Six things nobody tells you before you become a snowboard addict

    Published on April 15th, 2016 | by Jordan Kierans


    Even with the newest snow jacket, warmest gloves and coolest board to strap yourself into, there are some things in the adrenaline-soaked sport of snowboarding that no amount of preparation can ready you for. Things like the dangers of a pocketed banana, for example, that only snow-seasoned legends like Nicolas Müller, two-time TransWorld Snowboarding’s Rider of the Year, can give you a heads up on. We caught the Swiss snowboard master in his home resort of Laax, Switzerland to discover what else his profession will throw up once it gets its icy claws into you…

    Bananas are big trouble, apparently

    “Oh man, you do not want to take a banana up the mountain for a mid-ride stack. They make a huge mess in your pocket and cover everything in mush when you fall over, trust me. Instead, I head over to the organic store once a week and stock up on nuts and dates to take on the snow – that’s really good fuel. That, and I also pack a flask of tea, especially when I’m out building jumps in the back country.”

    You don’t know cold until your nose falls off

    “I had a good friend, a Japanese guy, who froze his nose. It was actually frostbite, right in his nose. Once you do that, it never heals. It’s really bad. The coldest places I’ve been? Canada’s definitely up there, and China is freezing, too. In places like that, it just gets so cold that you actually cannot ride. You just can’t get into it. Then again, I believe there’s no such thing as cold weather, just bad clothing. It’s really true.”

    One movie will change everything

    “The snowboarding movie Subjekt Haakonsen is essentially the reason I’m here, and the reason I ride a board. It was released on VHS back in 1995, and was absolutely groundbreaking. I watched it every single day before riding, to the point that if I didn’t I couldn’t go snowboarding. If it was sunny out, I’d ask my mum to make me a snack, and I’d pull down the blinds to watch it. It’s also totally cool that Terje [Haakonsen, the subject of the film] got me into snowboarding then, and is a friend of mine now.”


    Laax will become your Mecca

    “The first time my dad brought me here at the weekend, I was just blown away. They had one of the first half pipes, and I just thought, “Oh my God, this place is so cool”. Now, this resort has the largest half pipe in the world. After that first visit, all I wanted to do was snowboard in Laax. This is where it started, basically. When I got sponsored, I saved some money and seven years ago bought a house here.”


    Get ready to stomach mushroom juice

    “Pre-ride routines are really important. Before I put my boots on in the morning, I’ll do a yoga routine called The Five Tibetans. I try to do that every day before I head out. It stretches your spine and your core, which is really important for a snowboarder. I’ve also started to drink chaga. Actually, Terje [Haakonsen] got me into that, too! It’s a powdered mushroom that grows on a birch tree, and you add it to water. It’s super alkaline. Yeah, I guess drinking mushroom is pretty weird, but what’s not weird? I mean, drinking milk is weird – you’re drinking something that’s meant for a cow baby.”

    No beer tastes better than an after-ride beer

    “I’ve never been that big into après but it happens, especially when I’m with the homies. You’ll realize it’s 6am, we’ve all just got home and we’re still in our boarding gear, and we open another bottle of wine when we should really go to sleep. Of everywhere I’ve travelled, though, the ultimate place for an after-ride drink is at the Indy Bar, at the bottom of the last run right here in Laax. You really want to be there at the end of the day. Order a Shaper Beer – it’s a Swiss brewery that’s brewed under the full moon and is organic. It’s really, really good.”

    Source: Telegraph

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