“What is the gnar?”, you may ask, skeptically. Well, I’m glad you asked, personified figment of my imagination whose only purpose is to serve as an intro to this blog post. After writing that “Reflections on 2016” blog post, I was pretty much done with writing for a while, but now, I figured I have something to write about, so why not write about it?
Anyways, back to the question. What is ‘the gnar’? Gnar, in literal terms, can be used both as an adjective and a noun (ex. “That was gnar!”, or “We totally shredded the gnar!”), and means, in very vague terms (the noun version), the surface on which you shred, usually on a snowboard, skis, or a skateboard (in this case, I use it to describe what I’ve been doing recently). The adjective form of gnar, exemplified by the example above, can be roughly translated to mean awesome, cool, or totally radical, but I don’t use that form much.
But how have I been shredding the gnar? In many ways, believe me. Last week, I competed in what was my first slopestyle competition, which was an exhilarating experience. I was extremely nervous coming up to the practice start, preparing to start attempting to land tricks that I would put in my actual runs, and watching all the other competitors in my age group throw their tricks. I tried to block out everyone else and just focus on myself, which was a bit hard due to there being tons and tons of people around me, each trying to nail their respective runs.
In practice, I landed some backside 360’s, hit my grabs that I planned to throw in the comp, and landed an awesome run (frontside 540 to cab 180 to tweaked out nose grab) that didn’t end up getting put into my run because I hadn’t mastered my front 540’s well enough to attempt in competition. My actual competition run consisted of a 50/50 (which is the most basic trick possible on a rail) to backside 360 on the first jump, followed by a front-shifty Roast Beef grab on the second jump to a nose grab on the third jump, finished with a mediocre backside boardslide on the last rail. The first run went pretty bad, because I took too many speed checks and hit the knuckle of the first jump, slowing me down drastically for the rest of the jumps, but the second run (in my opinion) improved greatly, bringing up my score 5 points from a 34.3 to a 39.3, which put me in 11th place. I wasn’t extremely happy with the result, especially since I was in 6th after the first run, but then got bumped down because all the amazing riders that fell on their first run, putting me ahead of them, landed their second runs. Here’s a video of my first run:
Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the season. We built a jump into some soft snow (although it was hard to land anything off of it), and threw backflips off of it! To top it all off, the run down from the spot we were flipping at was the perfect place to race, and I raced several of my teammates many times. I was the only one to have actually landed a backflip (albeit after I had crashed several times), and I now feel ready to take it back to the park and try it off some bigger jumps. I was fortunate enough to have my coach Kirsten there to take a video of me, so thanks a ton for that! Here it is, and as always, you can view more videos on my snowboarding YouTube Channel, on which I don’t usually post much, it’s more of a storage spot for my videos that I want to share out.
So that was just a quick recap of the most important and fun days from the past week, and I should probably be getting back to doing homework. I have another slopestyle coming up, and Ski Cooper boardercross is less than two weeks away! These next three weeks are sure to be jam-packed with tons of action, so I’ll be ready to record some video and write some more!