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!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Triple Cork or Best Angle Ever?

Happy New Year everyone!

Here's a shot of me from Keystone in real time and then again in slow-mo. Is it the newest triple cork? Maybe just a cool angle?



- Aces

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dew Tour Slopestyle Finals Video


See More Videos at AlliSports.com
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Colorado has it going on!

Hey everyone,

I'm in Colorado right now for our early season training camp and I'm loving it here. They have free buses; its sunny; everyone is friendly; and most of all the resorts here work their tales off getting the parks up and running early! To give you an idea, the resort we've been riding is called Keystone and they only have a base depth of 18'! They've been making snow non-stop and already have a full park with over 100 features including a huge, very well built, triple jump line. We hardly notice the lack of natural snow.

The level of riding here is insane! Most of the best pros are here because Keystone has one of the best parks in the world right now. Colorado also has the best halfpipes right now. We went to watch the halfpipe Grand Prix on the weekend. The level of riding in competitive halfpipe is incredible! The sport really progressed leading up to the 2010 Olympics with competitors pulling double cork tricks. Now its difficult to even make the finals at the Grand Prix without a double cork! Congrats to Luke Mitrani for taking the win with an absolutely sick run.

As for this guy, I just finished filling out a trick list that my coach put together. There are so many tricks that I want to learn this season. I guess that's a cool part about freestyle snowboarding: there are almost no limits to what you can learn. At the moment I'm really focusing on building my confidence jumping from the ground up. Yep, that meant spending 2 days only doing straight airs followed by 180s for another 3 days. I'm now doing some of the best straight airs, 180s and 360s I've ever done!

Here's a new tune that's just plain amazing:   Midnight City by M83

In addition to snowboarding I've also started back to University. I'm studying microeconomics by correspondence and really enjoying it so far. I've also been watching quite a few 'Ted Talks' in my spare time. Check out this one that I found really interesting:



Aces,
Andy

Monday, November 28, 2011

And It Begins...

November 18, 2011 - Whistler Mountain officially opened for the winter season.

This is such an exciting time of year... where you are limited only by your own imagination as to the possibilities that await in your future. Will this be my breakthrough year? Will I land double corks? Podium at a huge contest? Get sick photos? Magazine coverage? Film an awesome video part? Shred epic powder days?

At the moment I'm having a great time riding again - dialing in my new gear and old tricks. I'm packing my bags for an epic training camp in Colorado. We're heading up (vertically) to go ride perfect snowboard parks for 3 weeks. I'm stoked to have the chance to push my riding before the competition season really gets under way in the new year.

I like to think this season will be my banger season but only time will tell my friends. Stay tuned to find out!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Adventure Season - Off-land Training

This fall I put a little extra flavour into my dry-land training program... you could even call it 'off-land' training. I went surfing! My girlfriend Frida and I went to Costa Rica and Nicaragua to seek out waves, adventure and an experience of a lifetime before the snow started falling in Canada. Surfing is one of my new favourite sports! It’s seriously challenging but a ton of fun when you catch a wave right. Plus you get free chiropractic sessions when the waves crunch down on you!

For the first time in my life I was paddling out in the ocean free from the rubbery constrains of a thick wetsuit. The liberating feeling of being out in the ocean with only you and your board is fantastic... until a school of fish swarm around you that is!  I wanted to progress as much as possible in surfing while I was there but I realized that you need to be patient with surfing. The conditions have to be It takes a lot of time paddling, duck diving, paddling more, ducking diving more, paddling until your arms feel like jello, and then trying to stand up before get the hang of it. Its that one great wave you catch that keeps you coming back.

Throughout our trip we saw some beautiful places and met lots of awesome people. It was a great experience to see other cultures, try new things and practice spanish. Even though the places we saw were amazing, the trip really made me appreciate Canada. You don’t realize how safe you feel here until you’ve been somewhere outside of your comfort zone. And lets be honest, Canada is beautiful too!
Beach to myself at 7am
Ridin the 'Perfect Wave'
This one speaks for itself. Pic by Frida

Training with the oldest equipment ever for less than $1 drop-in

This guy loves the attention

Postcard (also by Frida)

Beautiful beach yoga session
I felt like a warrior standing there!
Us at the top of a Maderas Volcano

Thursday, October 27, 2011

NZedit 2011!

Here's the edit I put together from my trip to NZ this September!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

NZ Photos

My trip to New Zealand was a lot of fun and was well worth the effort of going overseas to find snow. In addition to how awesome it was to ride in September some of the highlights were skydiving; going on an epic 3 hour mountain bike ride (watch out for Auzzie breaks!); and going on an adventure hike up and down Mount Iron (who uses the path?). 

On the snowboard front, it was really good to continue to practice. With only 6 weeks off snow I felt like I was able to get back into it right away. It was also awesome to have one of the Whistler Valley Snowboard Club coaches, Duncan, there to ride and film with. I learned a lot of jibbing tricks (rails and boxes) and got a lot more comfortable flipping on jumps. It was too windy to jump as much I would have liked but I made the most out of every light wind day. Video to come soon! For now check out the pictures from my trip below
Freefalling! Sorry Mom!

Mount Iron Peak

Jibbing is fun

Dave killing it with a front board!

Back corked 5

Backside 180

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Awesome start to NZ!

Greetings from NZ!

I've made the trip down south and have settled into a freezing cold house in beautiful Wanaka. I forgot just how nice (and cold) it is here. This year none of my usual crew came down so I've been doing a solo mission for this trip. So far its been really good. I've already met lots of nice people and got some really good riding in.

On my second day here I competed in a the Volcom Peanut Butter and Rail Jam. Thanks to my riding this summer I felt solid on my first day back on snow and decided what the heck, this will be fun. It was a cool contest with a more mellow vibe because you can do your run whenever you want and do as many as possible within a certain time limit. I busted out some tricks that I've never done before - nothing like a little competition to get me stoked to try something new! I was happy with my riding and even placed 4th, which at this contest is also a 'podium', awesome! Check out the video below... I'm in the light brown Westbeach coat at 1:30 and 4:43.


Untitled from Volcom Australia / New Zealand on Vimeo.



Friday, August 26, 2011

Kiwi Bound

Hello,

As MBM Camp comes to a close next week, it will be time for me to trade in the mountain bike for my snowboard... I've decided to head out to New Zealand this September to get some tricks dialed in for next season. Thanks to support from Northern Canada Ventures Corp (parent company of Ryfan Electric) I will be able to afford to get in some great riding in this September! Thank you very much NCVC!

Here's a video of what I'm flying halfway across the world to do:

Snow Park Triple Line Opens from Snow Park NZ on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Camp is Awesome!!

Heyo,

I just finished off the most intense, progressive 4 weeks of snowboarding of my life! I'm exhausted but I feel great! This was the first summer that I stayed in Whistler to ride the glacier at Camp of Champions. Camp of Champions is a private (read: very expensive) camp with debatably the best snowboard park in the world at this time of year! In order to afford such an amazing camp, I was lucky enough to get a volunteer job salting the park for the first week, organizing the salting crew and putting up banners for the last 3 weeks. Thanks to my outstanding support from the NWT, I was able to afford to have my coach come up for the entire 4 weeks to help me reach my goals for the summer.

We had "the worst weather ever" this summer but I didn't let that stop me from making as much progress as I could. They had a sweet air bag setup with 2 sizes of jump bags and one halfpipe bag. Air bags are relatively new in the snowboard scene so I'll explain why they are useful. Air bags allow riders to try tricks without worrying (as much) about the consequence of landing, say, on your head for instance. I used this opportunity to learn several inverted tricks, these tricks will be crucial in my riding as a competitive snowboarder. I now feel a lot more comfortable going upsidedown in the air than I ever have before. I did my first frontside and switch frontside inverts in the halfpipe; landed my first backside rodeo (backflip 180) on snow; landed first ever backside 270 onto a box; made progress on my jumping fundamentals - you get the picture yet? I made some serious progress!

Below are some photos from my 23rd birthday which just so happened to fall on the last day of glacier riding. It was one of the rare sunny days and such a fun way to spend my birthday. A big thank you goes out to my girlfriend Frida for taking these awesome pictures! To see more of her photography click here: www.fridaberglund.se.








Thursday, July 7, 2011

Season Kick Off - Ante Up!

Starting my season off BIG
Greetings!

On Canada Day I kicked off my summer season on snow with the 5 Star TTR Billabong Ante Up Big Air Contest. I was lucky to even have a chance to compete in such a high calibre event where they only took 30 of the top riders in the world. I snuck in as an alternate with my results from last season. The competition was an 80 foot gap Big Air jump, one of the biggest jumps I've ever done. Despite having a bad fall in training I was able to have a solid performance in the competition. I landed a frontside 1080 but wasn't able to stop my rotation so I lost some points for that. I was leading the competition for a few riders and ended up 16th out of 30 riders, a solid result for such a stacked field! The contest was an amazing experience to see the best riders in the world perform, and to see what I need to do in order to get to that elite level.

Here's the video from the event. Guess who is the second snowboarder in the video?!




Thanks for stopping by,

Andy

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer is here!

Hey everyone,

I've been really busy lately setting up MBM Camp and enjoying all the awesome activities Whistler has to offer in the summer like mountain biking, hiking, climbing and skateboarding to name a few. This is the first year I've stayed in Whistler for some of the summer and I must say this place is awesome in the summer too! We filmed a day where we went to Squamish for some skateboarding, climbing and hiking. Edit dropping.... soon?

I only have a few days left before the glacier opens for the summer! I've decided to stay here to train at Camp Of Champions for the entire time its open. This has been a dream of mine since I attended the camp for the first time when I was 13 years old. I can remember thinking 'Imagine how good you would get if you could snowboard everyday  for a month here!' Well now that dream has become a reality and I'm stoked!!

With all the outdoor fun lately, I haven't had a chance to go through my footage from the year yet but here's a teaser, well its actually a couple years old but I stumbled upon it on my friend Chase's vimeo so boom! Here it is:

I also found Chase's new teaser, it looks pretty sweet!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sequence Shots from 2K

Hello,

As the season comes to an end here in Whistler I figure I better get these awesome photos that Kevin Klingbeil took of me in the Whistler Black Park. This was back at the end of March just before the Showdown Over the City so I was really pushing to learn some new tricks. Kevin was there to capture my first ever landed frontside 10. Definitely one of the best days of my season! Thanks for the photos Kevin! Check out his photography here: 
First front 10 stomp!

Switch back 5

Another frontside 10

Here's some shots I just had to post... Here's my cousin's son (second cousin?) Trevor grabbing tail on my board and looking like a rock star! He'll be snowboarding soon!
He's a natural!

He almost didn't give those back
- A

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Best of the WSSFest 2011

Bonjourno,
This year the World Ski and Snowboard Festival was unreal! There was amazing snowboarding, skiing, films, art and music. The village was packed with tourist and companies promoting their products. Here are some of my favourite films from the various film competitions held during the festival:

 These guys had 1 week (in April) to shoot and edit their videos for Intersection. I was blown away at how sick the videos turned out!

This video took the 3PO film contest. I love the idea of shredding the city.

Pro Photographer Showdown Finalist Russel Dalby

Funny because its true. We love poaching hot tubs!

Zoolander + Snowboarding = Awesome

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Showdown Bubble - In or out?!

Hey oh!

The past couple weekends have been Showdowns - The Showcase Showdown in Whistler and the Quiksilver Showdown Over the City at Grouse Mountain. What is a 'Showdown' you may be asking? Well it seems like the people who name snowboard contest snowboard contests think alike (or maybe they just copy each other). Anyways, these 'Showdowns' were huge slopestyle contests that brought some of the best riders from BC, Canada and even the States out to throw down.

The most recent one, the Showdown Over the City started pretty typically for a contest at Grouse Mountain - in the middle of a cloud. We could hardly see the course with massive rails and... average size jumps. I was in the amateur qualification for the chance to duke it out with some of the top pros in Canada. They originally set out 100 spots for ams but only 10 signed up. I guess once they saw some of the big names that were showing up they decided there wasn't much point competing. At the riders meeting they told us that the qualifiers would be pushed to the next day in hopes of better weather. Oh, and that only 3 of the ams would make it through. So much for an easy ride into the pro contest!

The next day it was... sunny?! Everything looked awesome in the sun. I had to get comfortable on the course really quick because they were now running 3 contests in 1 day which made it a bit tighter for time. I landed a few different runs in training but not even close to the run I was thinking of. For some reason I can usually ride better under pressure and this was no exception. I landed my first run with a switch back nine, aw yeah! I fell on my second run and I knew that my first run would be right around that 3rd place bubble.

There have been a lot of times I've been outside of the bubble looking in: the Showcase Showdown the weekend before this I was the first person cut from finals! Not this time though! I made it with my first run and qualified in 3rd! Boo yeah!!

After that I was ready to shred it! Too bad the course wasn't... the sun started turning the snow into slush and the uphill wind made it nearly impossible to make the jump. It was turning into a "boarderstyle" event, a mix of boardercross and slopestyle because you had to hit the rails as fast as possible in order to have any hope of making the jumps. I was feeling really good on the rails but it was really frustrating not being able to do the tricks that I wanted on the jumps. Ah! Anyways I wasn't able to land a run in the pro contest, I knuckled (didn't have enough speed to make the landing properly) the last jump on my second run that might have put me through to the super final.

Besides the speed being such an issue it was an awesome day. Such a fun contest to be part of. Congrats to Robbie for placing third, even after he popped his shoulder out in semis. What a champ!

As for the Showcase Showdown, the new kid in my club WVSC Darcy Sharpe took the top spot and he's only 15 years old! Yellowknife rider Molly Milligan (and also new to WVSC) took second in the female category. Another friend and club member Ali Tracy rode really well and just missed the podium, coming in 4th. Way to kill it guys!!

Check out some edits from the past couple contests below.



Thursday, March 17, 2011

Switch Back 9 & YLG Contest

Hey!

Last weekend the we left the epic snow of Whistler in a gang related black Suburban for sunny peaks of... Sun Peaks! This was the next stop on the YouLookGood Riders Cup Slopestyle. We were all stoked to get out of the Whistler bubble for a bit and ride a new park.

WVSC crew, stoked! FLTR Ali, Darcy, Sam, Me and Marlee
Going into this contest I had one trick in mind that I was determined to learn, the switch back 900. I was close to landing it at the last stop and I knew I would have to if I wanted to have a chance at the podium.

After spending a night at a dodgy motel in Kamloops, we rolled up to Sun Peaks to find a really fun, long course. The jumps were built a lot different (flat takeoffs instead of kick) from Whistler's so it was nice to have a full day of practice to get a feel for them. I was close to landing a couple s/b 900s but they weren't that clean...yet.
Darcy killing it as per usual
The format for the contest was best of 2 runs, top 10 make finals then best of 2 run finals. I stomped my first run really clean on the jumps and qualified 4th with my safety run of back 5, switch back 5, front 7! In the finals I let it all hang out! I went for the switch back 9 and stomped it first run. It was a six hit course and I sketched out of a few of the features so I knew I could clean up my run for my second run. On that one, I was killing it! I nailed it on all the rails and went huge on my back 5. I stomped my switch back 900 and had one jump left. I went for a front 7 but spun it weird with a new grab I was trying. I came around and fell on the landing. I was so frustrated but at the same time I was really happy with my progress, and lets be honest - its all about the progress. So for those of you that have no idea what a s/b 9 is... think takeoff backwards and do 2.5 rotations - its just the best trick I've ever landed yet.

Me getting some switch backside air time
Ali showed everyone whats up with a huge backside 3 that won her best trick! She also placed 2nd in Pro Women, way to go!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Best Slopestyle Run Ever & 5th Place = Awwww Yeahhhh!!

Hello!

Last weekend I kicked off my competitive season with the YouLookGood Riders Cup Slopestyle Contest at Mount Seymour. This is Canada's pre-eminent slopestyle series with 4 stops across Canada. As I mentioned in my last post, I suffered an injury earlier this season where I broke my 5th metacarpal snowboarding back home. After a successful surgery and rehab, I'm back to my old tricks (yeah, pun intended!) and feeling really solid with my riding!

I had an awesome training day on the course the day before the contest. I landed THE BEST slopestyle run I've EVER done! I did switch (riding backwards) frontside boardslide 270 out, switch frontside 7, switch backside 7. I realize you probably have no idea what that means so you'll have to trust me that its a really technical, solid combination. On competition day my back was feeling really sore from riding hard the day before. I was able to push through it and put down a nice clean first run. After that I knew I had to step it up to make the podium so I went for a switch backside 900, a trick I've never landed before but would have put me in contention for the podium. I wasn't able to land one clean but I came really close, I'm sure I can learn that with a little practice before my next competition at Sun Peaks in a week and a half.

My first run was good enough for 5th place out of 27 athletes in the Pro category! Not a bad way to kick off the competitive season, which gets really heavy in March/April. I'm so excited to be back competing, it feels so good to land a run under pressure. I can't wait for the next stop of the tour at Sunpeaks!

- Andrew

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I get knocked down but I get up again!

Hey how's it going?
It's been a while since I've updated this bad boy of a blog. The main reason being that I could only type with one hand for 5 weeks... I broke my 5th metacarpal bone on my left hand in a snowboard fall while I was home for the holidays. That was a bit of a snag in the wicked start to my season. 

In snowboarding you will get knocked down. Injuries are inevitable. Todd Richards wrote in his book 'it isn't a matter of if you'll get injured, it's a matter of when and how bad.' You've got to take the good with the bad and play the hand you get and all the other cliches out there but its true. You can't stress out when your body needs a break, you just have to roll with it. That's exactly what I did while I was injured and now I'm back up again and feel better than ever! Now I'm back feeling good and getting ready for my first competition, YouLookGood Slopestyle, this Saturday at Mount Seymour. So stoked for that! Before you keep reading, press play below for the theme song for this post!

To switch things up from what can end up being me boring the glasses off of readers, I've done up a timeline since my injury.

• December 27th: Hard fall hitting a rail feature in Yellowknife ends up with broken hand.
• January 4th: A week after my break my bone didn't settle properly. I find out that I need my first surgery ever. This sucks but I know it will help it heal faster and stronger.
• January 10th: I had surgery in Vancouver. They gave me a local anesthetic completely freezing my arm. After some sedative I fell asleep during surgery and woke up to them putting 3 screws into my hand. It was weird but I was surprisingly mellow about it. Those drugs are stong! The staff at St. Pauls hospital were really nice, Dr. Wells nailed it (or should I say screwed it? ha) with the surgery.
• January 10th - Feb 2nd: No boarding for 3 more weeks after surgery - I kept busy by reading lots of books (Climbing From the Wreckage by Gwynne Dyer is awesome); lots of small workouts; learning about investing and of course hanging out with friends.
• Feb 2: Bone healed - I had to bus back to Vancouver for a follow up. It was a long day but when Dr. Wells said my bone was healed and I was good to go back to snowboarding it was well worth the trip. I felt so good! Now back to some mellow riding and hand rehab begins.
• Feb 10th: Hand has about 90% of motion back and feels solid. That means back to boarding hard!
• Feb 12 - 18th: Whistler gets 2 meters of snow in one week. Epic powder riding!
With so much snow, I couldn't see outside my window until the maintenance guys did this!
• Feb 20: At this point I'm back to doing everything in the gym and doing yoga. I'm stoked! Check pics bellow of workout with Kyle







• Feb 23rd: Awesome day in the park! I'm back hitting big jumps/rails in the park and it feels awesome. Time to get back my old tricks and learn new ones.

I just picked up a new training log and I'll end this post with the quote from the front.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act but a habit. - Aristotle.

Boom!

- A

Monday, February 7, 2011

Whistler Video

Wow this video is cool! If you've never been to Whistler, tell me this doesn't make you want to come see what its all about! I'm so lucky to live and ride here for the winters.

Whistler Blackcomb XXS from Whistler Blackcomb on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Double Frontflip Video

I've wanted to try this for a while now. 
I'm pretty stoked to finally have a double flip under my belt.
Double cork 1080 coming soon??
video