Get involved in Manchester Day 2015.

Sunday 14th June 2015. Pencil it in your diary. In fact write it in permanent marker because it’s Manchester Day!

Manchester Day is day to celebrate all things Mancunian and shows everyone just what an amazing city Manchester is. It’s a day when the community comes together, families can walk the streets proudly displaying their love for this wonderful city and new friends can be made watching the parade. Councillor Pat Karney, Chair of Manchester Day, proclaims: “Manchester Day is the perfect opportunity to have a fantastic day out and show your love for your city by coming down with your family.” Councillor Rosa Battle, executive member for culture and leisure, says: “First and foremost, the Manchester Day is for families. The past four events have shown this with generations coming together to enjoy the party…Throughout Manchester’s history it has proved that it is a city of game changers and the scope for community groups to be creative with their ideas is huge.”

There will be music, acts, dancing, singing, every festivity you can think of.

After the roaring success of the previous 4 year’s Manchester Day is returning and they want people like you to get involved.  They are looking for individuals or groups to participate and perform in this years event. This means you can either be part of the parade or perhaps get decorating one of the squares or even just volunteering on the day to help make sure things run smoothly.

If this doesn’t float your boat then no worries, the more people who come to watch the better. There seems to be something for everyone on Manchester Day.

However, if you are interested in helping out and making this years Manchester Day better than ever then sign up here. Have no fear if you’re signing up on your own, you will be put with other groups!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYcLZy84fwg

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The Life of a Snowboard Instructor.

This cool dude is my big sis, Rosie

In case you’re new to my blog or missed the posts where I babble on about my sister or perhaps you just need a friendly reminder, my sister Rosie is a snowboard instructor . Before you ask, yes I get free lessons. It’s not all roses though, I don’t get to see her very much and she works all over the world and so she’s always 11 or 9 or however many hours ahead/behind. 

Snowboarding siblings

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Rosie, my big sis, with me and my bro up the mountain.

Anyway, I figured most people would like to know what it’s actually like to snowboard for a living and live in the snow all year round so I asked her a few questions and surprisingly she managed to drag herself away from apres to answer them for us…

When did you first start snowboarding?

I started when I was 11, but I began skiing when I was 3.

What is it that made you want to be a snowboard instructor?

I really wanted to travel whilst working, I knew that I didn’t want to work in the UK and I wanted to improve my own riding. I found some instructor courses online and the more I looked into it the more I wanted to do it. Best job in the world!

What is the best part of your job?

The best part is watching people progress, seeing the improvement because of what you have taught them. When someone turns to you and says that they never thought they would be able to ride that well, and thank you for it… Also being outside everyday, on the snow, doing what I love and sharing that with a bunch of mates…so good.

Yay, it snowed!!!

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The snowy streets of Arinsal.

Do you think its a dying sport or after 4 years teaching have you seen an increase in people wanting to learn?

Not at all, the sport keeps progressing. It’s different everywhere you teach. In Canada there’s a big snowboarding scene but you seem to see less in Europe. I just finished a winter in Australia and surprisingly there was a massive amount of boarders there.

Why do you think there is such a battle between skiers and snowboarders??

I don’t really think there is anymore, everyone still jokes around about it but I find we all have a lot of respect for both sports.

What do you prefer?

Snowboarding all the way although I do like to have a slide on skis every now an then.

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Rosie and Chris, featuring my papa in the background, pre slide in Pal.

Its an expensive lifestyle, would you say its worth it?

Hell yeah! It can be expensive yes however there’s loads of cheaper gear you can buy and online sites are great for a bargain. If it’s something that you love then the cost doesn’t matter.

What do you do during the warmer months?

I’m on my 3rd back to back season right now so I haven’t really had any warmer months, I get a few months between seasons where I will try and travel and find some sun.

Do you want to stay an instructor or would you like to do something else?

I would like to stay as an instructor for the foreseeable future, it’s a great way of travelling and working, I get to make some money and see different parts of the world. I will definitely get myself back to Canada for a season also Japan and New Zealand are on the cards before I think about a change.

You’ve been all over the world riding, is there anywhere else you want to snowboard?

Other than the above, I would really like to ride in the States and South America; Chile and Argentina.

Lucky for us, she made a video showing her first year as a snowboarder. 

Enjoy friends

Skiing VS Snowboarding. The Big Debate

There comes a time for any snow-sports person to make the decision between skiing and snowboarding. It is no mere task, deciding which one it will be for years to come. Sure you can mix it up and maybe you’ll spend a few days skiing but in your heart of hearts, you will have made the decision and it will be snowboarding.

👍

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Me, hitting the slopes in Andorra. Dressed to shred.

 

My very own conversion story goes a little something like this…I first learnt to ski at the ripe old age of 3/4 and I was pretty good. Not straight away of course, there’s video after video of baby Molly screaming to rip down the mountain but struggling to even stand up on skis. It wasn’t until last year that I braved the mountain again, after a 7 year break, but this time on one board instead of 2 planks.

After my 1st lesson that was me done. I knew skiing was over for me and I was ready for my life as a boarder.

YEAAAAAAH!!!

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Me and good ol’ Norbert celebrating a week of hard work and a sore everything.

 

So what are the deciding factors?

Well most people are put off snow-sports because of the risk of injury (I cannot lie, there is plenty of time spent face-planting into the snow). However, this should not, I repeat SHOULD NOT be a deterrent. Yeah, snowboarding is harder to learn and there is definitely a lot more falling over and hurting yourself but the ride is so worth it. Mpora released a cool poster explaining the differences in dangers in both sports and its super interesting to note that more injuries are sustained whilst snowboarding, although more people die skiing (not trying to put you off, promise). This is an extreme sport remember folks, you got to stay safe up there. The poster also shows that still more people are skiing then they are snowboarding but both glorious sports are seeing a decrease in participants, which is totally sad news

You can joke like Hugh Morris did in the Telegraph but this is serious stuff. Lives will be changed and decisions have to be made.

Snowboarding’s cool. There no denying it. Skiing… Well skiing’s actually getting cooler. There are no more neon all in one suits (although, these seem to be rearing their ugly head, again), the skis themselves are looking better and mega tricks and flips are now being introduced to the sport. Lets give all thanks to snowboarding. No, for real, the Guardian says so. The eternal coolness of the snowboarder is rubbing off on skiers, probably due to the rivalry between the sports. Once again, snowboarding reigns supreme.

Whatever I say, he says, they say, the most important thing is the thrill and the ride. For some people, that’s skiing. As much as it pains me to say so, that’s okay. I mean, look at Lynsey Dyer. She’s phenomenal.

Go pro,  the ultimate snow-sport comrade, (in fact any indoor or outdoor activity can benefit from these babies) breathtakingly and beautifully demonstrates how wonderful these sports are. Watching videos like this just reminds you how awesome life can be!

Snowboarding’s way better though.

Snow is falling, all around me… Aaaaaaand everybody in the Alps.

Finally the snow has arrived. 

In fact, there’s perhaps a little too much. It’s been relentless in the Alps over the festive period and transport to the resorts had been limited. But the fresh pow was no doubt the best christmas present anybody could have asked for. 

I understand my posts have become limited also, you see coming home from Manchester and visiting all my family and friends has occupied most of my time. 

Keep your eyes peeled for a soon to be post about what its really like to work the slopes in 2014 as an instructor and what season life is all about.

Merry Christmas folks and I hope you all have a great new year. Get yourselves out for a ride, I know I will!

Today we talk money!

Some people think that all snowboarding holidays resemble that on the classic (completely true) film Chalet Girl.

I beg to differ. 

Snowboarding isn’t the cheapest of holidays but it doesn’t have to cost the world. Most holidays are booked through travel companies such as Crystal Ski or Neilson and they will always get you the best deal for the time of year you want to go away. A lot of the time ski school is included, so you might as well go and get the best out of your buck. 

Yesterday the Daily Mail published an article explaining where the best value resorts are. It would appear Andorra is the cheapest country to holiday to, with 4 resorts in the top ten:

1) Ordino Arcalis,

2) Arinsal,

3) Soldeu,

4) Pas de la Casa.

Arcalis, being the cheapest would cost little over £2500 for a family of four, and thats including pretty much everything. The most expensive resort on the list, raking up to a grand total of over £5,000. 

Like any summer vacation, you have to search for the best deals but theres definitely some bargains out there. 


How is possible that I’m only just finding out today that Nike is leaving behind the snowboarding world?

Why would anybody want to do that?

I suppose when you think of Nike, snowboarding isn’t necessarily the first thought that springs to mind if you’re not already familiar with its involvement. I only discovered early on last year that Nike were a part in the industry, providing not only sponsorship but some seriously cool clothing and gear. They were never massive contenders in the snow sport world so its understandable that they would want to focus more time on their skateboarding work. 

It does spark interesting debate though. Are Nike leaving a sinking ship? Joe Lindsey of the Mens Journal seems to think so. He seems to be under the impression that because of the 31% decrease in “participation” over the last 10 years, the sport maybe on its last legs. The article in the Mens Journal goes on to say that the constant falling over as a beginner is a massive turn off and the lack of lessons in ski schools doesn’t help either. These are valid points buuuuuut I find myself disagreeing with them totally. Yes, nobody wants to hurt themselves in sport on purpose but the idea shouldn’t put you off. Falling on your backside time after time is a reminder of how hard your working. As for the comment about the lack of instructing, that’s something the sport itself has no control over. There are definitely plenty of instructors out there though.

Nike maybe out but one of the most profitable companies is still backing it fully. With RedBull behind it, snowboarding wont be going anywhere. 

Today marks the first official day of my winter season… Today my sister left for Arinsal, Andorra. Today, I am sad.

Okay, well not that sad. The lack of snow and the non-opening of most resorts across Europe is definitely helping to sooth the raging jealously.

It would appear that across North America, however, the snow fall is higher then last year meaning lots of resorts have started opening already. Although the news of early opening is extremely exciting it is bittersweet. The snow in Montanna has been so extreme its lead to the first death of the season. A 31 year old snowmobiler was trapped under 2m of snow for 20 minutes after he and a friend were caught in an avalanche. This is a painful reminder to take extra caution on the slopes during the low season times. The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center are issuing warnings about strong winds and heavy amounts of fresh powder up the mountains.

This is an extreme sport remember folks.

I hope the 2014-2015 season is the best season yet. Take care out there guys!