Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Andrew Matthews and I'm a snowboarder athlete from Yellowknife, NWT. I decided to start this blog to keep my friends, family, fans and sponsors up to date about my life as a full time snowboarder. I will be posting about my travels, competitions, training and random awesome things that I come across. Enjoy the journey!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Nationals prep time


With less than a week left before the halfpipe competition at the National Championships, I'm doing everything I can to be ready. The last 2 years I've been injured right before Nationals and had to put a run together in the couple training days just prior to the event. I've had some really good training days in the last couple weeks and I'm counting on that to pay off this year. My cab 7s (note: cab means switch frontside (also note: switch means backwards)) are coming around better than ever before, I made some key improvement on my frontside 7s and on my backside 5s. In my halfpipe training I planned it so that I would peak my performance for Nationals. This is going to be difficult to do because of the setbacks I've had to deal with my ankle injury. At this point I've learned some of the tricks that I needed to learn before Nationals but I haven't had time to put it all together in a run.

I had to make another tough decision yesterday: whether or not to compete in the Quiksilver Showdown Over the City today. It's one of the biggest pro contests in Canada. The setup is a massive jump to some crazy rails. I really wanted to do this contest but I figured it would be best to save my ankle for Nationals and focus on the pipe for now. So instead of competing I made the missioned it to Cypress so that I could ride some more pipe before I leave for Mount Tremblant on Monday.

I was lucky that my friends Lauren and Ben were going up yesterday and I was able to get a ride up with them. It was really foggy when I arrived with Land we were a little skeptical about riding the pipe. We checked it out anyways; the park crew had died the walls of the pipe and the fog lifted just about the pipe, awesome! I had a great day and landed some nice front 7s. 

I'm going back up today to see if I can start putting my run together. My next post will be about my trip to Quebec. I'll be practicing my french, seeing new places and hopefully riding well in some nice conditions.

A la prochaine,


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sweet Week!

Why hello there!

Last week was the first full week I've been able to ride since I got the OK about my ankle, and let me tell you, it was a good week! On wednesday I filmed for the first time of the year, in the Black Park. It was my first time back riding big jumps again too. It didn't take me long to get back to what I was doing before my ankle put me out. I even learned some new tricks like front 7 tail grab. My ankle held up fabulously, it was sunny and I was really stoked!

My friend Kyle had been talking about going to Cypress the next day with some of our friends, who spoke of an amazing pipe there that was soft and perfect to try new tricks. I really wanted to go with him but there was the problem of getting to Cypress as none of the pipe riders in the club have a car. After our hope of bumming a ride from friends fell through, Kyle and I made some quick last minute plans with our coach to take us up there from Squamish, where he lives. We bused to Squamish first thing the next morning, and drove up with Joe for the rest.

When we finally got there, it was a beautiful day and the pipe was as amazing as we'd heard. My backside wall was right in the sun, getting softer by the minute. I need to learn some tricks on that wall that I've been working on all year, this was the perfect opportunity for them. I got into it by starting small, doing back 3s and building up my confidence.  After a lot of those, I eventually got the go ahead from Joe to throw a back 5. I was stoked and landed the first one, not perfect, but a start. By the end of the day I was feeling pretty good about the 5s. I'm going to be doing them all the time so that I start getting them really good.

The pipe was so good the first day that Kyle and I convinced our coach to bring us back the next day. He was nice enough to put us up in his place in Squamish for the night before our big day. On Friday we got an earlier start and new what to expect. We got right down to business and I was determined to land some cab 7s by the end of th
e day. I've only ever done 2 cab 7s in the pipe, last summer in New Zealand. I was excited to try them again.

Well the trick didn't come back as easily as I would've liked. Again I worked up to it with some 3s and 5s that were feeling good but as soon as I went for the 7 it threw my whole spin off. I eventually slid a couple around but wasn't happy with the way I was spinning it. After watching some video, Joe pointed out a few key tips that I tried to incorporate into my spin. I made some improvement but by the time we decided to call it quits I was still feeling like my cab spins need some work. Nonetheless, it was great to get some under my belt this season and to determine what I need to work on.

The view from Cypress is pretty amazing of downtown Vancouver and the ocean.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Park photos and ankle results

Hey what's up?

The results from my CT scan came back showing that the bones in my ankle are fine - good news. The only thing is that they picked up some swelling and my doctor is unsure of where it's coming from. He prescribed me some anti-inflammatory cream and hopefully that will take care of it.

Handplants are fun!

On the weekend I started back training with my coach Joe and the ankle is feeling pretty good. I feel like it's back to the point where I can ride hard and progress again - such a good feeling. I've also had a few really fun days shredding the park recently. Here are some photos that my friends Sam and Marisa took of each other the other day (also see photo above).

Marisa on her "favorite feature"

Me on one of my favorites

Sam with a nice melon grab

So in other news my roomate Sam (above) found out that he qualified for nationals for his first time this year. That means that our club will have Kyle representing Alberta, Sam for BC and myself representing the NWT. It's sweet that the three of us will be taking over Tremblant at the beginning of April.

Tomorrow we're going up and to do some filming. I haven't done much yet this year so I'm pretty excited about that.

Take it easy,


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Midterm's over now lets get that ankle better!

Hey hey,

As you can see by the title I've recently finished my midterm for the one course (Chemistry) at UBC I'm currently taking. I've been busy studying for that, doing lots of physio, training in the gym and on snow when I can, and hanging out with friends.

My midterm went well. The class average was really high, 81%, which is unheard of for UBC. The bad news is that this means that they'll make the final really hard. I'm set to start an integral math class that I obtained permission to do online which I've been putting off. Today I'm in Vancouver for my one class per week and I had a lab. This one was pretty cool, it was about caffein in soft drinks. We were able to isolate the caffein and compare to the amount supposed to be in the drink, I did mine of Pepsi One. I haven't worked out the results yet, but I thought it was pretty cool that we can do something like that in the lab.

I've been snowboarding on and off since the Calgary trip based on the advice of my doctors and physios. My ankle is still giving me trouble and has been doing so since the start of January. It has gotten better but it gets worse and never heals. I'm doing a CT scan tomorrow to get to the bottom of the problem. Neither the doctors I've talked to nor my physiotherapist are sure exactly what's wrong with it because it should have healed by now. I'm excited to get some definite results on it so I can get back out there!

I made the tough decision not to compete in the Showcase Showdown last weekend because of my ankle. I was going back and forth whether or not to do it up until right at the registration table. That's the competition that I placed 2nd at last year and it's a really fun event right in Whistler. In the end I'm happy with my decision because I want my ankle to be good to go for the rest of the season, not just one competition. I'm looking ahead to Nationals at the end of the month and the Telus Festival in April.

Good things are coming but good things come to those that wait...