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Monday, November 15, 2010

Back on Board in Colorado

With so much anticipation and build-up for this trip, the last thing I expected was to get sick the day before I left. I had been planning this trip to Colorado for weeks, and I wasn't about to give in to a little cold... little did I know this cold had a lot more in store for me.
Sunday November 7th. 6:30am. Ouch. A sleepless night before, I hopped in my new Toyota Highlander (Thanks to my wonderful stepdad Rick Knoop) and hit I-80. Groggy, achy, tired and oxygen deprived, I had to pull over in Wyoming to take a little nap. Upon waking, the winds gusting at the side of my vehicle were vigorous. Cars were being blown all over the road, and that inspired me to wake right up. Another four hours in and I arrived safely at my incredible team manager's home in Fort Collins. Suzanne has been doing so well with Akinz Boardwear, I was stoked to get to see where she does her work, and spend some quality time riding, and goofing around with her. When I arrived she so kindly cooked me chicken noodle soup, and made me lots of tea, to help me get better. However this cold was relentless and had no intention of giving up that easily.
We got up early the next morning and took off to Keystone. I haven't actually been snowboarding since the end of last season, so I ignored my cold, and was in the best possible mood. Two hours later, we were at the base. We threw on our stuff as quickly as possible, and went to pick up my comped ticket from the ticket window. Thank you Diana and Keystone for hooking it up! It was a beautiful sunny day, the perfect way to start the season. We unloaded at the top of the gondola and got right to it.
Its always a little awkward to get back on the board for the first time, especially when your wearing new boots. We took a warm up lap, then met up with our buddies Avran and JR. The four of us tore up Keystones' park setup, which was surprisingly legitimate, for being early season. After a few hours, we called it quits and went to the local mexican restaurant for some grub. Still not feeling up to the mark, I drank tea, and ate soup, while Suzanne, and JR had a couple of delicious looking margaritas.
One of my best friends who now lives in Texas was flying into Denver airport that evening, so we took off around 5:30pm to pick her up at 7pm. Courtney landed right on time, and was patiently waiting for us to pick her up at the curb. After snagging her, we drove another hour north back to Fort Collins to spend the night. Suzanne made us another fabulous meal, we watched a couple of movies, and passed out. I should say they passed out, I tossed and turned all night, unable to breathe or find a comfortable position to sleep.


Another early morning, and we took off to Loveland. Before we left town we stopped and grabbed some tea and bagels at one of the local places in FoCo. Two more hours in the car, and we arrived at a winter wonderland. Thanks to Dustin at Loveland Ski Resort, Suzanne and I got tickets and were so happy to shred some fresh snow. Courtney held it down in lodge with all of our stuff, while Suzanne and I took some hot laps. I had almost forgotten what it was like to have a fresh layer of that fluffy white stuff under your board. Singing at the top of our lungs, and having way too much fun we covered pretty much all of the mountain and slashed every available stash of powder. We had to call it quits earlier than we would have liked, but our legs were burning! We met Courtney back in the lodge, I got some more tea, then we hit the road to Breckenridge.
Our friend Avran so warmly welcomed us three girls into his house, and made us turkey taco's! Thank you Avran! After eating we decided to jump in the hot tub for a little while, and be complete dorks. Suzanne and I forgot our swimsuits, so we borrowed boardshorts from Avran, and wore tank tops... we pretty much looked straight out of the trailer park. It was hilarious. 45 minutes later we went back up to his house, and watched my favorite movie Grandma's Boy. Another sleepless night, and I woke up the next morning feeling far worse than the day before. I decided to take the day off and rest. I slept pretty much the whole day, drank a ton of tea, a gallon of orange juice, and still didn't feel very well. By the time Avran returned home from riding Courtney and I must have looked like we had died. Thankfully he is a great host, and made us feel very welcome at his home. The next day I had a photoshoot to do for a sunblock company. So we went to bed early, and I tried to get some sleep.
At 10am we met my rep for Roxy in the parking lot of the gondola. Still groggy in the head, I slapped on a smile and tried to make the best of the shoot. Fortunately, the group of people who were on the shoot were very mellow, and fun, so it we had a ton of fun. They took us back to this amazing house that they rented for us to stay in, we went over the goals for the shoot, then went back to the parking lot to start.  We shot for a few hours then they took us out to lunch at Eric's Downstairs. Thank you Sun Bum crew for feeding everyone!
 After lunch they dismissed a few of us, and I was happy to get to go back to the house and rest. Upon the arrival of everyone else from the shoot, the mutual consensus was to get in the hot tub. They snapped a few more candid shots of everyone hanging out in the hot tub, then it was time for the night to start. My Roxy rep Nichole Nemmers was turning 30 on this day, so the celebration was on. We ordered chinese food, and everyone else made some drinks. I still didn't feel well, so I pounded tea and orange juice all night. The group decided to go out to Cecilias to celebrate Nicholes' birthday, a few of us hung back...  I was ready to get some good sleep and shred Breckenridges' triple line on opening day.
The following day, I finally felt rested, and ready to give Breckenridge 100% of my energy. A good nights' sleep under my belt, I woke to my alarm at 8am, and was out the door by 9am. Tickets were still pretty expensive, but luckily Avran met me at the bottom, and let me use his buddy pass. With some financial support from Nichole as well, I ended up having to pay only $16 to ride all day! I was utterly amazed to hear that Breckenridge Ski Resort gives out FREE breakfast on opening day.

Avran and I took full advantage and had some scrumptious french toast, and coffee. After filling our bellies, we hopped right on Chair 5 and went straight to the triple jump line Breck had to offer. The vibes were good all around, but I have to say we were probably the most stoked people out there. We met up with our friend JR and took some laps, as well as my friend Elise, Melissa, and one of her friends. We rode hard all day, got our air-awareness back and started to throw down some mellow tricks. Man it feels good to be back!
Around 1:30pm my fellow Shred Betties team rider Michelle Shea came up to meet us to do a little learn to ride video. Although my voice was still not fully restored to its original state, she was very encouraging, and we got the shots we needed for her to make her edit. Avran and I decided to take a couple more laps after re-hydrating, but by the time we went back up to the jumps, the landings were kind of icy. 3pm snuck up on us quickly, and we retired for the day.
A 5 minute walk down the hill and we were back at his house, where I was crashing again for the night. Once again he cooked some great food, and we watched  Cash Cab. He had a demo to attend for a couple of hours, so I entertained myself by swinging back by the other house I had stayed in the previous night. I had left a couple of my belongings there, so I ran in and grabbed them.
After a hot shower, and a fresh change of clothes, I finally felt well-enough to go out for a little bit and experience Breck's night life. The night was very eventful, and full of good memories.
Early the next morning, I awoke to another beautiful day, unfortunately I couldn't find a pass for less than $50 so I decided to hit the road back to Utah. I got on the road at 10:30am, and was dreading another long day in the car. Thankfully, the day flew by, and I was surrounded by stunning scenery. I arrived safely home at 5pm, after making extremely good time through Colorado, and Utah.
All in all it was a successful trip, and set the mood for the upcoming season.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

First Printed Interview!

After two years of phone tag, we finally got the interview out! Thanks to Cory and the guys at Arkade for featuring me and taking the time to do this! See you guys soon! Snow is just around the corner...

www.akinz.com/blog/erika-featured-in-arkade-magazine/

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The 4th Annual S3 Supergirl Jam



After an eight hour drive from South Lake Tahoe Claire Demyer arrived at my house in Laguna Beach on friday afternoon. We wasted no time taking some lifestyle pictures down at the beach at sunset the following day. Since we both ride for Shred Betties Magazine, and Akinz Boardwear, we thought we would stoke everyone out with some new pictures flaunting our favorite gear! We ended up with some really  nice shots that will surely show off our funny/modeling sides. 

The following day marked the 4th Annual S3 Supergirl Jam at Venice Beach, CA. We got up at 7am to avoid traffic on the 405 North, to be pleasantly surprised to find NO traffic at all. Arriving a couple of hours early we had time to register with the wonderful staff at ASA, grab some breakfast, and do some interviews with the guys at FUEL TV. Fox News also covered the event, so I am looking forward to seeing our interviews this coming November. 

It was great to see all of the girls again, most of whom I haven’t seen since last season. Everyone had huge grins and were sincerely happy to see one another, which is uncommon amongst females. It was great to see the Shred Betties girls, and we were happily greeted by our amazing team manager Diana, and the newest member of the gang, her baby boy Tosh. Thanks for making it out you guys! 

Most of the competitors had been up at Mt. Hood for the summer, and their riding definitely displayed that. Unfortunately I was not able to make it up there this year, so I was a little behind on my skills on the rails, and these girls came ready to throw down. 

The first heat consisted of a lot of good riders, the girls really stepped it up from last year in their twenty minute heat. After some redesigning of the course, it seemed to me that everyone was a lot more comfortable trying stuff since there were no stairs underneath the rails. With the anticipation building I was ready for our heat to start.

The second heat seemed like it was more “stacked” to me. Wishing I had some more practice under my belt, I dropped in and tried to get motivated by watching girls like Laurie, Gabby, Megan, Desiree, and Colleen just destroy this setup. Twenty minutes flew by, and I wasn’t feeling very confident about my performance. Mostly due to the fact I haven’t snowboarded in 3-4 months, and I have never ridden my current board on rails. 

After the finalists were announced, myself not included, I hung around to watch the rest of the event. Finals were crazy! I was ecstatic to see how much every single girl was pushing themselves and truly trying new things. In the end I saw lots of stylish frontboards, some great 180’s on and off the rail, and some other amazing tricks. In the end it was Danyalle Patterson who took first, Desiree Melancon in second, and Laurie Currier in third. 

I can definitely say that every single girl had a great time, and was truly inspired by girl power. We are all supergirls at this competition and the good vibes were high. Can’t wait to throw down next year at the S3 Supergirl Jam. Special thanks to Courtney Dornstein for putting this all together and keeping all of the competitors informed, as well as ASA entertainment, Fuel Tv, and Fox news, without you guys this competition would not get the coverage that it deserves! 


Sunday, May 9, 2010

SNOW IN SAN DIEGO



Having come down to California for a vacation, the last thing I thought I would be doing is snowboarding. However, when I found out about the Campus Rail Jam Tour San Diego stop, things changed. Just one problem.... I didn't bring ANY of my snowboarding gear with me.
My scramble to begin finding gear started on tuesday the 4th of May. I emailed my wonderful helmet sponsor CAPIX to see if I could get a helmet by Friday the 7th (the day of the competition.) Thanks Ronnie for making that happen! I also contacted my most recent sponsor ROXY to see if I could get a board, boots, and bindings from them in order to participate. Unfortunately, I contacted them too short of notice, and they were unable to get me a board in time. But I did get an amazing setup from them the day after the competition! THANKS NICHOLE AND ROXY!

So I had a helmet to use, but no snowboard, boots, bindings, or snowpants. Fortunately, Raelynd Tarnove brought me a pair of her snowpants to use, another friend from Irvine let me borrow her board from about 8 years ago with one of the first models' of Burton bindings ever, and I rented some Salomon boots straight from the 80's from Sport Chalet.
The competition started at 5p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Garrett and I arrived down there a little bit early after happily missing the heavy traffic. While standing in the registration line I was excited to see lots of the same guys putting on the event. Feeling pretty confident going into this competition, despite being on an old setup which I had never ridden before, it must have shown. Before the competition started I got interviewed by ABC 10 News, and Fuel Tv. . . they asked me the usual stuff about competing, and asked if I would be competing in my swimsuit. My immediate response "No i'm going to represent the ladies in a decent and respectful fashion." And thats just what I did.
The ladies were in heat two. We all watched the men's snowboard category in anticipation of getting on the setup ourselves. I was happy we didn't have to waste time practicing. In a jam format like this, there really is no reason to practice.  Not to mention I have hit this exact setup about 3 or 4 times already this year. Trying to encourage the rest of the girls who looked a little nervous, I dropped first for the ladies. I chose to hit the gap-to-downbox first, the speed was fine, and my confidence grew just a little bit.
After about a half an hour to forty five minutes later, I had laid down at least a couple of solid tricks on every feature. Half of the battle was landing and riding away- due to the warm weather the landing was quickly melting away straight to the asphalt. Luckily, I didn't take one hard fall and wreck myself. They announced the top three girls to move onto finals.
Including myself, two other girls, the top 5 skiers, and the top 10 men's snowboarders the finals lasted for  only 30 minutes. That was more than enough time for me. The judges were judging us on overall impression. After landing almost every trick I tried , I felt good after it was all over. After they announced the results, I took 1st, and my friend Raelynd got 3rd! Joe from Fuel TV asked to do another interview with me, it felt good to have another solid result on my resume. Oh, and it was a LOT OF FUN! Great job to the guys at the Cricket Campus Rail Jam Tour- you guys always know how to do it right!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

1st Annual NEFF Beach Bash at Brighton


Saturday the 17th of April marked the very first Beach Bash competition hosted by NEFF and Brighton. Garrett and I picked up Cory from Arkade Magazine in the morning and headed up to the hill. We met Cory at last years Campus Rail Jam Tour's Finals in Portland. Cory asked me last year if I would like to do an interview with the magazine, but unfortunately we couldn't get together until the last weekend of the season this year. So we planned to get some pictures for the magazine,  and the boys watched me compete. 
We couldn't have asked for nicer weather. After registering, I was pleased to see lots of other girls around ready to compete! However, since this was a "Beach Bash" most of the girls were there to hang out in their bikini's and not to try hard and throw down on the course.  
Practice lasted long enough for me to get one run in on each of the features which included; a flat rail all the way to the right, a fun box in the middle with a 5 foot gap off the end, and a wall ride, all over a pit of beach balls! I was very eager to get going, and after watching the 14 and under boys destroy this course, I was inspired to do so as well. 
I like dropping in first and setting the standard for everyone else in the competition. To make sure I had enough speed to make it to the landing of the fun box, I charged in fast, and popped hard. No problems there. I decided to next hit the flat bar rail. After competing in multiple rail jams this year, I felt comfortable enough to just go right for a front-board to switch out. After doing that I moved to the wall ride- which was actually not as scary as it looked. I think the look of it got the best of most of the girls, because it was only myself and one other girl who even hit that feature. 
Before I even knew it our heat was over, and I was covered in sweat. I ended up competing in a tank-top and my straw hat- to get into the spirit a little bit. I loved the layout of the competition. The heats were a perfect amount of time, and they presented us with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd right after our heat was over. 
I was delivered my first place goodies from none other than Shaun Neff himself. It was a great honor to meet the guy behind the "Neff" name, and he had nothing but encouraging and gracious things to say to me. It was nice to meet a guy who was actually impressed with my snowboarding, and didn't seem to care about looks.  This event was so much fun, and for their first year doing it, it went flawlessly. 
After I was done competing we all took a couple of laps around Millicent, and enjoyed the rest of the party. 

I was sad to realize this was my last competition for this season, but thrilled I ended on a high note. The Neff Beach Bash at Brighton was definitely one of my favorite competitions I participated in this year. Great people, good music, good weather, and a fun atmosphere. THANKS NEFF AND BRIGHTON. 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Red Bull Buttercup and some Halfpipe shredding

 

At 9:30 in the morning the halfpipe is near perfect. My dad and I went up on the morning of friday the 9th, and took some pictures at the halfpipe in my new Roxy outerwear. The halfpipe is not my strong point necessarily, but after riding it more this past season, and getting comfortable in it, I would like to pursue it a little more. We shot for about 3 hours, while I took laps on 3 kings lift.
After re-situating to a couple of different angles we got a couple of really nice shots. We also we able to critique ourselves, and figure out what we can do better next time. It was lots of fun, and very mellow to shoot with my dad.  
We headed back down to Salt Lake around 12:30 and I had enough time to take a short nap. When I woke up Garrett had just got home from work, and it was time to head up to Brighton for the Red Bull Buttercup. After registering, we made our way to Brighton's upper lodge. Garrett was kind enough to sit down there for 3 hours while I competed! He bought me a single ride ticket for $12, and I went up to the course.
I was so happy when I arrived. The setup looked inviting, they had good music, and there were a lot of other girls there!
We had about 30 minutes to practice on the course which included two butter box options; an up-flat-whoop box, and an up-flat-down box with a single barrel rail in the middle of that and another flat box. The course was perfectly maintained and they kept it that way the whole time. Way to go guys thanks!
When it was time to start the competition, we were all eager to get our butters' on. They grouped the womens' division with the 14 and under boys, and we were given 20 minutes to jam.
That was plenty of time. I started off with some nice buttery frontside 270's on and off the up-flat-whoop box. Mixing it up a little bit I also played around on the other setup. I ended with some solid cab 270's on and off the up-flat-whoop box. With a huge smile on my face I felt really confident about my performance, and waited patientally through the rest of the competition.
To my even greater satisfaction, they didn't make the girls do finals, and they judged us on our 20 minute heats. When it was all said and done I walked away with 1st place. I'm stoked on a very successful day!
Redbull did a great job with this event as did Brighton. The setup was awesome, the park crew kept it nice, and everyone had a great time.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Queens Cup Open 2010



My friend and event director of the Queens Cup asked me to come be a coach this year, I happily accepted and was eager to see what that event is like from another perspective. Thanks Anna!
Saturday March 27th marked the 5th annual Queens Cup Open. Anna has been putting this event on at Park City the past 5 years, and it just gets better, and better. I walked into the registration room to be greeted by Anna, her mom, and Michelle Parker at the registration table. Everyone was really anxious to get things going, so we waited for the rest of the girls to show up, then we started practice. 
My team consisted of some awesome shredder girls including; Melissa Riitano, Leah Klein, Alice Gong, and Michelle Zeller. I was thrilled to be the coach of such a strong team and practicing with them was a blast. By the time that the event was ready to start, my team was a ready to go. 
Our team was dropping last, so we had some time to ride the halfpipe a little in between the heats. Spring riding is so much fun! The halfpipe has been amazing the past week, perfect amount of slush. When it came time for us to drop, we all met at the start gate at the top of the course. The course was on pick and shovel and in it it had; your choice of a butter box, a down rail, or a bonk, into 2 jumps, another rail option, and into the 3rd jump. We were having too much fun practicing and I was ready to watch my team kill it!
No one on my team stomped their first run like they wanted to, and I know how that feels. I told them to make sure they were having fun, and to visualize. I think that worked out for them. When I got to the bottom after my second run, my team was waiting with huge grins on their faces. All the girls did so well! Everyone stomped a good trick off the bottom jump and I got to see Melissa do a sick backside 360 off a rail! 
With the combination of smooth rail tricks, and good airs, Melissa won the Queens Cup! Congrats Melissa! You deserved it! The awards were short and sweet, and Anna did a great job getting legitimate prize packages together for all of the winners. But even if you didn't win, you never feel left out at the Queens Cup- Anna had enough prizes for everyone to get a little something! 
This competition is so unique, and such a fun opportunity to get to know some of your fellow athletes. Whether they ski or snowboard, there is a lot of talent here. It was so fun to be a coach, and I hope I can do it again next year! Thanks again everyone for another successful QUEENS CUP OPEN. 


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Oakley Zone Madness at The Canyons

Saturday the 20th of March marked another beautiful spring day up here in UT. We have had a lot of those lately, and I'm very happy about it. With the sun shining, and the sky blue I knew it was going to be a good day.
After registering with the friendly staff of the Canyons, I took the gondola up the the Upper Respect Terrain Park. This park is so much fun, and has been all year. The Canyons park crew really do a wonderful job with what they have to work with, and I know a lot of people including myself will be buying passes there next year instead of Park City.
I ran into a few people I knew there, including Kiri Bennersly. She is a rad ripper from New Zealand, we were stoked to see each other and tear up the park all day. Kiri is a local canyons girl, and she showed me the ropes a little bit. I love The Canyons, it has such a great vibe, and it is very spread out.
After a couple laps through the park it was time to start the competition. This competition had an unusual format. There were 3 zones to choose from. The first was an option between a down-flat-down rail, and a down-flat-down skinny box. The second was the first two jumps in Upper Respect. The third was a log jib, or a big stall/bonk option. You had the choice of competing in all three to win the overall, or just do certain divisions. This park is too much fun so I had to do all three right??
We started with a 30 minute rail jam on the two down-flat-down features. People were throwing down, and they were playing really good music, so I decided to get a little technical with my tricks. I got a couple of solid Cab 270's on and off the down-flat-down skinny box, and a 50-50 to switch 50-50 on the down-flat-down rail. Feeling pretty confident we moved to the jump section which is my favorite.
We were judged on the first two jumps, as I normally have to practice with three jumps in other competitions, I was slightly thrown off by just two, but I adjusted accordingly, and it was just plain fun. I landed a couple of Cab 540's and some backside 360's and ended with a huge method grab! Luckily we were able to ride the lift during this portion, hit the bigger part of the park, and rest a bit.
Up next came the final Jam session on the log jib, and the Skullcandy Stall. I had never hit either of these features before in the park, so I was a little hesitant at first. But after watching where a couple of the guys dropped in from, I went for it. Happily all went well, I did a couple of mellow tricks, and walked away with an overall win! Mission accomplished! Thanks for putting on another great event CANYONS!!!

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