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What I learned at camp

07/21/2011

Before I went to camp I had all these expectations about what I would learn at camp.  It was mainly tricks I was trying to dial down such as spins and cleaning up my boardslides, but going to camp made me realize how much I had to change in terms of the basics.

Not going to lie, I thought I was a pretty good rider since I thought I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the guys if I had bad technique.  The first day right when we got off onto the snow they had us make a couple of turns to see our form.  I felt so shaky since I hadn’t ridden in a while and my first run is always shaky no matter if I boarded the weekend before.  I felt a bit out of control while I made the wide s turns.  From this initial one run, I was placed in a group of all girls (maybe they just grouped all the girls together haha).  So the first day was just covering the basics of basics such as stopping and going and feeling how much pressure we had to put on our edges (i.e falling leafing and spinning on ground).  I felt like I was back as a beginner since I felt like I already knew this stuff and was wondering why we were going over it, but it was to get us to be aware of the amount of pressure we needed to exert and how we should go about doing that.  After we did the refresher course, we went right over to the rollers to start trying to pop 180s.  My coach wanted us to pop frontside 1’s off our toes which was a lot more difficult since I usually pop them off my heels.  After playing around on the rollers and on the way to the lift, our coach wanted us to butter 180s on flat ground.  Toward the end of the day (which was like around noon haha) we went over to the park to scope out what was there.  There was a flat box followed by another flat box an inch or two lower which was perfect for trying out different tricks.

The second day was rain on the mountain and visibility was pretty bad.  So bad that it was difficult to see the rollers so we all decided to head over to the park to work on the box.  Tuesday I focused on getting my boardslides clean (ie not like 45 degrees, but have the board completely perpendicular to the box).  All 4 coaches were there since it was difficult to do anything else so I got coaching from whoever was watching the box.  I finally figured out that I needed to pin my back shoulder back to get a clean boardslide after one of them told me to consciously bring it back.  Success!  Then I tried to get a boardslide with no counter rotation so I can come out switch out the end, but my upper body wouldn’t cooperate…but now I have something to work on during the rest of the summer when the box is made.

The third and fourth day weather wise was not as bad as Tuesday since there was no rain, but visibility was again an issue lower on the mountain.  On these days I learned how to pump while going into a turn.  They said put more weight on the front foot as I’m coming into a turn and when I’m out of the turn, put more weight on the back leg.  After getting a hang of this, it was fun just adding power to my turns and I felt a lot more stable.  Also my coaches noticed that whenever I went into a toe side turn I was using my upper body to lean into it and they corrected me to use my hips more.  This also added more stability for me.  These little things were things none of my friends would notice or know to correct so I was glad that by making these tiny adjustments, my riding could become more powerful.  After that we decided to go further up the mountain which was surprisingly not cloudy at top.  The camp had moguls set up so we decided to learn how to better navigate through moguls which is good practice for when you’re going through trees.  My coach told me to put more weight on the front foot and anticipate the turn when going through moguls which seemed to help a lot although by this point, my legs were on fire going through moguls.  We then decided to learn how to go through the pipe because we (myself and the people in the group) never really knew how to ride pipe nor do we get a chance too.  My coach was good in that he was mainly a pipe rider so he told us to go on edge and then flatten out our boards after we passed the transition part to the vertical part of the wall.  Also he told us when to pump to maintain speed and watched our overall form in the pipe.  I feel like I can safely navigate the pipe and try to air out of the pipe next season which will be a good goal to have. Also I buttered some more while going to and from the lift.

The fifth day was just killer in terms of the fatigue I felt.  Stuff I could do previous days I couldn’t do because my body was just not cooperating.  I couldn’t 180, butter well, or go through the moguls well.  I felt it.  Even in the lodge while I was walking up the stairs my legs were dead.  Therefore I worked on pipe since that is the one thing I didn’t feel fatigue.  The public pipe finally reopened after they rebuilt and reshaped it, but it was a lot narrower than the other pipe I rode so it took a while to get used to the speed and how fast the transition came up.  After playing in the pipe and buttering I called it quits around 1ish that day.

I can’t emphasize how much fun I had and how much I learned.  I hope to remember everything I learned and apply it and progress during the winter.  My friend and I will hopefully be done building our box in the next month and I hope to solidify my front and back boardslides…maybe start to 180 on and off the box.  Also we’ll be able to use the setup to practice spins off the ramp as well.

I want to thank my coaches Mike, Ben, Dustin, and Rick.  They were an awesome group of coaches and fun to party with afterwards.

Pic of Mt Hood on Friday….gorgeous bluebird day!

Making our way down from the top to the park

Five days worth of tickets on one wicket….this is going to be fun taking it off…

My pants did not survive the 5 days at Hood…luckily I will be getting new ones for next season 🙂

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