The Canadian snowboarding team for example. They are all in the starting block as we speak. As the snow is falling, it’s their turn to shine after months of practice out of sight.
Practice? How do these guys practice in the summer time? Well I’m sure you got it: they get their blood pumping on their bikes, and lately it’s on Kona that our national team have sat their butts!
Simon Bonenfant, the head coach of the SBX Development Program, got his first Abra Cadabra early in the summer. Just a few days later, he got himself a DH bike and by the end of the week, he added a Shonky to his collection. As he puts it, “Biking is super fun, but it is also the perfect practice tool for us in the summer.”
We met with Kevin Hill, silver medallist at the XGames in Boarder Cross. Born and raised in Vernon, BC, he’s not just an impressive and fast snowboarder, but is also pretty darn good on a bike. Having grown up racing BMX on the Canadian team and travelling around the world at the Pro Level, he has used the skills he’s gained to pave his way into the snowboard scene. Kevin still rides bikes a lot, racing BMX and now getting his feet on Mountain bikes. He entered the Dual Slalom at Crankworx this year and was amazed by the similarities. He will definitely be returning in 2012 for more than just one event. As much as racing face to face is his golden discipline, Kevin will give Downhill a shot and will be riding his Supreme Operator in the Air DH and Canadian Open.
So how do you practice snowboarding on a bike? Kevin says, “I would be doing gate starts 5 days a week and sprints up and down hill 3 times a week. Riding tracks as much as I can and just spending lots of time doing what I love to do.” He adds, “The two sports are so much alike, from pumping roller section on a bike and being able to match landings really well, to judging speeds, being comfortable in the air over big jumps, and being able to pop off of lips. It helps a lot.”
The whole team will be travelling around the world throughout the winter and Kevin will be attending the XGames in Aspen, Colorado, on January 27-29, among all World Tour Cup events.
Kona is proud to support our National Snowboarding Team and would like to encourage you to login onto their website, as they have an online auction starting today. All funds will be used to support the athletes throughout the season.