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, January 19, 2010

World Cup Spot Clinched!

It came down to the last minute for me to even compete in the Calgary NorAm. I suffered a back injury the week before the contest while riding the pipe. It seized up and I was in rough shape. My focus suddenly changed to doing everything I could in order to get my back better. In the course of a week I attended 3 physio appointments as well as 3 chiro appointments. I was improving every day but it wasn't fast enough for the start of the competitions. There was a halfpipe competition on Friday and one on Saturday followed by a slopestyle on Sunday.

On Friday I made the tough call to drop out of the halfpipe contests. It was more important for me to get my back healthy for the rest of the season. The following day, I felt well enough to ride and tried a few jumps on the slopestyle. I was able to compete in the slopestyle the next day and felt great. This scenario reminded of my experience at the Canada Winter Games a couple years ago when I competed with a knee injury, completely cold turkey and placed 5th. That is one of my most memorable athletic achievements to this day.

So here I am, standing at the top of the course, headphones blaring in my ears, bindings done up tight, trying to breath and relax while getting stoked at the same time. The starter radios in "Andrew Matthews, dropping in switch" and gives me the go ahead. I land my switch back (s/b) 5 really well and remember thinking 'Andrew, that was one of the best s/b 5s you've ever done, you better land this run!' I then line of for my front 7 mute. I spot my landing and, oh no, I'm still flying through the air. I send it deep but stomp. A few seconds later I'm sending a backside 5 and it's the same thing: there was the landing, there goes the landing. 'This is going to be really good or really bad,' I think to myself. Boom! I land clean. Then before I know it I'm in the rail section but I wasn't able to set up for the right side because I went so deep. I improvise and just get through the course.
That run got me through to finals where I only needed to land a run in order to make the upcoming World Cup (again in Calgary) as 9 out of 10 riders in finals made it. On my first run, I was shaky but stayed on my feet. On my second run (best run of 2 format), I did the best front 7 of my life, double grab mute and stalefish. Unfortunately I went down on my next trick, a backside 7, and so too did my chances of standing on the podium that day. My first run was good enough for 7th place and a spot at the World Cup!
So I'm off to Calgary again next week for my first ever World Cup slopestyle followed by the Burton Open Global Series slopestyle and halfpipe. Stoked!

-N Dub

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Holiday Craziness

Happy New Year!

The holidays have been jam packed for me this year. I was home for an all to quick stay, fitting in as much as I could in the time I was back. Despite the craziness, it was amazing to be home in the winter. Some of the highlights were seeing my friends; snowmobiling; playing hockey on the lake; charades with family and friends; amazing food; and snowboarding in Yellowknife again.

My family traveled down to Whistler with me to spend New Years here. Our trip back to Whistler was pretty crazy. I made a video of it because, let's face it, that's way cooler than just reading about it.
With the Calgary triple header Noram less than 2 weeks away, I'm working my butt off to meet the goals that I've set for those contests. My goal is to land runs in the pipe with backside and frontside 5s and back to back 7s, upping the ante from last years at nationals were I was doing 3 different 5s and a 7. In slopestyle I'm also looking to step it up by landing my first 9 in a contest. These contests have a way of creeping up on you and before you know it, it's go time! I have to get my game face on pretty soon. That being said, I've been feeling really confident and stoked lately so we'll see what happens.

All the best in the New Year!