Words: James Herring
Well, here we are, entering week… whatever it is of lockdown. It’s shit, but we aren’t here to yammer on about how obviously frustrating the lockdowns are.
Instead, we’ve noticed a good chunk of our snowboard brethren who are locked down getting out there and stacking clips for those of us who can’t.
Though it may not be how any of us wanted our seasons to end, a silver lining is a silver lining. And being able to watch the homies getting out there on DIY ramps and kickers or earning the turns in the backcountry has still brought smiles to our dials.
So we reached out to a few to ask what they’re getting up to and how they’re dealing with the lack of lifts.
Before we dive in, a shoutout to Chester Foot for hitting the first spot in lockdown and coming a little unstuck. He was sent straight to Canberra hospital for surgery, escaped days later and is now healing in Jindabyne. Commitment!
The man, the myth, the ledge, Capita and Volcom rider Troy Sturrock. Troy’s been getting out there and getting after it. What else is a snowboarder going to do in lockdown? Troy likes playstation, but can confirm he likes snowboarding a tad more. King of content.
“So far, I’ve been spending my lockdown hiking around Perisher and Guthega trying to do some stuff with the Mommas Boys.
Also been swimming in the lake and, of course, playing with my doggo (Noah).
The riding has been heaps of fun. Just building little hips and other street stuff. I’m going to keep things pretty chilled, I think, through our lockdown. Just ride when I can and chill the rest of the time.”
Ryan Cafferkey is one of the dudes behind HEY MOM, but when he’s not behind the lens or the editing desk, he’s out stomping all over the snowy mountains, and lockdowns haven’t slowed any of that down.
“Early days of our ‘Alpine lockdown’ were met with a lot of hesitation/uncertainty to try and do ANYTHING at all. There were a lot of rumours flying around of the National parks being ‘off limits’ as a means of personal exercise.
But it didn’t take long (24hrs) before at least one person from each of our friend groups had ventured past the blinking road signs and slid down some frozen stuff…
So far, we’ve dipped our hands in both sides of the slopes. Going up the Alpine Way (to Thredbo), we summited South Ramshead and were rewarded with an enjoyably long 15-minute board back to the car park.
Then, a quick boot pack up to one of the last standing Thredbo terrain parks. Where we slid down some Terrain Park grade steel and jumped between some well-shaped transfer jumps. Minutes before the kind Thredbo grooming staff were ordered to flatten the entire thing (un-doing their seasons worth of hard work) to protect the resort’s liability, I suppose…
Of course, the ulterior motive of landing some sort of manoeuvre on film, to show their friends back home how rebellious we all are down here.”
Niche Snowboards rider Carolyn Feng has been living the lockdown dream. She isn’t shy about showing us all her backcountry adventures… and trust us, we’re not upset about that.
“My lockdown is actually going pretty well. Very lucky to be living in Jindabyne with such a large LGA that we can still access so many outdoor activities. I was so relieved when I found out going backcountry is permitted as exercise!
I’ve been getting out touring almost every day when the weather permits. A lot of Guthega, Dead Horse Gap, Twynam, Rams Head etc.
My highlight is definitely spending more time exploring the Kosciusko National Park, riding new lines, enjoy the views and getting a good sweat out of it. When the lifts were spinning, I always feel like I’m missing out on a good resort day or park day if I’m out splitboarding, however now backcountry is all I have; I feel content and enjoy it more than ever.”
The youngest of our Lockdown Legends is Brock Ibboston, whose having a season to remember, albeit a minimised one. Homeboy took out one of the weekly prizes in the Volcom Side Hit Competition, along with a mass of hardware at the Perisher Parks Showdown.
“I Still got school work to do, so some days are spent doing that, and other days are spent hiking and building mini parks around Perisher, Guthega with the crew. I’m only 14, so I ride with a wide range of crew from adults to 12yr olds. I’ll ride anything, anywhere
But with the extended lockdown called for NSW, I’m heading home, season over, back to beach. But pumped to get back to training with my coach Mikey Williams at The Landing Zone, an airbag training facility.
The Modest Eyewear crew have been getting out there also. Luke Harvey, Russell Fortune, Josh Anderson, Jye Kearney and more. Hike, slide…whatever they can ride, they’re up there.
Aussie Queen of the Freeride World Tour, Michaela Davis-Meehan has been getting out there daily!
“We have it pretty good here living in the Snowy Monaro LGA. Super grateful to be living with good mates and still be able to enjoy the snow. I’ve been doing a bit of splitboarding. More hiking than riding, but it’s great to be out and explore new parts of the mountains.
I’ve only ever been to Jindabyne in winter for snowboarding, so I’m discovering a bunch of gems I didn’t know about, like waterfalls, hiking and bike trails. I’ve also been spending a lot of time pimping out my van for when we can travel again.“
We can say, right now, that we will handle the chilling aspect of life for you folks down in the snow. Just get out there and keep filling our phones and screens with content that makes us look forward to the better, free-er times.