Kyle Wise Tackles his Technique and Spends the Festive Period in Saas Fee
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 is the current English Champion and recently added Scottish Champion to his titles. Kyle has represented Great Britain at the 2013 World Snowboard Championships, two World University Games, and on the World Cup circuit. In the latest installment of Kyle’s blogs for Ski Club of Great Britain, Kyle tells us about spending the festive period in Switzerland, and working on his technique to improve performance.
The last few months have been pretty hectic, as always! At the start of autumn, I won the Big Air competition at my home dryslope’s Ski and Snowboard festival, the Farmers’ Jam at Norfolk Snowsports Club, worked for a month down south and then journeyed back up to Edinburgh.
I’ve now started a job as a town planner in Edinburgh, and luckily for me, it provides the flexibility I require to continue with my snowboarding. I have been looking for an opportunity like this for years, so I’m stoked! I have also kindly been given a year’s free membership with Edinburgh University Centre for Sports and Exercise, which is brilliant, so I now have some amazing gym facilities to train in close proximity to where I live.
In October, I went to Pitztal Glacier in Austria for two week’s training, which turned out to be very productive. I have recently changed coaches, so the break gave me the opportunity to work on new elements of my technique that haven’t been tackled before. In fact, we even ironed out a few bad habits that I had picked up over the years! At my level, you can work on the tiniest adjustments in various elements of riding to improve strength, speed, movement and stability. The adjustments can be so subtle, but the difference it makes is incredible.
I was working on my posture, stance and carving in particular. With my posture, we were trying to keep my head up, particularly on my turns. Before, I dropped my head down which would lead to me buckling at the waist, so I was particularly prone to falling over or losing control on turns where there may have been bumps or other features. We were also working on keeping my back knee bent outwards to generate more power over course features, as I have a habit of it coming inwards when under force. This could slow me down on the course and is also bad for my knee. These small improvements all add together to make a big difference, and I’m already seeing them pay off.
I have just returned home from a two-week snowboarding break in Saas Fee, Switzerland, where I spent Christmas and New Year. The festive period fell well this year, so I only needed to take a few days’ extra holiday to enjoy two weeks on the snow, which was fantastic! Saas Fee looked particularly stunning, with its bright blue, still skies. I caught up with my riding buddies who were out there training, and I got some great riding in too – there was even a fun boardercross track, which was awesome.
My main priority for 2016 is working towards gaining race experience and increasing my points for qualifying for the 2018 Korea Olympics. I will be racing mainly at FIS races and Europa Cups this year, and possibly a World Cup later in the season. The criteria for qualifying for the Olympics is having two top 20 results at World Cup and a top 40 ranking, with 100 FIS points, by the year prior to the Olympics. I’m on track for achieving these qualifications which will stand me in strong stead to be selected to represent Great Britain.
2016 is shaping up to be a good one already.
Kyle’s sponsors; my Travel Cash, Volkl Snowboards, Snowfit, CALA Homes, Surefoot, DataWax and PANDA Optics.
Kyle’s Media pages: