to be hitting 70ft step down jumps.

I spent all of training trying to mentally prepare to do tricks on these jumps and in the end I came to the conclusion that I was not even remotely comfortable trying tricks. Some people might call me a pussy, or say I’m scared, but when you have been through injuries like I have, you see the big picture and realize there is still a lot more to do rather than push it at one single event.

Obviously I am bummed as I really wanted to do well here. I came of the hill frustrated but I have to keep telling myself I’m in one piece and that I’m glad I didn’t push myself  in the sketchy conditions.

Congrats to the guys that laid it down:

1st: Bobby Brown

2nd: Teal Harle

3rd: James Woods

We just can’t seem to catch a break with the weather this year at any of the events I have been to. I can only think of 3 events were we have had good weather, and event then, the weather was super bad for training. It kind of sucks because it feels like this year has been more about surviving that putting down the best run you possibly can.

Today Laura and I are driving down to Boston and then tomorrow we have a super early flight to Vancouver. Looking forward to the last couple of events this year and I am really hoping the weather cooperates and we get some sunshine for once!

Over and out,

//Russ

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The Dumont Cup

The last two days Laura and I have been chilling up here in Sunday River Maine for the Dumont Cup. The last two days we have had training and tomorrow is the big day.

The first two days of training have been pretty average for me. The jumps are massive and the impact on the landings are quite high which isn’t awesome for my knees. I have dialed in the speed but I haven’t done any tricks (a couple of switch 5′s and a couple of 720′s) on the jumps yet as I figure I am better off to save my body and make sure I feel good tomorrow rather than do the tricks and go into the competition feeling beat up and sore.

Unfortunately we had a little rain last night so that really affected the course today. The rain caused even more pop on the jumps and it literally felt like you were going to the moon. Hopefully it can be fixed a before the comp tomorrow.

I think I have figured out a run I would like to do but I am not sure what it is going to be like tomorrow on the hill. The forecast is calling for a drop in temperatures, which means after the rain we had last night, its likely to be quite icy tomorrow. Hopefully it isn’t too bad because I am super stoked to ski here as it’s my first time at the Dumont Cup. I guess the weather and snow conditions tomorrow are really going to dictate what I do for a run!

This is the view from the top of the course. Two rail options followed by 3 jumps.

Chris Laker mid Cork 3 on jump two while Joss Christensen cheers him on!

A cork 7 nose from training today!

Time to grab some food and rest before tomorrow,

//Russ

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New York

So things have been slightly busy since the finals wrapped up at the European open for Laura and I. The following day we traveled to Geneva, spent a night there and then jumped on a flight to New York.

The flight over was stressful because we we showed up, the airline said we didn’t have tickets for this flight. We spent probably two hours at the ticket counter sorting everything out and in the end it was the airline who had made the mistake. We ending up getting on the flight and even got an upgrade. So considering how stressful it started out, it all worked out fine.

Since we only had one day in NYC Laura and I decided to cruise around the city. We went to Central park, Time Square, had lunch with Lowell, Lis and Meena, (the people I work with at CAA agency), got to check out the CAA office in the Chrysler building and then got to met up with some of Laura’s family who are here on holiday and went to the top of the Empire state Building later that night.It was a busy day but I am glad we came here and got to check out the city again.

Right now Laura and I are at JFK airport and we are flying to Boston, picking up a car and making our way to Sunday River Maine for the Dumont Cup. I’ve never been to this event before and i am super stoked to Check it out and see what it is like!

Time to Travel,

//Russ

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European Open Finals

Well the weather didn’t stay as nice as it had been over the course of the week. We woke up this morning to super flat light and as we were walking to the gondola the rain in the village started, which meant it was more than likely snowing up at the course.

Training was horrible for everyone. The fog was rolling in and out, it was snowing, it was super flat light and the speed was super inconsistent. Needless to say, we all took it pretty easy in training. My grand plans of changing my run was thrown right out the window with how sketchy the weather was. So I decided to try and at least do the run I did in Qualifying. The only thing I changed was instead of front 450 out of the up rail, I did a 270 on 450 out.

My first run was going super well, I landed everything and then I got to the bottom jump and went for the right dub 12. I can’t remember the last time this happened to me, but I got lost in the air I think because of the flat light. I remember grabbing my knees and hoping I didn’t eat to much shit. I ended up landing on my side and sliding down the whole entire landing into the finish.

2nd run I just wanted to land but I was super nervous at the top purely because it was sketchy and I really didn’t want to hurt myself. I ended up putting my run down and after the 2nd run I was sitting in 2nd behind Oystein.

On the 3rd run, I got bummed down to 3rd after Jossi took the lead with a sick run. I knew I had to try and stick my run to try and improve my score. I was kind of rushing in the start gate, doing my boots up and getting ready to drop and all of a sudden the sent me. I forgot to clip my pole onto my glove and when I went for the switch dub 9 I dropped it on the landing. I decided not to continue my run as it was so sketchy outside and I figured it was better to be safe than sorry.

Noah wallace cam down immediately after me and put down a run and ended up bumping me to 4th.

I’m obviously stoked that I got 4th, and more importantly I’m stoked everyone is healthy after skiing in sub par conditions. But as many of you know, being in 4th is a bitter sweet position. Its nice to finish as high as I did, but also really frustrating to be just outside of the podium.

Congrats to top 3:

1st Jossi Wells,

2nd Noah Wallace

3rd Oystein Braten

This was the weather we were dealing with during training

Putting some edge on my ski. The course was so icy this morning that I definitely need it. Thanks Volkl

Right 5 tail during training

Cork 7 Nose during training

Mid switch dub 9. Doing doubles when the light is bad is never fun. I think all my tricks were of feeling today because I couldn’t see anything haha

Next stop for Laura and I is a night in Geneva, then 2 nights in New York before heading to the Dumont Cup. Only 3 more events left this season and the last few seem like they are going to be super fun!

Over and out,

//Russ

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European Freeski Open – Semi Finals

Today was the first day of competition here in Laax. After spending all day resting yesterday, I was feeling refreshed and good to go today. On the way up the hill though, Elias’s filmer fell. He was on his way to the next chair and broke is arm badly. I skied past and kind of laughed because I thought it was a pretty mellow crash, and then I looked at his arm and it was bent at a right angle in the opposite direction it was meant to be.

I stayed for as long as possible to try and help but there wasn’t much I could do, so I left it to the experts and went up to start training. He has already had surgery and things are looking good for him. Hopefully he has a speedy recovery.

I felt physically sick after seeing his arm like that and that is definitely not how you want to feel going into training. It took me a few runs to get it out of my head but once I did I managed to get some solid training under my belt. I dialed in the speed for the jumps and landed my run.

On my first run I screwed up on the dub 10 a little and only touched the grab. Which definitely wasn’t bad, but I knew I was going to get deducted by the judges, which I was, and is fair enough.

Coming into the 2nd run I was sitting in 13th and they take top 10 to the finals. I knew I had to land and the pressure was on, otherwise my time at the European Open would come to and end. I landed my fun top to bottom and I was stoked. The only thing I would of liked better in my run was some more amplitude on the last jump. It was sunny and warm again which meant for slushy slow snow. I had to straight line into the jump, which felt weird as I was doing to speed checks in training.

I ended up In 6th when it was all done and dusted which I am stoked with. I know what I need to improve on and hopefully I can make that happen tomorrow.

Here is a quick look at the course we have here this year:

We have 4 jumps in the course and I think they might be the best jumps we have had all season.

Before the jumps we have 2 rail options. The first is a bonk or an flat rail.

The 2nd option is a down tube, a flat down waterfall or a gap to down rail

Over and out,

//Russ

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