After a week surfing in and around Ahipara, Northland, New Zealand, I finally left for Europe and arrived in Innsbruck. Now this was early January so what have I been doing for the past month?!?! The past month I’ve been snowboarding in and around Innsbruck – consistent snowfalls and good friends that double as local guides have meant non stop riding and finally I have the time to take a few days off and catchup on “work”!!
The latest update on the competition circuit is that although consistently placing 4th overall on the Free Ride World Tour for the past four years, I was not able to get a Wild Card for this seasons FWT. Not the end of the world however I was too late to register for the important FWQ competitions. I did however register in time for the Hochfuegen 4* event here in Austria and was able to grab 3rd place! So priorities for this season will be to shoot as much as I can and finally get to ride as much as I can again, awesome!! And with university now out of the way (I finished my Batchelor of Architecture in November!!), I can now focus on the next year ahead and even prepare for next 2014 winter of FWQ events which I will register in time for!
The next competition on the list (which I had time to register for!), is Nendaz in the middle of March – so I will make sure to update on how I go in this, as well as my endeavours in between!
After a few days waiting out a storm (resorting to white water rafting in a snow storm!!), the Mount Ruapehu Extremes finally started. The first day out of an expected two day competition was held in icy conditions preventing any crazy hero runs from the snowboarders side, where fortunately only one injury was had.
The second day was a waiting game again, staring at our run for half the day before the judges and organisers called it a no-go because of the icy and windy conditions. A hard decision to make on their behalf, but better than having any more injuries on their shoulders.
Good work to Mount Ruapehu for pulling off an amazing competition again, this year in tough conditions! I ended up with a 2nd place podium finish!! As well as kiwi resident Colin Boyd in 1st place mens snowboard and Tukino local NZ shredder Jordan Decker in 2nd as well. All in all a good finish for the kiwi representatives on the snowboard side! Looking forward to next years competition like always and below is a photo of the run that got away on the second day – as well as some news footage of the comp. Cheers!! M xx
If you missed Janina and I on Code @ Maori TV last Thursday, then make sure to watch it here. It was an awesome show to be on, we had heaps of fun!
Check out the video that was aired lately about us Kuzma sisters and the Segal sisters from Australia. Just a bit of fun!
I know it’s been a while – but my uni was pretty hectic (it being my last year and all) as soon as I got back to NZ from Europe. And not long after my arrival I pretty much had to leave straight away for Mammoth, USA, for the U.S. Roxy winter shoot!
I got on the plane after not sleeping for a week due to an intense studio project…. but I knew I was going to get to ride, and I knew it was spring in the states so I was stoked!
All in all it was an incredibly fun shoot – the sun was shining and we had perfect temperatures. I even got to ride the snowmobile, as well as fall incredibly hard on my face (hence the blood), not while snowmobiling, while I was snowboarding!
At the end of the week long shoot I even got to take the surfer girls snowboarding which was incredible! Even though the weather came in.
To top if off I was asked to stay over the weekend close to the big Roxy HQ in Huntington Beach, California… I got to go surfing and lie in the sun before getting back to cold rainy New Zealand, as well as do some in studio stuff for Roxy.
Next up on the cards – I get to visit friends in Spain and South of France for some surfing in the next few weeks, watch out for up dates on that… so excited!!!! Then back to some shredding at Mt Ruapehu! Can’t wait!
I luckily got a wildcard to compete at the finals in Verbier this year and was super stoked! So many spectators turned up for the event and it was interesting to see so many juniors there, arriving for the junior competition the day after our event.
The butterflies started to kick in when I arrived to view the face, not because I was excited – but because the conditions on the face didn’t look as good as I thought it would be. I decided on my line thinking that was where the best snow would be, but as soon as I dropped into the main couloir of my run the snow quality was hard to deal with – throwing me off my line and my cliff drops and having a crash anyway!
All the other snowboarder girls had the same difficulty with their lines and the snow conditions (putting me in 3rd place), except of course for the amazing Maria DeBari who had an awesome line, deservingly winning the competition and the overall World Champ title!! So stoked for her!
Also, fellow Roxy team rider Margot Rozies had an amazing run going big. She also showed trouble with the snow conditions but made it to 2nd place and 2nd overall in the world rankings! Awesome also considering it is her rookie year!! It was definitely cool to have the two of us Roxy riders on the podium at Verbier!!!
So today was my 3rd stop of the Free Ride World Tour and it was an amazing day. The sun was shining and I had the luck of being able to drop 2nd person out of the whole competition into a face full of powder!
So straight after a week of fun in Chamonix, I flew from Geneva to Bergen, in Norway. Luckily, coming from filming in Chamonix with my sister and staying in the Quiksilver house I had some people to travel with! My sister came along on the plane halfway separating in Oslo, and Quiksilver team rider (who was also staying at the Club House), James Stantiford caught the same plane, to compete as well.
Unfortunately I was in a bit of a rush to get my photos from the trip onto my computer (and they were really good photos!), and I accidentally deleted them all! So big apologies, but luckily I could grab some off the Free Ride World Tour website. I was surprised to see a photo from me on my run, considering the light I had was completely flat and I could barely make out my landings!
I was stoked with my run, except for the butt check which put me in 4th place!! All in all I was STOKED on the girls and even more stoked for Roxy team rider Margot Rozies for getting 1st place! Good work girls and I can’t wait for the next stop in Fieberbrunn, Austria.
Here’s a video of the comp, Roldal Overview! and go to the Free Ride World Tour website for more info on rankings etc. Next stop Fieberbrunn, Austria for my 3rd FWT competition! In between now and then I will hopefully be joining a Voelkl team trip in Switzerland. That update soon to come!
I flew straight from Barcelona to Geneva. I went there initially to film with Tony Harrington for his documentary the “Adrenalin Collective”, but secondly was asked to stay at the Quiksilver house called the Club House in Chamonix, to help with a Quiksilver/Roxy product shoot, and also to hang with some online winners of a Roxy/Quiksilver competition, and other media/journalists.
I filmed every day for 5 days along with my twin sister, and then in the evenings and off days we filmed/took photos with Roxy for the Roxy 2013 winter outerwear collection.
I had Roxy freestyle skiir Lena Stoffel and Roxy freeskiir Andrea Binning with me as well. The weather in Chamonix was amazing, sunny and warm. A really fun week to ride before heading off to Norway for my second stop of the Free Ride World Tour!
So I got a phone call from the Roxy European marketing manager saying that Roxy wanted me to go on a photo shoot for the 2013 winter catalogue, in Barcelona, Spain. Luckily it fit right into my “two-week-off” time frame before heading off to film with Tony Harrington in Chamonix for his documentary called the Adrenalin Collective.
I flew out of Munich into Barcelona, and was greeted by 10 degree weather and sunshine – which was welcomed, compared to the -20 snowy weather in Mayrhofen, Austria. The plan was that me and 3 other surfer girls were to work over 4 days. 2 girls Monica and Kelia were from Hawaii, and the other Justine was from Reunion Island, and island east from Madagascar. It was really cool to hang out with surfer girls for once, and get an insight into their totally different worlds compared to mine!
Early morning starts (once at 4am!) and late night ends, were not what I was expecting but all in all we had a really productive shoot… and I would do it all over again if I had the chance!
The 2nd stop of the Free Ride World Tour started on Tuesday 24th January, 2 days after the competition was initially planned to be held because of snowy conditions! Like always Chamonix and the FWT organised an amazing event. All in all I did not end up making the podium, it being my first competition of the season I’m just glad the event went with no injuries to myself, and look forward to competing next in Rolday, Norway.
A massive congrats to the epic runs of the ladies with Shannan Yates in 3rd, Margot Rozies (fellow Roxy rider!) in 2nd, and amazing Maria DeBari in 1st. Now to get down to business and get in some meaty riding days in the powder!!
So I’ve finally arrived in the land of the euro. When I landed in Munich I actually had no idea the storm that had hit Austria was so big, and never ending. The plan was to head straight into a press shoot trip with Voelkl Snowboards to Switzerland but the snow was so intense that the roads were all blocked! We finally made it to Kloesterle, in the Arlberg, and stayed at a pension that night with the plan to ride there that day and wait for the roads to open – the conditions were so good in Arlberg that we couldn’t leave!
It’s been a while since I’ve ridden snow like this and I’m super stoked on my timing. Conditions were a little bit sketchy with signs of avalanche danger, but either than that we’ve had some amazing blue bird days after a massive dump of snow.
I’m staying on in the Arlberg with team rider Aline Bock and also shredder Anne-Flore Marxer – so good to be with the girls again and have a serious catch up! We are all having a well deserved down day while, wait for it, it’s dumping – again!!! The forecast is for some more blue bird days after this big dump of snow… timing couldn’t be any better! There will be another blog and some more photos to follow up.
Check out my To Do page to see what my plans are for the season!
Another NZ winter is soon to sadly pass, but of course not without the yearly Export Extremes being held in the amazing Pinnacles venue at Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa.
Mt Ruapehu and sponsors of the event upped the anti this year by raising the prize money for women snowboard to $2000 for 1st place, comparative to $800 3 years ago this is a definite change for the better. This change proved successful as more women were enticed to take on the venue.
After having an unsuccessful day on the qualifiers day (placing 2nd), the 2nd final day held on Policeman’s venue proved to be more successful. I placed 1st on the finals day but unfortunately points carried over from qualifiers day kept me in 2nd place. BUT – very very stoked for Abby’s first place and even more stoked for Maia Steir’s 3rd place – like I said, a fun competition with a good level of female snowboarders made for a much much better competition overall!! Keep it up Mt Ruapehu it just keeps getting better and better!
Now to soak in the sun with some spring riding at Mt Ruapehu, where the season lasts longer than down south – what more could I ask for!
I was lucky enough to be asked to go on a heli/cat boarding trip organised by Aussie journalist Rachael Oakes-Ash. Australian Segal sisters (Anna and Natalie Segal), and Janina and I were taken to Kingston to have a day riding/skiing with the new Cat boarding company Queenstown Snowcats. The day was filmed around the idea of Australian and New Zealand sisters battling it out on the mountain. Very very fun day and amazing terrain and organisation from Queenstown Snowcats. The show will be aired on Australian Channel 9 early 2012 – make sure to keep an eye out for it!
Make sure to check out the latest Red Bulletin magazine. There’s a profile on me in it!
Next on the calendar of competitions is the Export Extremes at Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa, early this September.
Check out the Mt Ruapehu website for more info on it – it’s also now part of the Free Ride World Tour being a 4* event – so the more competing the merrier!
Finally the time came for my 3rd time competing in the World Heli Challenge – which ended up being the 10th overall edition of the competition. Some amazing girls turned up for the competition. There was Alsakan ladies Callun C.S (2nd in recent X Games for boarder-X)and Holly Enderle (winner of King of the Hill 2011) and Americans Shannon Yates-Cochrane (previous Northface Masters champion) and Iris Lazzareschi (ranked 3rd Northface Masters 2011), along with Aussie competitor Ratty Sheidow.
The competition was held over 2 days and started with the freestyle day followed by the big mountain day held on Mt Albert. The competition proved extravagant by driving the competitors out into the middle of Lake Wanaka on a barge in the morning, and having them picked up by helicopters off the barge and dropped off at the venue.
The 2 days were unbelievable and the conditions amazing. A big thanks to Tony Harrington, “Harro”, for holding once again a successful event! Results will be posted next Thursday at a red carpet gala night held just to mark the end of the competition.
Finally winter is back in full force down in the southern hemisphere. Mainly with Mt Ruapehu getting a major dump of snow which I was luckily enough to get my fair share of! I head off to Wanaka tomorrow morning to get some riding in (there’s a big dump of snow down there too!) before competing in the World Heli Challenge. Check out their webpage worldhelichallenge.com
Make sure to check out the latest Curl magazine. There’s a short article on me riding at Mt Ruapehu. Also have a look in the next Red Bull Chronicle magazine – there’s a profile of me in there too!
I’ll keep everyone posted on how the World Heli Challenge is going – fingers crossed for amazing weather and lots of snow!
It seems people are loving to watch the video posted recently, by an onlooker at Verbier Extremes, of me getting swept down by an avalanche during my run – after only a couple of days after being posted on youtube there has been over 7,000 views.
Curiously the good footage taken by the Freeride World Tour (in the helicopter) which shows the whole severity of the avalanche (which dragged me over 200 metres), has been taken off the internet (probably because of fears of bad press due to lack of enough safety measures on the female venue), BUT there is still this one to watch. Go ahead – if this doesn’t make you respect the mountains I don’t know what will.
Verbier started off amazingly – not only did we get a massive dump of snow right before the competition – but also a blue bird day for the competition, along with cold temperatures which kept the snow in good condition.
In regards to the snowboard women, the top 3 ranked women going into Verbier (I was ranked 3rd) had the chance of grabbing the world title as long as they had a good run on the Bec De Ross. With the recent snowfall it was looking like my line was getting a lot of snow on it, and with it being in the shade and safe from the wind I was getting more and more confident.
The day of the competition came and I had so much fun on my run. Some powder turns and some good drops, I was feeling stoked halfway through until I hit my last cliff. I remember landing and thinking there was quite a lot of snow in my landing and suddenly I saw a sea of avalanche debris all around me crashing down the mountain. I started to panic because I could see a terrain trap below and thought that I would be sucked into it and be covered. Luckily I was able to keep myself above, and of course with hundreds of people watching I’m sure I would have been safe even if I did get covered – but this definitely scared the living shit out of me and all my friends watching. I even had to take my shovel out of my pack and dig myself out – the snow had settled around me like cement (while the annoying helicopter buzzed around my head). Moral of the story? Even though I could have made the podium and had the chance right there to have the world champion title, I really don’t care as long as my friends and I are safe and uninjured.
My friend Anne-flore Marxer killed it, had an amazing line and deservedly won the competition and the title, AND a brand new Nissan car…! She deserves every bit of it. As well as this my friend Aline Bock stepped up the level of riding hitting the biggest cliff ever by a snowboard girl in the FWT since I’ve been competing – love it! I have ended up 4th in the tour ranking which is one place higher than last year. And to top it off my twin sis Janina Kuzma came 3rd in her female ski, all in all (excluding the avalanche), it was a good day out!
Now I’m on a plane straight back to New Zealand to go straight into studying for my Architecture Bachelor. I have a few months of winter free studying, just enough time to get the snowboard itch back!
Until then! Cheers!
Click on the pic below to check out the first 24 hours of the Surf 2 Summit trip – can’t wait to see the rest of the 4 days!
Verbier this weekend – fingers crossed for sunny weather!
After arriving in Geneva, the three of us (Aline, Anne-Flore, and me) headed to Nendaz, stopping at the Car show in Geneva to see Anne-Flore talk for Mercedes! Very random… When we arrived in Nendaz I got dropped off at the free lodging organised for competitors… the free bunker! Which is a bomb shelter built into the mountain underneath a church. I could have opted to stay with the girls and paid to sleep at a warm comfortable hotel, but that wouldn’t have been interesting.
The first qualifying day was intense – the first run could have passed for a mogul ski competition, and the other was a 45 minute hike away, all this in one day made it stressful and a little bit panicky. But I made it through in 3rd place which I was STOKED on, and just stoked to get back to the free bunker and get some well needed sleep (still jet lagged ofcourse).
For the finals day I chose a similar line as the line I took 2 years ago and everything went smoothly – which got me into first place. I’m so so happy – now I’m ranked 3rd overall on the tour and going to Verbier!! Fingers crossed again for sunny weather and good snow conditions. Afterwards I’m on a plane STRAIGHTAWAY back to NZ…. I can’t WAIT!!
I’m sitting in Geneva airport, finally chilling out after a frantic week in the states. Aline and I travelled to Reno together and drove to Kirkwood for the 4 star Free Ride World Tour stop for women snowboard only. After arriving at 2.30am we needed to organise ourselves for the next morning (which was in 5 hours), qualifier day.
There was heaps of snow on the ground and not a cloud in the sky – the perfect day for a competition, and I’ve never seen so many girls ride a face so well. Unfortunately I didn’t make it through qualifiers even after a solid run, but had an amazing time all the same. Congrats to Anne-Flore (the only lady to make it through out of us girls traveling from Europe), for making it through to the finals and sending it, unfortunately not sticking it – but still had an awesome run. Finally a big congrats to Iris for taking out 1st place and Callen for taking out 2nd. Both girls had amazing runs!!
Next competition is tomorrow! Nendaz, Switzerland the last stop for the FWT before Verbier. I’ll keep everyone posted on how it goes – fingers crossed for clear skies and sun!
Until then, Cheers!
I’m finally getting some time to chill in Chicago airport enroute to Reno, South Lake Tahoe. The past week and a bit has been heaps of fun – Voelkl organised a road trip to south Italy, which was perfect because that is where a storm was hitting and was said to stay there for about a week. I was very doubtful considering I haven’t witnessed a proper snowfall since I’ve arrived in Europe – fortunately I was wrong.
Our first day in Italy was windy, dry, cold and snow conditions were comparable to the rest of Europe which wasn’t surprising; but then the snow came and didn’t stop. The heli day was cancelled due to too much wind and dodgy snow conditions, but either than that the trip was amazing. Big thanks to Marco (our Italian/Voelkl guide), for showing us around and being the perfect Italian host. I hope we get to do it again soon!
Next stop for me is the 4 star FWT Women stop in Kirkwood, California. I’ve heard there is a lot of snow there as well, fingers crossed!