Photo Blog: A day in the life of British Snowboarder, Ben Kilner
January 8, 2014 16:43 pm
Most mornings I get up around 6am and have a quick glimpse out of the window to check the weather. The best indications are if you can see the stars but you still have to wait until the sun appears to really see how the weather is going to turn out.
I get up and jump in the shower and then head for breakfast which normally consists of an overflowed bowl of cereal, toast, coffee, yogurt, fruit and finish it off with a pint of water.
I go back to my room to grab all my stuff. After 16 years of snowboarding I have a checklist engraved deeply into my brain. Golves, helmet, neck warmer, Oakley's, jacket, pants, belt, boots, snowboard, lift pass ect. I'm sure you get the point. I grab my board last which has been tuned over night, waxed and prepped ready to go, put it in the car and grab a seat with the rest of my team mates.
The journey to whichever resort we are going to is normally quite loud for so early in the morning. Music blasting and everyone buzzing about what the day has in store. If it's a clear blue sky day with no wind everyone will be buzzing.
Once we arrive we all scramble to get our stuff out the car, tie our boots and head to the gondola. Some of the team head to the jumps and the rest head to the half pipe. During the Olympic year I tend to stay at the Halfpipe all day as that is where I want to be most practised. If it is any other time of the year i like to mix runs through both Pipe and Slopestyle.
Today the Halfpipe is in perfect shape and quiet so we decided to do competition drills. In the World Cups we tend to get thirty minutes of training before we get judged. My first run consists of a few simple spins all the way down. I exit the pipe and take the 10 min hike back up to the top. On my second run i put my competition run down and repeat that until training time is up. My coach Hamish lets us chill for 10 minutes and then we try to throw the same run again and again just like in competition.
Once that is over we then go on to perfect some tricks that need perfecting and also work on others that are a bit rusty. I start off by walking halfway up the half pipe and sit down to strap in. I'm working towards doing double corks so I start off with a single Haakonflips to get myself prepared and Hamish reassures me if I am going high enough in the air to throw myself upside down twice. Once I get the go ahead it takes me a little extra time to drop in as the adrenaline is pumping. I always breathe heavy before dropping in so I point my board down the sidewall, gather speed and give the double cork a try. I don't land my first, but I was close so I hike back up and keep trying it until I do land it. On the opposite side of the pipe I have Shaun White trying some new double corks which I have never seen before.
I've crossed paths with Shaun more and more recently and I think he is a massive inspiration in how hard he works. And also a very nice humble guy. It's always nice having a little training session with the likes of Shaun in company. Once I have tried enough double corks to mine and hamish's satisfaction I finish up for the day. I will hang around if the others team mates are staying around to train more. But if not we all gather and head back down to our crib.
When we have got changed we tend to chill, grab a bite to eat and catch up with the online social world.
Once the boredom kicks in, the gym springs to our heads. This is where we can wind down, stretch and catch up with our strength and conditioning programs given to is by our institutes. We tend to play a bit of basketball too. The altitude of this gym is just over 3000metres so it's its easy to get out of breath.
We go back home and whoever is nominated to cook dinner gets to work in the kitchen. Today it's Billy Morgan. I go to see Alison our Physio and she gets stuck in to some deep tissue massaging on my legs whilst I scrunch up my face in pain. It feels great but god it's sore! All worth it if it means to carry on snowboarding! I eat dinner with the team all round one table and normally the topics of conversation are random and funny. Not much seriousness gets around this team. We are a bunch of jokers and love a good laugh. It's how we get by.
Once dinner is wolfed down I head to the garage to see how things are going with our wax tech Euan. He's treating all the boards and skis like they are his pride and joy. They look good but I can't stay too long as there is so much dust and fumes in the air! He keeps a gas mask on so he can stand it.
By this time of day I am ready to go to bed. I watch a bit of TV if there is anything good on and I'll go play the Xbox downstairs if it's free. When my eyes get too heavy I just get to bed and rest up for tomorrow's hectic day checking the weather before nodding off.