NZ Winter 2012 update: Demo tour and more! July 26 2012
Hey guys, thanks for dropping in to check out what we have been up to this season! It's been the busiest winter ever for Bataleon Snowboards in NZ, as well as launching Lobster Snowboards for the first time. We hit the road starting in the North Island at Turoa for opening weekend, which unfortunately didn't happen due to adverse weather conditions. The only thing to do was to board the ferry south on Monday, bound for Methven.
On the road to Mt Hutt at dawn
Photo: Lockie Sutherland
We were welcomed by the friendly folk at Mt Hutt for our first demo day, and were rewarded with a sneaky 45cm of fresh! As we were there early for demo day, we scored first dibs on a few choice lines before setting up for our first demo day in the south. We were lucky to find the driest snow we had seen in NZ for a long time, as if the eye of the storm had passed over Mt Hutt and let loose with not a breath of wind.
Our friend, photographer and all round GC Lockie Sutherland (http://www.lockiesutherland.com/snow) came along to help out with demo day, and ended up getting a few good shots (both on his face and the camera). Our rider Benji Oppan turned up to score some cheeky pow slashies!
Photo: Lockie Sutherland
Matt Taylor, Photo Lockie Sutherland
Benji Oppan, Photo Lockie Sutherland
We were stoked that Mt Hutt had turned it on for us, and the storm didn't let up as we travelled through Arthurs Pass bound for Porter Heights. There we met local ripper Michael McCloy to test the new Lobster boards, he was stoked on TBT and loved the Switchback Bindings. After the demo day wrapped up, I went for a quick few laps of 'product testing' on the new Goliath 158... this board is a machine, it was as solid as a rock in the variable tracked out condtions and a held up well when driven off a few cliffs. (see the short clip below for a good old fashioned tomahawk!)
Michael McCloy X Lobster NZ X Porter Heights
Porter Heights Backcountry
How many times can you count the sky....?
As we left Canterbury the snow continued to fall, Wanaka was our destination to continue the demo tour. Rising before the sun was slightly painful after the Snow Park opening party the previous night, but the excitement of breaking out a fresh Bataleon Split Board before the lifts opened was too much! Thanks to Tom Beatson at the Snowboard Workshop in Queenstown, this 159 Jam charged the uphill on fresh skins, and I was impressed by the response and edge hold on the ride down. Can't wait to get at the backcountry with this beast! Skinning up was a great way to warm up in the cold morning air and get ready for a busy demo day ahead. Many shop staff from around Wanaka, Queenstown and Dunedin came along to test out the products, bringing a lot of stoked friends with them. The Distortia and the Evil Twin were the most popular boards out for demo that day, the fresh park with fun jib line may have had something to do with that! We also had a lot of interest in our new Switchback bindings, lots of and big thumbs up for comfort and style!
It was awesome to finally arrive back at Snow Park, catch up with familiar faces and meet a smiling crew of staff and riders. This place is truly unique in the world and shouldn't be missed on a trip down south, the air reeks of progression and one can't help but take a sniff and begin to push it further than before. Picking up NZ Snowboard.com filmer Jake Munro on the way, we missioned up the hill for a late night session with Bataleon NZ team riders Mitch Brown and Jack Spence. We pretty much had the place to ourselves and managed to get enough good footy for a team edit which Jake made for us (Click the picture below to check it out, killer!). Reclining in the hot tub under the stars with a few bevvies sure is the best way to finish any day... and rest up for the next. The next morning was picture perfect, there was a dusting of fresh snow on the tussock and the cold temps kept the jib line flowing well. The Lobster Park board was a fave amongst the crew up here and suited the style of terrain perfectly.
Click this picture to see the video edit of Bataleon NZ team night riding at Snow Park!
Demo day at the one and only Snow Park!
The slow and relaxed drive back over the Crown Range to Queenstown had us craving a Ferg burger and a mulled wine at Dux de Lux. A warm welcome to a cold week with frozen water pipes and fingers thanks to the constant -6 temperatures. We were up at Coronet peak for a few demo days over the week, where the trails were hard, fast and fun! Across the valley to Remarkables for a busy Saturday where the riders came out in force to test every board in the range.
Coronet Peak Demo
After one day of 850km in a stretch, QT to Wellington, we find ourselves back where we began, all the way back up north at Ruapehu. Blue skies and sunny groomers are a welcoming sight, even if there are a few too many rocks... the rain hasn't kept us away and we are having as much fun as ever! We managed to finish with three demo days of calm weather, even had the tent up! (which doesn't happen often thanks to the wind at Ruapehu!). Thanks to everyone who has helped out along the way, said gidday and tested some boards. We couldn't do it without you!
Matt and some of the crew at Turoa demo day, much love!?!