U.S. Newbie Snowboarders Fly High in New Zealand

Posted By: The Ski Channel on September 8, 2009 3:01 pm

Sometimes the rookies get all the breaks. The U.S. Snowboarding Freestyle newcomers managed to have a solid training camp in New Zealand, and are set to move up the ranks and take the world by snow storm. “It’s the Olympic year and not only is it good to train for a while down here, but I mean it’s really whatever it takes at this point,” said U.S. Snowboard Freestyle Rookie Coach Bud Keene. “None of us want to get to the Grand Prix in December and January and realize we didn’t work hard enough or try hard enough.”

The young athletes took advantage of the perfect winter conditions, and used their time to practice throwing big tricks. “Typically for a camp like this we would be down here to learn a whole bunch of stuff, but we had a bit of a different focus,” Keene said. “We’re looking to take the unbelievable tricks that they already have and spot them into really visionary runs. We want to make those big and take them to the Grand Prix.”

Coach Keene was especially proud of Lizzy Beerman (Weston, VT) who finished sixth at the Burton New Zealand Open and while she was at it, won the best trick of the day award. “After the Open Lizzie landed about six or seven front-side 900s at about six to seven feet out of the pipe,” Keene said. “That is unprecedented for her and almost unprecedented for any woman. She really found out how competitive she can be and it was a great look forward for her.”

Keene was also excited for new U.S. Snowboard athlete Matt Ladley (Steamboat Springs, CO) who has been perfecting double corks. “Matt already has front double cork tens which he learned in Mt. Hood. So much was going down and he was kind of like ‘I want in on that’ so he went ahead and learned the double cork ten,” Keene said. “That kind of behavior is pretty contagious with these rookie kids. Once Matt opens the door for the young kids to be able to do those tricks, they realize they’re just like him and it’s their turn.”