Professional snowboarder Chloe Kim admits after epic win: “Tonight I wanted to try a new trick on my second run, but at the end of the day, winning is more important!”

Go small or go home (empty handed).

Competition and progression are strange bedfellows, no? Sometimes winning forces the hand and new, never-before-witnessed tricks are unveiled that leave spectators breathless. Other times, safety claims the day and a professional will only do as much as it takes to claim first place.

Two days ago, phenom Chloe Kim chose the latter. She was also riding in her first halfpipe competition in just under two years at Laax, Switzerland, beating Japan’s Mitsuka Ono and Sena Tomita with her half-assed effort for the gold.

Kim, who is part Korean, said, “Tonight I wanted to try a new trick on my second run, but at the end of the day, winning is more important. I wanted to put something down and told myself I didn’t need to go as big as I did on my first run. I just wanted to slow things down a bit.”

But does that make your heart a little sad or do you hunger only for Ws too?

It makes my heart sad as I once tacked a fluorescent poster to my wall reading “Go big or go home” though it might have featured a skateboarder doing a handplant as opposed to a snowboarder doing anything.

Still, the sentiment has burrowed deep.

In any case, the X-Games relaunches in just three days.


Natural Selection, Travis Rice’s singular take on competitive snowboarding, is asking for your help in filling out dance card: “There are simply too many great riders out there that we couldn’t make the final decision alone!”

With great power comes great responsibility.

There is no more competitive professional surfing in our lives nor competitive professional skateboarding. The extreme sport landscape has been laid bare thanks to the dreaded Covid-19. Laid all the way bare except for professional snowboarding which is going to have a grand competitive season kicking off in mere days.

Very cool.

Natural Selection, with its first stop in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is going live as early as Feb. 3 and let us get excited.

Excited and never more important with a who’s who of big mountain riders we all want to see minus two, one man, one woman.

Which two?

Oh, that is for you to decide.

For the man, choose between: John Jackson, Danny Davis, Jake Blauvelt, Bode Merrill, Manuel Diaz, Sammy Luebke, Jason Robinson, Stale Sandbech.

For the woman, choose between: Mary Rand, Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, Yuka Fujimori.

Go here before Jan. 29 and lock it in.

Thank you, snowboarding.

Your favourite, my favourite, tween pro surfer finds snowboarding as delicious as eating a big maraschino cherry!


Tiny tot TV superstar takes surf game to the mountains…

Yesterday, the surf-skate virtuoso Sabre Norris, who is thirteen, won a silver medal in the women’s street in Minnesota.

Watch that here. 

One game the kid hasn’t mastered is Mountain.

But she ain’t afraid to try.

Here, Sabre recounts her first hit on white.

I’ve always wanted to go snowboarding but I thought it would never happen because, uh, well, money. There are six people in my family and we only ever go on surf holidays because you don’t have to pay to ride waves.

Never did I expect, not even in my wildest dreams and I do have some wild dreams, that the Olympic gold medallist Torah Bright would invite me and my family to the snow for free.

So for the first time in a long time, I want to say ‘ever’ but maybe that’s being too dramatic our black Volkswagen van left our house without the usual smell of wee wafting thick in the air.

The wee smell is what evaporates off from the wetsuits that live in the boot of our car. But we were going on a holiday to Thredbo, in the Australian snowy mountains, to see snow for the first time and we had swapped our rubber wetsuits for warm snow gear.

The car trip down was filled with excitement, anticipation and sprays of vomit from my sister Naz who always gets car sick when she plays the iPad.

We had just counted our fifth dead kangaroo on the side of the road when I caught my first glimpse of snow. We screamed, clapped and bouncing.

A couple of minutes later we arrived at our accommodation. The car park outside our hotel was stuffed full with Porsches, BMWs and Audis. Rich people country.

Just as I started counting the Porsches I had this feeling that started at my toes and ended at my heart. I couldn’t believe people I’d never met before would pay for not only to come to the snow but to stay in the fanciest accommodation with all the rich people.

What did I know about Torah?

She had an Olympic gold medal and that was two shades better than the Olympic medal my Dad had won. Also, Torah’s medal was from a much cooler sport than the swimming medal we have at home.

The next day my brother woke me up at three am and we both couldn’t get back to sleep. I had the same type of excitement inside me that I get on Christmas morning, except instead of a lounge room full of presents we would get a mountain full of snow and a special gift of meeting Torah Bright.

Finally, the sun rose and sprinted to the free buffet breakfast with the mission of trying to stuff ourselves with that much food we wouldn’t have to buy lunch on the mountain.

Snowboarding vs surf? Hmmm. It’s super fun but it isn’t as easy as it looks. At the beach, I watch the people learning to surf and wonder how they could possibly be that bad.

But in the snow I was a beginner. And a bad beginner. My legs shook with worry. The reason Torah had asked me to the snow was because I can surf. I felt that once she saw me on a snowboard she’d lose all her respect for me.

Torah, of course, has the soul of a mother (and didn’t care if I was a kook) which is weird for two reasons.

Reason 1) She doesn’t have any kids.

Reason 2) Her cuddles feel firm instead of the usual soft fluffy fat feel that mums always have.

Torah’s one of those people that you instantly feel comfortable with and you can just be yourself around. She’s not a judgy person who would tell me that I’m not as funny as what I looked like on Ellen or anything like that.

Torah says she’s going to be more proud of becoming a mum than of her golden Olympic medal. That surprised me because it seems like it’s easy to become a mum. You see them everywhere and most people do it but it seems a fair bit harder to win an Olympic medal.

It wasn’t long till I had cleverly positioned myself right next to Torah on the chair lift. The chair lift was the perfect place to get to know someone as the person you are interrogating is stuck and unable to escape.

I told Torah I loved the picture on her snowboard. It was her own custom design that featured a deer and a bear. The bear’s head was on top of the deer and in the background there was snow glistening in the night time. The story behind it is that it represents her love for her husband Angus, she is the bear and her husband Angus is the deer. The animals represent their personalities. When you see Torah and Angus together it looks like their hearts are tied together with rope.

Torah spent the next couple of hours hanging out with us kooks on the  beginner slope called Friday Flats. Her happiness made me feel like hanging out with us on was not painful and that maybe it was even fun.

The day with Torah ended in a blink and so did our special holiday. Soon, enough we were in our black van heading back to Newcastle. In between counting the third and fourth dead kangaroo on the way home I was thinking about something Torah had told me.

Torah says she’s going to be more proud of becoming a mum than of her golden Olympic medal. That surprised me because it seems like it’s easy to become a mum. You see them everywhere and most people do it but it seems a fair bit harder to win an Olympic medal.

But Torah reckons medals don’t give you a kinder heart or make you a better person so they don’t matter that much.


#homeless: Eat up John Jackson’s mobile hacienda!

"Life first, money second," says 2016 snowboarder of the year.

Life can be monotonous and so stressful you can feel the hernias and ulcers vibrating beneath your various membranes. All that chasing money in a cube so you can huck for a couple of weeks each other, maybe a weekend or two, well, it don’t seem fair.

Of course, you could always shove an oven and a heater in a van, squeeze a mattress in there somewhere and live a life on the road.

Some do it better than others. John Jackson, a thirty-four-year-old Californian, lives by the creed, “Life first, money second.”

It’s a soothing indifference that may inspire you to build a little something like his mobile hacienda which Jackson has readied for many gallant adventures.


How turning into a mean son of a bitch won Shaun White Olympic Gold!

An Instagram Fairytale!

Instagram, oowee, how it sings. 

And, for a socially woke slugger like Shaun White, it cuts a window into their soul.

If you examine Shaun’s Instagram account (1.2 mill followers, 185 posts) you’ll discover the three-part hero’s journey to unlikely Olympic Gold last year.

Follow the narrative.

Part one. A man that has become bigger than the world. He is indulged by fame, fortune, distractions. This cossetted man is broken and unable to perform at the heights he once did back when he was hungry and desperate for success. 

Photo: @gabe_lheureux #whtspace

A post shared by Shaun White (@shaunwhite) on

“Just before the Olympics, about a year or so out, I realised that all these things in my life, the possessions, were all becoming distractions. They began to own me and I went through this process of getting rid of things just so I had no distractions around the Olympics.”

A post shared by Shaun White (@shaunwhite) on

Part two. The redemption. Back to basics. Shaun rents a house in Malibu where he can be…alone…and get back the grit, the fire, he once had, the same one that burned in his leaner, needier competitors and one his cute chubby stomach couldn’t match.

Half pipe prep….🏂

A post shared by Shaun White (@shaunwhite) on

Part three. The hero returns. Shredded. Rocky meets Ivan Drago in Moscow. Shaun arrives at the Olympics in form. Before his final run Shaun trails Japan’s Ayumu Hirano. He needs an almost perfect run to take gold. Dramatically he pulls off the final run to snatch his third Olympic gold. 

“All I could think about was I want to win this medal and come back to this house and celebrate with my friends.. and that was this recurring thought in my mind. … “