Königsleiten Early Sessions

Impatient for the season to get started, we drove to Gerlos where they had some pockets of artificial snow. We had discovered the snow patch yesterday and set to work on the 2 kickers (jumps) We only had one shovel so I got to watch him work, the kicker grew and grew… he hiked up once he was finished. Grinning, he strapped on his board sailed gracefully over the jump. I went over everything I had learned in Belgien about jumping: keeping my knees bent and staying low and not waving my arms frantically around in the air, I started down the hill. I reached the jump, bent my knees and jumped… everything went well til I hit the ground, caught an edge and wiped out. Luckily, the snow was pretty soft and gave way to my body falling so it didn’t actually hurt. We hiked up to give it another go. Andy started pulling out all kinds of tricks, 180°, 360° and even a backflip off the bigger mound. Motivated by his skill, I decided to try a 180° too, figuring I couldn’t hurt myself too much in the soft snow. I didn’t announce my plans but was convinced that I was going for it while I was strapping on my board. My conviction lessened the closer I got to the kicker. By the time I reached the jump, I was no longer sure of what I was about to try, nor even half way concentrated on the task at hand. Somehow i still hit the jump, sailed through the air, rotated a little bit and landed squarely flat on my back. Andy gave me a puzzled look, “you tried it, didn’t you?” he asked in his mild mannered amused tone. I needed to try that again. I hiked up, strapped in and looked down at the jump, still feeling pretty relaxed. Again, I didn’t really have much on my mind and just aimed for the jump. I hit it, flew through the air and made the rotation rather smoothly, landing lightly on the board, upright! I was so surprised that I had managed the landing that I promptly caught an edge and found myself in the snow, yet again. We had the great idea to try to film the jumps but that proved a bad idea. None of my attempts to reconstruct my first 180° were successful. Most of the time I was leaning to much on my back foot putting me into a layback which lead to landing on my shoulder and wrist several times. Andy was trying his first frontside 540° which looked wild regardless of the butt-flop-landings. It was getting late and the snow was getting hard. We had compacted landing area pretty well and it was getting dark. It was a fun impromptu pre-season session. We should do this more often!

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