I took 2nd place at a contest in NC last weekend. It was held at East Coast Wake Park, and was not an easy comp. There were riders like Marc Rossiter, Brian Reeder, and many others. Marc did end up the victor, however he got lucky I slipped up a bit in finals. Also Slingshot’s very own Brian Reeder took 3rd. Everyone ended up staying a few extra days to film for Norbifilms.com, so that vid should be out soon.
After spending a couple months in the snow I decided it was time for a change of climate. It would be a few months before it started warming up anywhere north of the tropics so at the end of January I headed out to Maui for the spring. Maui is one of my favorite places to ride, especially in the winter since I hate wetsuits. The NE trade winds here are pretty consistent and strong through the winter, and on those off days there is usually some swell to surf. This year the conditions have been good with only a couple weeks of no wind. There have been a couple big swells but for the most part it’s been pretty average.
I’ve been spending most of my time hitting kickers at Kitebeach with the Newton wakeboard. The increased rocker compared to a kiteboard is just what I need to handle such hard, slacked landings. I don’t really need to worry about it slowing me down or dragging me down wind since it is usually blowing 20+ mph. The kickers are great since they aren’t part of a surf break, allowing me to drop my kite without worrying about it getting eaten by a wave. Recently I’ve been mostly working on adding grabs to my flat spins. It has been a lot of fun and feels unbelievable when you nail it right. My favorite thing to do right now is add the grab after the handle pass. You really have to have the spin down to be balanced enough to focus on a grab so late in the trick. If you want to see what I’m talking about click here to check out a video of a Backside 3 with a late grab. If it is not that windy or there are no kickers I ride the Darkside since the flatter rocker lets me plane easier. The wind is rarely north enough to fill in at the pro pool but when it is it is a great flat water spot. Maui Sunset in Kihei is also pretty flat but only works on a south wind.
When the swell starts pumping I bust out the Tyrant and hit the surf. I usually ride the right at Lanes, but if the wind is really strong and east there is a sick left near my house at Waiehu. Make sure you lock your car if you ever go to Lanes though because I had my gear ripped off while I was out riding. Luckily I was able to recover it all when the thief sold it to a guy at Kitebeach. Other than that I’ve hit up the lower reef at Kanaha, Pier One and Sugar Cove a couple times.
Slingshot, FIRST IN FLEX WORLDWIDE, is proud to announce we have signed Zach Schneider to our National Wake Team.
Lucky enough to grow up in the Pacific Northwest, Zach has been able to take advantage of one of the nation’s best mountains, rivers, and a ridiculous amount of skate parks. He’s been snowboarding on Mt. Hood for ten years, wakeboarding on the Willamette River for eight, and rolling around the state on his skateboard hitting parks like Oregon’s most famous Burnside, under the bridge, all the years between. At sixteen he landed a job working for Active Water Sports, and since has spent the majority of his summers riding and coaching. In the spring of 2010 Zach stepped up to the challenge of spending a year in Florida at the Projects, training alongside some of our industries finest rail coaches like Nate Perry, Brian Reeder, Marc Rossiter, and Clay Fletcher. This year he’s bringing it all home to coach and continue training at Active’s very own private wake park, Koppert Lake. Hurry up and book a lesson! We hear his slots are filling fast.
Youri just won the first two PKRA world cups of the season. Watch how he spent the winter to get in shape for 2011.
Winning doesn’t come easy, and it can be stressful when things don’t run smoothly. “When I arrived here in Australia, I really wanted to push it and train hard, but then you get back on the water, and it’s just a lot of frustration!”
This first installment shows the true grit and determination that Youri has gone through to make him one of the top riders in the world! Defiantly worth watching for those super sick combo freestyle moves at the end…