Kyle Wise talks training in Morzine for Grasgehren
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 University Games and in this exclusive blog for Ski Club of Great Britain, Kyle tells us about the first half of his season – which the weather was determined to disrupt.
After a great December in Saas Fee January looked to be full of promise, with two of my favorite competitions of the year on back to back weekends; two FIS Races at Sedrun (Switzerland) and two Europa Cups in Grasgehren (Germany). However winter has had other ideas this season.
Poor snow levels meant the races in Sedrun were cancelled and rescheduled to two weeks later when I had to be at work, gutted! So after some tricky rescheduling I booked new flights to Geneva and spent a week training in Morzine with the P.S.C International Snowboard Team before the races in Grasgehren.
Morzine was great, it was good to ride with everyone and get some training in before the competitions. It’d been a while since I’d hit kickers and the half-pipe, so it was a lot of fun! We spent time working on riding the kickers and features side by side to emulate racing.
Although there was snow in Grasgehren it was warm and they were really struggling to keep the course in shape, it kept melting! The first day training was frustrating, we spent the entire day on the hill from 10am to 4pm and only got 2 runs on the course. This is one of the most frustrating things I find about boardercross as you’ll see in next week’s blog. However the course was fun and it had some new technical sections in it. It’s a fast track with features constantly coming at you, which I like!
On race day we got one training run before our qualification runs, I made a mistake halfway down and sat down, but at least I made the mistake then instead of the timed run. In my qualification run I made a little mistake on the same feature but managed to stay up, but lost some time. My run was decent still, despite a couple of mistakes, but I came 70th, 4 seconds behind the guy who qualified 1st. I was disappointed as I’d obviously lost more time than I thought and maybe I was a bit rusty. I was on average 2 seconds slower than the top qualifier in last year’s Europa Cups, so I was baffled. But I knew I’d made mistakes and it was a tough field full of World Cup riders, so I knew I’d just have to do better the next day.
However once again the weather had other plans; it was raining and windy, and they were forced to cancel the race. So after planning to do four races in January I ended up only doing one. But that’s how boardercross can be though sometimes.
Since then I’ve spent February in the UK working. It’s been long and busy. I’ve spent a lot of time in the gym and climbing which has been fun. I picked up two new snowboards from Volkl, one for powder and one for freestyle – they look amazing!
I also got some new wax from High Fluro DataWax which was great! High fluorinated wax is some of the fastest wax you can get so it’s great to see a British wax company doing this, I look forward to seeing how quick I go on it!
Last weekend I visited my sponsor Surefoot in London to get my new snowboard boots from Snowfit fitted. I got my feet measured and scanned, so we could make some new in soles to suit my racing stance. With some heat moulding and an extra special something we found what I was looking for. It was such a ‘WOW’ moment when we figured it out, it will make such a difference to my riding if it’s anything like what I felt in the shop!
I’ve been becoming a lot more aware of my balance and stance for boardercross, particularly working with my physio at Hands On Maximise. Anne is constantly anaylsing my movement and body, giving me feedback on how to control my core muscles. Over the past 6 months we’ve made big strides, I move better and I’m a lot stronger. So being able to combine this directly in my snowboarding with Surefoot is great!
I’ll be testing all of these things out at my next competition this weekend at the Scottish SBX Championships, where I’ll be defending my title. I’m looking forward to riding back up north again! It’s a great weekend! I need to make it more of a thing as I live so close in Edinburgh!
The following weekend I’ll be at two French Europa Cups in Puy St Vincent and then the next at two Swiss Europa Cups in Lenk. So a busy March! Exciting times!
Kyle’s Media pages: