I spent a week in Val Thorens just before Christmas, after the massive early december dumps! Thought it might be the perfect opportunity to try out some new tricks I’d been perfecting on the Euroboys airbag, seeing as there was still plenty of powder around. I’ve landed a few sketchy, almost-head-hitting-the-lip underflips on dryslope, but I wanted to get them fully nailed and fully big, so we went down the valley towards St Martin De Bellevard where the snow was much less tracked, and surprisingly soft. We spent about an hour making a kicker,mostly just shaping it out of a natural windlip, and the aim was to clear about 15-20ft distance before landing on the powder downslope. My skier mate Gus went first, and managed to land and ride out an enormous 360 straight up! I felt the pressure was on a bit, so figured it was powder and I might as well go for the underflip first time. I basically massively overestimated the speed needed, but didn’t realise this until I’d completed my rodeo, and was still about 10 feet in the air! Obviously I opened up and tried to slow it down, but it was a lost cause, and I landed upside down after one and a half backflips and most of a 360. Here’s two videos of it, giving a good idea of the stupid height I went:Check out my crashes
I was pretty dazed and confused afterwards, but I’d been wearing a helmet so was mostly ok. I’ve got a dodgy ankle though after I rolled it playing some football, and it totally flared up, meaning I could only manage one more jump (failed bs rodeo attempt) before my ankle ordered me to cut it out – total nightmare.
Anyway, I was out riding again later that day after a few ankle-numbing co-codamol, and it was still holding up fine 2 days later. I still wanted the underflip real bad, and Gus had spotted a sweet road-gap spot when riding pow with his cousins earlier. Three of us snuck out early, because we knew if loads of people knew what we were doing, then the landing would get bombed out real quick. We missioned it to the spot (Doing a disgustingly icy and rocky traverse in the process, which landed a beaut of a core-shot on my deck!), and decided to get building straight away. It took a decent part of the morning because the snow was so deep here, and we had to compact the entire run-in – we also had to build a bridge over a ditch to make the run-in smooth enough. Building complete, the session began with a tight straight air from Ash, and as I followed I was sensible enough to do a straight air before I started getting all inverted. Second go, I hit the underflip and just slipped out on my heel edge. It all felt real slow and in control this time, and I thought I had it when I saw the landing coming in perfect. On my next hit, I knew I was gonna get it, and it seemed to take forever in the air. Stomp, underflip into pow! Gus managed to get this sick sequence proving it as well!