Kyle Wise on English Indoor Championship and Training for 2018 Winter Olympics
Kyle Wise is a British snowboarder from Norfolk who competes in the Winter Olympic discipline of snowboard cross, or boardercross as many call it. Kyle represented Great Britain at the 2013 World and in this exclusive blog for Ski Club of Great Britain, Kyle tells us about his latest success at the English Ski and Snowboard Cross championships and the training he is doing ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea…
If I were to describe boardercross in the simplest of terms, it would be like BMX racing on snow. Imagine a snowboarding race down a track with lots of jumps, bumps and turns; four to six of you race all dicing for position, the first down wins. It’s exciting and full of adrenaline.
The challenges in boardercross are immense, and I love it. The skill level set is so high because you have to be a great all round snowboarder, with the ability to ride everything. Half the battle though is getting on the hill in the first place – it’s an expensive sport and hard to access. After spending my summer working for CALA Homes, this winter, I had to juggle four part-time jobs alongside training and competing full-time in Europe in order to afford it all. So I’ve been popping back and forth a lot to the UK. I get some financial support from my sponsors; Skiers Trust of Great Britain, my Travel Cash and CALA Homes, which helps hugely and makes it more affordable for me. Likewise my other sponsors which supply me with equipment; Volkl Snowboards, Snowfit, Surefoot and DataWax.
Currently, the biggest challenge I face is qualifying to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. The rough criteria for qualifying is having two top 20 results at World Cup and a top 40 ranking World Cup Ranking, with 100 FIS points, within the year prior to the Olympics. Having these qualifications will give me a great chance of being selected to represent Great Britain. This will take a lot of blood, sweat and tears; lots of racing and a lot of time dedicated to the sport to make my chances of getting selected as strong as possible.
More recently, I took part in the English Ski and Snowboard Cross championships at Chill Factore in Manchester, winning this title for the third time in a row. Competitions like this are a rare and wonderful thing in the UK, as they offer the chance for riders to race on snow without going overseas. I was really proud to have secured this title again – more information on the event can be found here.
To support my sporting career, there are a number of different things I’m working on. I’m currently based in Edinburgh where I work as a town planner – the degree I graduated from Heriot-Watt University with two years ago. I spend my summers doing town planning, and spend as much time as I can on it during the winter when I’m not out in Europe to help progress my long-term career alongside my snowboarding. I also host motivational school talks around the UK in my spare time. Recently, I have been working with the Champions in Schools programme in Scotland for the Winning Scotland Foundation. This has been really rewarding and it helps me reflect as an athlete, I look forward to doing this more in future.
I think if I have the means to focus on something I love and am good at, I will always try to push myself as far as I can. This is something I would encourage everyone to do, it can take you to great places and open up new opportunities, so you can put off ‘getting serious’ with life until later. Even better, try and juggle the two like I am. That way, you get the best of both worlds – supporting your short-term career by pursuing your passion while nurturing your long-term career or life. It’s hard to do, but if you forfeit one over the other, you may live to regret it. Above all, you need to always be your personal best.
Follow Kyle’s progress here: