Surfers in the Snow 1
Newquay's English Junior surf champion and British team member Lewis Clinton and his pro surfer brother Jack, who competes across Europe, have travelled to Tignes in the French Alps for their first taste of snowboarding. Find out how they get on.
It's snow - but not as we know it. Not in the UK, at least...
As soon as we landed in Geneva, the place was blanketed in the stuff - and it just keeps coming. We've just got back from the European Junior Championships in Morocco, so the weather change was a shock to the system - it was -10 degrees last night.
Lewis and Jack. Pic: Leigh Mytton
The snow fell all night and this morning we woke up to massive snowdrifts outside our hotel balcony. We are travelling with Mark Warner holidays, and had a massive cooked breakfast before we hit the slopes for our first boarding lesson.
After getting used to our boots (we can't move our ankles), we tried skateboarding on our boards first, with our back feet out of the bindings. Because the snowfall's been really heavy, the slopes are super-bumpy and the snow's really fluffy - so ploughing through it can be pretty tricky.
Once we had both feet in, it was all about mastering the art of not putting too much weight on the back foot. Seems snowboarding is the reverse of surfing - the weight's got to be on the front to get moving. Last night at dinner (chicken, beef AND fish pie) we were warned by one of the other guests, 12-year-old Katherine, that we would spend 'a lot of time on our butts'.
Jack snowboarding. Pic: Leigh Mytton
We did, but that's part of learning. It's just about practicing. By the end of the day, it had stopped snowing and the visibility was a lot better, so we could see a lot more.
We'd also started to get our weight distribution right, as well as being more controlled. So we decided to do some jumps. The benefit of there being lots of snow is that there's lots of soft powder to land in. We nailed a few, but we ate a lot of snow as well. Going back for a bath now, but cannot wait to get back out there tomorrow...
last updated: 22/12/2008 at 12:57