Introduction

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!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.

As for an update of what I've been up to, the last month of 2009 has been... epic? Yeah, epic pretty much sums it up - see also: legendary, grand, monumental. My coach and I decided that since the conditions are so good in Whistler, it made more sense to stay in Whistler to train rather than go to Colorado for the pipe camp/contest. Again this year, I'm focusing a lot more on my athletic/riding development than on competition results so this just seemed like the best thing to do. We have a really good program going this year, in addition to tons of on snow training, video review and photo shoots, we also have trampoline 2 nights/week and dryland with Eric Soucy one night/week.

Core training with Eric

Backflips all around! Ettore going large
Me laying one out
Louise helping Grame learn a backflip

The snow finally stopped around the start of the month and was replaced by some cold but sunny days. I've had some great days in the Black Park. I've got most of my tricks back that I was doing last year and a few new ones to add to my repertoire. I've been working with Rob on really dialing in my tricks this year. I'm trying different grabs and spins to try to stand out from the pack of talented riders that I compete against.

One of the riders in my club recently bought a new digital camera that takes really good slow motion video and we were playing around with that the other day. Check out the video edit below.

video

It's snowing like mad in Whistler again which made it tough to come home for the holidays. I had to change my flight to squeeze a few extra days in while the snow was awesome. As for now, I'm back home and enjoying the comforts of being home, seeing all my friends and nursing a frostbitten toe from last night's snowboarding session. I guess I'm not used to snowboarding at -20 anymore. I'm looking forward to snowboarding at some of the spots I grew up riding while I'm back so I better get used to the cold pretty quick.

Best wishes over the holidays,

Andrew

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Climate Change Action Now

In a winter sport like snowboarding, I am especially concerned about the impacts that are already being seen from climate change. A report by the United Nations warned that downhill skiing could dissapear from resorts as early as 2030 (source: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/Climate_Change/Projects/PlayItCool/play_it_cool_why.asp). The most recent scientific studies outline that the world needs to reduce our greenhouse gas emmisions by 40% below 1990 levels by the year 2020 and the global peak of greenhouse gas emissions needs to occur by 2015 in order to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change. We need action now.

The largest and most important conference (on climate change) to date will be starting on Monday. The United Nations Climate Change Conference starts on December 7th and goes until December 18th. This is a chance for world leaders to make an agreement to reduce emission and provide aid to developing countries. For more information about the conference, see the official website here.

Canada is stalling to commit to anything in line with current scientific targets. In past conferences, we have had a negative impact on moving forward with climate change action. Now we have the chance to make up for that. I have already sent a letter expressing my concern to Prime Minister Harper (along with Mr. Jim Prentice, the Environmental Minister, as well as others).  It is very easy to let the Prime Minister know that you care about the future of the environment and Canada's roll as a world leader in these issues. To sign and send a letter to the Prime Minister, follow this link to the David Suzuki Foundation site. It's easy!

Here's the first part of The Age Of Stupid. It's a pretty intense documentary that I saw at an event put on by Ecology North while I was back in Yellowknife. If you have time, I would recommend checking it out.