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august 2005 articles

saturday 6th August - Andy's 25th Birthday issue!

The last 2 weeks have been spent riding lots, usually at Cardrona on the "Heavy Metal" rail trail. This has been recently extended, and now features a 25ft straight box rail, various kink rails and boxes, a kicker-to-6foot rail, battleship rail, a rainbow and a C-rail - as well as two kickers.

The C-rail and Battleship are quite interesting rails, from a streetboarding point of view - as they are not objects that would be normally found in urban design, such as kinked handrails might, for instance. The shape of the C-rail is such that it "flicks" the rider out, allowing 270 spins out to be accomplished more easily than from a straight rail. The kickers are both of around 10-15ft in length, providing an intermediary step to the Snow Park kickers for which to practise on before going bigger...

I have managed to split 2 boards in this time, making a reputation for myself for both breaking and mending them! The 1 Degree Pure snowboard that I bought has had to go back to the manufacturers, as there was a problem with faulty glueing leading to topsheet delamination on the 5th day! As seen in the picture, with a 20 cent coin for scale (similar to a 50p).

I have discovered it is possible to apply for an extension to the visitors visa, if certain criteria are filled. I shall be applying for this extension, once I get my passport renewed, so hang on New Zealand - I may be here for another few months yet! Will keep you informed as to progress on this front...

I went to Alexandra (forms a triangle with Wanaka-Queenstown) with my Tasmanian friends Ben and Alex, in order to check out the skatepark. Andy and I had seen it before and dismissed it, but in fact there are some good rails, more varied than Wanaka skatepark on that front. We stayed for 2 hours, gonna session it some more...

Just outside Alexandra is the Clyde Reservoir, an amazing structure just off the main road through. Often missed on the way to Alexandra, it faces drivers returning to Wanaka/Queenstown, so we pulled aside to get some shots. Very cold, wind funneling down the valley, but the water itself is still as a millpond.

On Saturday 29th, Andy and Bea had a collective birthday party - the golf-themed PGA "Bea a Player" night. For anyone who hasn't played pub-golf before, the premise is simple - each pub or bar is a "hole", each hole having a pre-specified drink which has to be drunk in a number of sips, or "par".

A game will consist of 9 or 18 (god forbid!) holes, an example hole might be a pint of Guiness with a par of 4, or a shot of Absynthe with a par of 1.

As you can imagine, 26 players forming 13 teams, all dressed as 1920s golfers and banging the drinks down. Carnage! Highlight of the night was Andy getting his pants pulled down, while standing on a table trying to rally the crowd. Classic!

Received a parcel from Flipside filled with all sorts of goodies, including the new Flipside T-shirts, Flipside hoodie, parts, stickers, magazine and other promo material. See me modelling the new Flipside threads, and desire one...! Seriously, cheers Adam - will all be put to good use!

Everyone in the Wanaka crew is improving, even though the conditions are poor, and snow is literally thin on the ground:

I have been working on my rails, both spinning and gaps, Andy has been busy getting his streetboard techniques down on the snowboard. Daves arm has healed, and he is now back on the board whenever possible, or filming when not! Dan is spending all his days on the piste and progressing rapidly onto the kickers, and Bea and CJ are making great headway and improving rapidly, despite having only 2 days a week on the slopes.

Our friend Kat is kindly lending us her video camera, so we are starting to get things down on film. Anyone who has done this before knows what a tedious, time-consuming process this is, just to get a few seconds worth of film down - trying to get as much footage in as possible, but juggling snowboarding and filming is tricky! Working on it for ya, peeps!

So until next time - keep it surreal...

wednesday 26th August

Recent low pressure weather fronts have resulted in some snow falls, so we have been making most of it, spending most of the time up Cardrona or at Treble Cone.

We have been spending much time snowboarding and videoing, but this is an ongoing task, with little currently available in web formats.

The recent snows have opened up large areas of both Cardrona and Treble Cone that were previously bare.

The different routes and lines available to a rider has virtually doubled - the mountains coverage are much more comprehensive now.

We have been snowboarding with other riders recently - Matt (a travelling friend of "Ginger Sparkle" Dave) and Greg, both living with us in Fern Lodge backpackers for the last month.

Matt found a perfect location for a large kicker - in the lee-slope of a large rock outcrop, off the back of the Captains lift on Cardrona, and built the jump and run-up.

The transition was pretty tight at first, lending itself to inverts rather than flat spins, but the landing was formed of perfect, untouched, deep snow - left over from the snow dumps.

We have spent the last week there, trying to get tricks down on film, before the constant sun melted it away. It has been the best week of the season for riding: spinning backflips, rodeos and mistys, combined with a shitload of hiking - I don't think I've had this much concentrated excercise in months!

We are now waiting for another dump to revive it, as despite constant reshaping of the launch, the landing has been compacted and is getting harder...

1 Degree Pure Snowboards have finally acquiesced and are sending me a new snowboard, after an attempt at repairing it failed after a couple of hours riding. I await the new board with anticipation... ;o)

Another nice surprise, my passport renewal was completed and returned within a week, and I have now applied to extend my 6-month visa... I await their decision in the next few days.

I am off riding for a few days, having no boards available to use, so will be skating in the park again. Skating has taken a back-seat recently, so it will be good to get back on 4 wheels!

Hope all my peeps are chipper - stay safe kids, look both ways...