Kicking goals at the Red Bull Snow Performance Camp 2012

Snow Park NZ, Cardrona Valley, New Zealand – August 22, 2012

The morning broke golden over Snow Park NZ today, justifying early wakeup calls for the skiers and riders on the Red Bull Snow Performance Camp. With the triple line and halfpipe reserved for the athletes first up, the Red Bull BAGJUMP™ inflated and twin step ups–one to the bag one to snow–raked and ready, there was plenty to get stuck into.
As your careers advisor told you in school, it’s important to set goals. Days 2 and 3 of the camp have been about that, as everyone got comfortable, checked in with coaches and, for those fresh off flights from the north, became reacquainted with winter again.
For some, the focus was style. Russ Henshaw planned on introducing new grabs, mixing and matching them with tricks already in the bag. But progression in the air was also on his mind (is it ever not?), and he continued his quest to get his switch double 12 on lockdown.
For others, the first sessions were about line. Noah Bowman, whose style halfpipe coach Trennon Paynter called “the best out there”, was looking to tighten his path down the pipe, upping his hits per run. “I’ve been basically practising my edging, doing mellow straight air, but trying to work on pumping and getting the right angle up the wall to get that extra hit in there.”
And for a couple more, it was about sending it. The BAGJUMP™ saw its first action early on Day 3, with up-and-comer Harry Petit, of nearby Queenstown, and Nick Goepper chucking it like the rent was due that night. Straight airs gave way to double corks and Nick throwing a switch misty 9 despite having never used a bag on snow before.
With bluebird skies and cool conditions keeping speed up and landings packed, the triple line endured an assault from the Red Bull snowboarders, with the likes of Mark McMorris, Louie Vito, Enni Rukajarvi, Pat Moore and Seppe Smits getting amongst it on the jumps. Smits, too, had plans for the days ahead. “Hopefully by the end of the camp I’ll get a couple of new tricks. I want to try and get a frontside double cork 10. I’ll probably try it out a couple of times on the airbag and then hopefully bring it to the snow.”
All in all, then, a time to focus on goals and map out the days ahead. Then the heli showed up.
There’s nothing like a chopper with a camera to encourage these boys to perform, and a late afternoon session on the triple with a helicopter hovering overhead did just that. Out came the back 10’s, switch 10’s, rodeos, frontside 7’s, nose grabs, tail grabs, tip grabs and sweet slow backflips. Sebastien Toutant took the opportunity try all manner of double variations and Henshaw nailed, yes, a switch double 12 mute just before home time. His reaction? “Stoked!”
It was as Tanner Hall, the voice of experience on the 2012 Performance Camp, predicted this morning: “When there’s a good vibe and when you’re having fun, that’s when the tricks come, and when everything falls into place.”