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, 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.

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