How we happened to ride Maverick Snowboards.

We connected to Mats from Maverick Snowboards a while ago on Instagram and finally met in Stuben at the Longboard Classics where he allowed me to race one of his boards, the “177 Cheater”. His planned to visit friends in Sestriere, Italy after the event and we had some time and were keen to see some more of the Alps. So we joined, because after all, we never snowboarded in Italy so far. The fact that Sestriere was expecting a big dump was even more tempting. Maybe, this would be our first and only powderlapse-day this season and I think we really deserved it.

The local crew from the shoppe.

Maverick snowboards
PLP in the Kronicle Magazine.

In the morning the sky had cleared from the strom and we met up with Gionata, Ettore and their friends and family from the local snowboard shop “Surfshoppe Sestriere”. Those guys are going back to the roots, building their own powdersurfboards since 2012 unter the brand Peace Love & Powder. Those things are huge and heavy but at least as fast. Even with the “Cheater” I couldn’t manage to catch up. Was really nice to meet up and have an awesome shred day with them. Another nice thing about being on the mountain with locals is the car that suddenly picks you up when you end up on a random road and drops you right at the station in front of the queue so you’re the first one when the gondola opens at 10am.

The “Cheater”.

Maverick snowboards
Me hiding behind my “Cheater”.

Mats has two boards on offer, one of them is the “Pipeliner” at 185cm and the other one – my favourite – the “Cheater” at 177cm or 5’8″, respectively. It really holds what Mats promised: it pretty much flies above the powder and if you attack the groomers, this thing from another world. I’ve been riding quite agressive boards throughout the years, including the custom made full-carbon-core boardercross-machine. But nothing matches with the power of 140cm of effective edge. It just goes and it feels like snowboarding on rails. If the slopes are crowded though, it’s the wrong board. I’m really happy to call one of the “Cheaters” my own now and wonder how fast it can go. We’ll find out next winter.

Maybe you have heard of Zeus and his buddies living way up in the mountains of the Olympos Oros? In fact, the ancient Greeks believed that this impressive mountain range in the northeast of Greece was home of the 12 ancient Greek gods. It rises up to 2,918 meters and, due to it’s relatively flat surroundings, it is one of the most prominent mountains in Europe.

Skinning on Mt. Olympus though is hard work. The terrain is very remote and involves long ascents and long hikes back once you finished your line. But don’t get me wrong: the awesome views, the flora and the sheer prominence of the mountain reward for every drop of sweat. Mt. Olympus is a must for every Greek freeriding adventure.

A snowboarders dream came trhough.

Last April I made my first trip to Alaska. Alaska Heliskiing in Haines was where I booked and the Funny Farm was the place to stay. Alaska has been a dream since I’ve watched the movie TB6. To be honest, TB 6 to 9 were the origin of my need to take the snowboard to steep, ungroomed terrain anyway. In fact, everyone interested in freeriding should have the whole collection!

Same same but different.

After all the news about an epic winter in Haines, we were pretty stoked to finally arrive at the end of March. But – just as the forecast predicted – it got warm a couple of days prior to our arrival. Good or bad omen? Time would tell. After sitting out almost a week of down-days or too-warm-for-powder-days we got into the helicopter for the first time to have a look at the area. Not nearly as much snow as the hearsay promised, wind and sun-affected snowpack and some damn big slides that ripped off all the snow in their way. Five runs later we knew that we have to wait for the next snowfall, which was luckily forecasted for next couple of days.

Good things come to those who wait.

With a couple of inches instead of 3 feet fresh snow we found some nice runs, but at the end I had to send my buddies home not really having gotten the fruits. With lots of time at my disposal and the experience of last year still in mind, I decided to sit it out and wait. Another storm was forecasted for the coming week and Wednesday and Thursday looked like the stars would finally align. It totally paid of: as the only freeskiers amongst 6 filmcrews we had the opportunity to go deeper into the playground and see the real juice. And we were in for the kill. Those two days made me riding one of my all time gnarliest lines and we could do Tomahawk, the epitome of a Haines trophy line and a run I was dreaming about for years.

I will be back next winter, no question. More prepared, amped and charging than ever.

 


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