So, with the winter olympics in Sochi drawing to a close we have seen a renewed interest in the freestyle element of snowboarding here at Mint. This is awesome news as people want to try something new and progress but aside from recommending proper instruction we thought it would be a good idea to give you guys some insight into some rules when it comes to freestyle terrain, to keep yourself and others around you safe!
First up we will focus on the half pipe. Unfortunately we don’t all have a pipe to ride to ourselves or someone standing at the top announcing our run so keeping everyone riding and safe is what’s important and we all have a part to play. Take a look at how you can keep the half pipe and yourself safe!
It’s really tempting when you see the pipe to just head straight on over there and throw yourself down it and it should absolutely be open for everyone to try, Shaun White had to start somewhere! But! We definitely recommend wearing a helmet when you ride the half pipe. In fact most half pipes will make this mandatory and you will know this by the sign just before you get to the pipe.
This chap is shocked you would even consider not wearing one in the Half Pipe!
There are many ways to get into the pipe and if there is a smaller option and it’s your first time, we recommend you start small and work your way up to the bigger pipe.
Avoriaz recently added a smaller pipe just next to the Super pipe and it’s been really popular!
Be aware of what is going on – Dropping In!
There are many points you can enter or ‘drop in’ to the pipe and no matter where you are planning on starting from you need to make sure you look around you and see who is where and who looks like the might be ready to go. In addition to this it’s important to let people know if you are intending to go. There is an internationally recognised little code for this! Half pipes have 2 sides to drop in from and you can also ride in from the ground level. You will notice if you hang around to watch for a while that normally one side goes and then lets the other side go and so on and so forth. The signal to let someone know you are planning to drop in is simply putting your hand in the air and shouting ‘drop in,dropping in or next’, the person on the other side will acknowledge you and you know it’s safe to go. If you are down on the ground level, join in!
It is well worth remembering to do this as you can pick up quite a bit of speed in the pipe and you do not want to meet someone coming the other way!
Here’s a little pipe diagram!!
Gauge your speed – Leave Space!
Get a good idea of how fast you are going in comparison to other people. If you are quite slow then you can drop in around 2 hits into some else’s run and you won’t catch them up. If you have someone slower than you in front then make sure you give them a good chance to get at least half way down the pipe before you go, you don’t want to catch them up! It freaks them out, makes you slow your run and can be dangerous.
We all fall at some point and it’s part of learning! If you do fall, and are not hurt, gather up anything you may have lost and ride out of the pipe. If you are winded and people are shouting to you, you can indicate you are ok by giving a ‘thumbs up’, if you are not ok and can signal or shout then let people know and they will come to you to help and make people aware they can not enter the pipe. Sometimes this is not always possible so the best bet is, if you are ok, then get up and move out of the pipe.
So, to round up!
WEAR A HELMET
LEARN THE DROP IN SIGNALS
GET UP AND CLEAR OUT
We are really pleased to have Fiona Kinnear, a nutritionist and keen snowboarder on hand to advise you on nutrition to get the most out of your snowboarding holiday! Read below to see what she has to say on snacks, hydration and apres! Over to Fiona!
‘With all the fun you have on the hill, it’s easy to forget snowboarding is a physically demanding sport, requiring loads of energy! To ensure you get the most out of your lessons and reduce the risk of injury, it is important to fuel your body with enough of the right nutrients on and off the slopes. Student dietitian Fiona Kinnear has some top tips to help you maximise your riding progression:
When you are going to be spending the rest of the day up the hill, the phrase ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ is one to live by! A good breakfast will build up your energy stores, allowing you to meet the mental and physical demands of snowboarding. If you fail to do so, you will be flagging within a few runs and will be at more risk of a nasty fall. You will also be more likely to be craving a chocolate bar and coffee stop by 10am- reducing your time riding!
I would advise to choose foods that release energy slowly, keeping you full of energy all morning. Some good ideas include:
Porridge topped with banana or dried fruit
Bowl of wholegrain cereal with milk/yogurt and fruit
Wholemeal toast with eggs (cooked your favourite way)
Wholemeal toast with peanut butter
If you really can’t face food first thing in the morning, or are too distracted finding your gloves/goggles/boots then at least grab a banana or cereal bar to eat on the first chair up- anything is better than nothing!
Pack some snacks
Even after a substantial breakfast, it is still a good idea to keep some back up snacks in your pocket to munch on the chairlift to keep you going throughout the day. While a packet of Haribo will provide you with an instant sugar hit, it is short lived and won’t keep you riding for long! I’m not suggesting to cut sweets and chocolate out completely (you are on holiday after all!) rather suggesting that you carry a more substantial snack alongside these treats. This becomes all the more important if you are planning on skipping the queues and costs of a mountain meal at lunch. Some good snacks (that won’t be too affected by falls!) include:
Trail mix (made up of mixed nuts and dried fruit)
Cereal bars (Choose ones based around oats and/or fruit)
Flapjacks or granola bars
Mini packs of cheese i.e. Babybel
It is easy to overlook how much fluid you lose during a day riding as you don’t necessary feel hot and sweaty but lugging around a board and the multiple layers worn lead to substantial losses. Add to this the fluids lost via condensation when breathing out into the cold air and the reduced urge to drink when in cold weather (and to avoid toilet breaks…!) it is easy to become dehydrated.
Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sick and leads to a reduced ability to concentrate- not ideal if you are trying hard to improve your riding!
To avoid this I would urge you to carry bottles of water with you on the slope and use chairlifts as an opportunity to rehydrate. While water is the best choice for rehydration, milk, fruit juices, soft drinks and sports drinks all help to keep fluid levels up. If you don’t want to carry a bag then make sure you grab a drink of water whenever you can- at toilet stops, lunch breaks etc.
Refuel in the evenings
While it is tempting to rely on an après beer to tide you over between leaving the slopes and eating dinner, the period immediately following exercise is when your body uses food as fuel most effectively. Consuming a snack containing the correct balance of protein and carbohydrates within an hour of your last run can help reduce muscle soreness, improve recovery and prepare you for round 2 the next day! Snacks with the right balance include:
Pot of Greek yogurt with a banana
Wholemeal bread topped with ham/turkey/chicken slices
Later in the evening when you are eating your main meal, my top tips would be to make sure it includes the following:
- Protein: Lean meat, fish, eggs or beans
- Good quality carbohydrates: Potatoes, wholegrain rice/pasta/bread, or quinoa
- Healthy fats: Nuts, olive oil or avocados
- Vegetables (and fruit for dessert!): contain essential vitamins and minerals to help with recovery
Remember to keep drinking water throughout the evening, especially if you have a few après drinks as it will improve your chances of waking up without a sore head!’
So there we have it! Stick to Fionas tips and you should get the most out of your week away shredding!!!
Monday 3rd March 2014 to Friday 7th March 2014 – €495
Mint Snowboarding have been providing coaching in Morzine & Avoriaz in the Portes du Soleil for the past 8 years. With instructors qualified to the highest international level, a dedicated snowboard only school and a desire to bring the best coaching possible to all that come through Mints doors it seems only fair to offer a coaching solution to the UK’s up and coming shredders in preparation for The Brits in Tignes, March 2014.
The Portes du Soleil offers some of the best snowparks in France. Avoriaz alone is home to 5 different snowparks, including the Burton stash and two halfpipes (one of which is a superpipe). Elsewhere in Les Portes du Soleil is the renowned Super Park in Les Crozets and then the Nike sponsored park in Chatel, so the options are endless.
The week will consist of training in all freestyle disciplines but with special focus on slopestyle and halfpipe as well as general snowboarding technique to aid progression in the freestyle elements.
Prior to the camp we will discuss with all athletes their particular goals and what they would like to achieve from the week. This will enable us to structure to the coaching towards helping them achieve their goals. Our group sizes are very small with a maximum of 6 per coach meaning we can tailor our coaching to meet each individuals needs.
The coaching will be on a daily basis for 5 hours per day and will aim to prepare the kids for the competition out in Tignes, whilst making sure they remember what snowboarding is all about… FUN!
With Mint, Fun and Progression are guaranteed.
Accommodation and Coaching Deals
Book your accommodation with Riders Refuge, Morzine at a reduced price of £399 (normally £499) including breakfast, evening meal & airport transfers and receive €40 off the camp price.
Please note that lift passes, flights & personal insurance are not included in the price.
For more information please get in touch at email@example.com or call +33 (0)6 80 77 66 09.
Now we know you are all finely tuned athletes and you’re normally tucked up in bed by 9pm after your evening broccoli smoothie but you’re on holiday so it only seems fair that you partake in a little bit of Apres! We have rounded up our top 5 Apres bars in Morzine!
Every Wednesday the Bascamp Dj’s play at the Tremplin bar from 4pm till 8pm. The Trempin is next door to the Pleney lift in Morzine centre and the bar backs on to the Pleney piste. Make sure you wear plenty of layers though the copious amount of booze and boogying should keep you warm…
Bar Robinson is the traditional one stop shop for Mutzig! Located on Rue du Bourg, Robbos (as it’s locally known), doesn’t need any music or entertainment as the bars ambience, full of outerwear clad riders and lines of boards outside combined with the abundance of Mutzig being drunk is guaranteed to provide a to notch après experience.
L’aubergade is also based at the bottom of the Pleney piste, a little further along than the Tremplin. It’s a banging place to go when the sun is shining and has a unique cocktail menu designed by Tristan Stephenson of London bar Purl. A different (posh) take on Apres! Make sure you try the potato wedges with garlic mayonnaise!
Morzines own microbrewery is a new addition to for winter 2014. Bec Jaune brews a variety of it’s own beer meaning you can go and get sozzled on their latest brew and tuck into a homemade burger whilst you are at it!
Happy Hours bar is based at the bottom of the Ardent lift in Montriond and is definitely worth a demi or 3 whilst waiting for the Ardent bus. It’s also not a bad call for lunch actually as it has a pretty big menu of home made burgers, hot dogs and crepes. It’s right next to the bus stop, so there is no excuse really!
So,there you have it… that’s 5 bars and considering you will probably be in Morzine for a week there is plenty of time to check them all out and go back to your favourites!!!