@hail_sods gets the most out of some sunny rails.
Words: Jenna Kuklinski
Snowboarding through endless open powder fields is every snowboarders daily fantasy- it’s fluffy, it’s fun and makes you feel like a pro who has no limit to their potential. But what about when spring rolls around and the snowboarding feels less like power hour and more like mashed potato dinner? Don’t pack up your gear just because your insulated jacket has become too stuffy- bust out the windbreakers and get ready for the season’s second progression session: Spring Riding.
Spring is for the people. The hard-charging winter is over and everyone who’s still out riding is on the slopes simply to have fun. It’s the time to learn weird grabs, floppy flat-land tricks and master the quarter-pipe. You get the same forgiving riding conditions of a powder day without the guilt of knowing there are fresh powder-loaded cornices you should be dropping.
Here are three tricks to master in the slushy spring-time (in no particular order):
Do you know how many times you fall on your face when learning how to handplant? A lot. You have to go fast, you have to get your feet above your head and then get them back below yourself again. It’s tough. Always use your core- that’s why you have abs. Guaranteed, one of the best days you’ll ever have is sessioning a quarter-pipe with your friends and taking turns trying to plant your hand on top of the lip. People will be penguin-sliding left and right, but- no harm, no foul. You’ll find yourself unstrapping and hiking back up to try again in no time at all.
Backside 180’s (or for those who already have that and their 360’s down– back 500. It’s basically the same thing, as show by Eero Ettala and Heikki Sorsa in this throwback Transworld Trick Tips clip).
If you don’t have the back 180 down yet, spring time is the right time to get it dialed. We get it- you’re spinning blind and terrified of catching your back edge. But you know what makes that better? Knowing that catching your back edge won’t be all that bad (because let’s face it- it will happen. many times). Push yourself beyond your comfort level. If you aren’t falling, you’re not learning.
Got your tail grab down? Great, now double it up. Two hands are better than one, and a double-tail grab looks even sicker than a single. The most difficult part of this trick is going to be landing both hands on the back of your board at the same time (duh), so keep doing it until you have it on lock. Pop off the lip of the jump, grab the tail with your back hand and stick your front hand back there too. You’ll be twisting more than a normal-handed grab, so be ready to adjust accordingly for when you land. Think: Pop, grab, land- don’t try to do everything off the jump at once.
Sure, it can take a while to master these tricks, but you’ll be rolling through the snow laughing at yours (or your friend’s) latest attempt and forgetting about the fact you ever thought they were, “intimidating” to begin with. That’s what snowboarding is all about anyway, right? Having a good time.
Do you have any favorite spring-riding tricks to master? Share in the comments- we’d love to hear about them.
For five days
Tremulous skies threatened to downpour on Portland, OR. To rain. As March 28th approached, the forecast flip-flopped between boasting predictions of sunny skies and soggy afternoons. Finally, the day arrived. The skies were filled with patches of sun and white fluffy clouds– and not a drop of rain in sight. Nature had given it’s blessing to the first ever Nikita Just For Fun Run here in Portland, OR.
Laura Lawson Visconti was one of the many that showed up for the day of activities, bringing along a few more friends and a lot of energy to get the run going. She lead the enthusiastic group in a series of pre-race stretches, ensuring everyone was safely warmed up to begin the run!
This wasn’t just any normal 5K- fans who joined us for the #NikitaFunRun were in store for a lot more than a jog through the neighborhood. Local businesses partnered with Nikita to host the event, putting together mini-challenges at a total of five different stops along the run route. Runners had to visit each stop, complete the mini-challenge and receive a “task completed” wrist-band before continuing on to the next stop. Challenges consisted of such high-skill-based trials like: The Hula Hoop Walk, Corn Hole Toss and Frisbee Golf Challenge.
As each person crossed the finish line they were met with cheers, high-fives and (for those over 21) a nice cool Basecamp Beer, kindly served up by evo. After everyone completed the run, Clutched Key Collective began taking people through the steps of tie-dye and shibori. While the running portion of the day was over, there was still a snowboard to win and tons of give-aways to raffle off (See our Facebook page for more photos from the event!).
The giveaways went fantastically, with amazing items from Nikita, Next Adventure and Basecamp getting raffled off to the animated crowd. Giveaways culminated with the announcement of the winner of the Instagram contest (and soon-to-be owner of a new Nikita Chikita snowboard). @prairiechicken; aka Amie, a visitor from Canada, took home the grand prize!
Everyone gathered together after the raffle for one final group photo. Sweaty smiles (and a few birthday wishes) were abound in the group as everyone gathered together in high spirits. As people filtered out of the evo parking lot, there were more high-fives, hugs and grins being exchanged between all who were there. The day was an amazing success, and not even one drop of rain fell the entire time.
Stay tuned for more Nikita events! The requests for more events has been heard and there may well be something coming your way soon…
Tips to keep your life in order as a snowboarder while traveling, competing, and going to school.
Words: Haille Soderholm
As we all know, life has a tendency to get a little hectic sometimes. Trying to balance a snowboard career while being a full-time college student on top of everything else has basically turned my life into a traveling circus. So here I have come up with a few tips and tricks I use to at least try and keep my life in order! Whether you are an aspiring snowboarder, or just a travel-crazed person, these tips are sure to help keep your life in order when bouncing from one place to the next.
Airports are the perfect place for power naps.
1. Keep deodorant in your backpack. Always. One day, you are going to have to go straight from the mountain to class, or dinner, or to the airport and you will thank me for this. I don’t care where you are, it is never acceptable to smell like a homeless snowboard bum, and having deodorant handy will do wonders.
2. Have at least two toothbrushes. Having a crazy busy life means you are inevitably going to forget things. I learned this after forgetting my toothbrush at home on at least 10 trips and being too busy practicing and competing to go buy a new one. Gross, I know. Luckily, I learned from this and now keep one toothbrush permanently at home, and one permanently in my travel bag. Problem solved.
3. Make a mental checklist of the necessities before you leave on a trip. I really mean only the necessities. Anything that you need to snowboard with should go on this list, and everything else- leave it out. My list consists of my Nikita Krystall Snowboard, boots, outerwear, helmet, goggles, beanie, headphones, phone (and charger), and wallet. Those are all I need to ride and everything else I can survive without.
Friends and Flavor-Blasted Goldfish; the bare necessities.
4. Do homework in the morning. If you are anything like me, you may have noticed it hard to concentrate or get anything productive done after 3pm. It’s proven that our minds work more efficiently in the morning hours which is why I’ve made a habit of waking up early and hammering out homework before heading to the mountain. Getting things done early leaves for a full day of worry-free shredding!
Balancing a crazy life of shredding, hitting the road, and getting an education can be pretty stressful sometimes. But I promise, if you follow these few tips your life may just get a little bit easier!
Words: Kazusa Nishii
I don’t care
How much weight you want to lose.
That’s right, I don’t care.
Over the years, I’ve run into so many girls who are unsure of their ability to do this type of high intensity workout program. “I don’t know if I want to lift weights and to work out with the "guys.”“
They walk in when their self-esteem is low and their intimidation high. They walk in saying that their only goal is to "lose weight.”
As a Crossfit coach, I’ve learned from my own insecurities. I to try to focus on empowering other women by having them not focus on the number on the scale.
Why did I become a coach? I became a coach because I realized Crossfit was a program that worked for me and continues to work for me to this day. I want other people to experience that.
As a woman, it’s hard not to focus on being a stick-thin supermodel. In most western cultures, we all focus on wanting to be thin. Crash dieting and eating next-to-nothing is what we’re used to do.
Now enter CrossFit-
A training program that focuses on strength and metabolic conditioning (the best of both worlds in my opinion). We do a variety of different types of lifting: power and Olympic lifting combined with a variety of different disciplines of cardio conditioning and gymnastic-type body weight movements set under a time modality. The goal is to do the workout as fast as you can while making sure you have the correct form and all movements are done with complete range of motion.
In my coaching I focus on form vs. heavy weight, but my ultimate goal is to make people feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. Most women have never picked up a barbell or lifted a kettlebell. Some have never done a pull-up or push-up. Others have never even worked out before in their life. What they all have in common is that they’re extremely intimidated.
If you are one of the millions of women who come in wanting to lose weight, just know that we don’t focus on the number on the scale. Instead, we focus on very measurable standards in work-outs and how your clothes fit.
Once I started focusing on my goals at hand, (I.e. being able to do five strict pull-ups, or get ten legit push-ups without needing rest) is when I saw the results to go with it. I didn’t worry about the scale anymore.
This same thing goes for most women. I’ve seen time and time again that when I focus on a skill-goal with a client who works hard to achieve that goal, they are transformed. They go from being insecure with themselves to becoming a confident and happy individual. Their bodyweight becomes a non-issue and their attitude changes and molds into that of an athlete.
This is what I thrive on. The success of everyone who works to achieve a skill they not only dreamed of doing, but because of it, they are confident in who they are. This translates to them living a better, fuller and happier life. When someone finds their inner athlete, that is what makes me truly happy to be a coach.
I was on a pillow hunt.
My crew of 3 snowboarder chicks, 1 skier chick and one filmer dude had been in Hakuba, Japan for 4 days now and it was dumping- snowing about 5cm/hour. I began to pick up that we were going to need some vert in order to get any momentum through the new Japow. That morning we had sessioned the Happo-One Banks Park opening. It was so groovy; huge banked turns, hips and method mania! The Japanese have the most uniquely-shaped boards I’d ever seen. Swallow tails, blunted tips and styled-out surfer turns ruled the scene.
After our tasty lunch of noodles prepared five different ways, we headed out with our guide Yusaku to see if we could find some side-country zones to session this incredibly fluffy maritime powder. Our wandering brought us up to an abandoned cat track. It made for a safe zone to scope the snow pack and wade through hip deep, actually stomach deep in some places, powder. When one ski cut triggered a remote 12-inch storm slab and multiple people heard “whomping” on the ridge line, we knew it was time to get out of there and back to the resort. As we jibbed our way down Happo-One, I caught a glance of some huge loaded avalanche barriers and realized that might just be what we need to get some air! I asked Yusaku if we could ride those and he replied with a half-confident, “Yea I think OK, …maybe…”
The next morning we scouted out a few avy barriers just outside Happo-One in order to avoid any potential resort “rule bending” and made our way through the gate and down the ridge. After checking them out and verifying we wouldn’t sink up to our necks landing in-between the three tiered suspended netting, we got stoked to take flight and started patting our run-ins down. The afternoon turned into a method, roast beef, chicken salad and back-flip huck buffet.
High on stoke and footage for the day, we were on our way down the drainage when one of the ladies noticed a Kamoshika teetering on a smaller avy barrier across the gully, staring at us. These Japanese mountain goats appear to be part wolf, part pig due to their thick grey winter coats and pointy ears. Turns out they’re super curious animals and it had been watching us session the barriers for the better part of the afternoon. “So cool! I love this place! Hi goat!” As we made our way down the drainage towards the neighborhoods, I almost ran over a hippidy-hoppidy white snow hare the size of a two-year-old child and saw one more Kamoshika dart through the trees. The magic of Japan, it’s people, it’s food and it’s mountains has left a void in my heart and stomach that longs to return to the land of the rising sun.
The best gift that I am getting through my work is support.
Words: Luba Lubinskaia
When I started two years ago here in Berlin, I never dreamed that living could get so nice. Of course, I’ve always had dreams and I did what I could to make them happen….. But then came all this LOVE to me…. And it only gets better.
Being a free artist makes me feel so great and at the same time it is a little bit scary. I have to feel confident with my skills, my character and my visions. I have to be a strong person, fight for my money and for good working terms. I have to connect all the time with artist that I like and I want to support (that´s a good part of course). This a working flow that never stops. I wake up with ideas and worries and go to bed with the same.
Yeah, I always have to promote myself and just keep on going and going…. And there are always people who really love my work and believe in me as an artist.
NIKITA is the first brand that is really a, “sponsor” to me. I worked a runway job for these guys in summer 2014. It was such a fun day, and right from the start I felt in love with the designs. They are made of light fabric, have pure designs and lovely textures (that are so natural and complicated like me). So I talked to their promotion chief and told them right away that I would LOVE to shoot a look-book for them. I wanted to work with them more because they travel to wonderful, peaceful places around the world and just do some simple pictures in this amazing nature.
A couple months later I asked them If they would lend me some clothes for a short music video that I planned, for my techno track, and they said YES! The best thing was, I could keep the clothes!
Two months later they asked me if I would like to be a part of their ambassador project and of course I said YES!
To be a part of these powerful women and the NIKITA family makes me so happy and inspires me.
Now I have cool, customized and high quality clothes and a big platform to spread my work.
This year will be so great <3
Every now and then,
We need a fresh playlist to kick our energy levels up a notch.
Springtime is a great time to find something new and revisit something old, so this playlist has got a bit of everything too. These songs should be the perfect punch to wake up your sleepy head or kickstart your spring riding on the slopes.
Plug-in, push play and get moving.
If you want the list without the play, here’s a summary of the songs you’ll find in our mix:
Jackie and Wilson - Hozier
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough- Marvin Gaye
Happy- Pharrell Williams
Hello (Feat Dragonette)- Martin Solveig
Dancing On My Own- Robyn
Our Own House- Misterwives
99 Red Balloons- Luft Baloons
How To Be a Heartbreaker- Marina and The Diamonds
Thumbalina- Coleman Hall
Boom Clap- Charli XCX
Words: Michelle Salt
Life isn’t always filled with Rainbows and Lollipops.
It’s usually when things seem to be in a peaceful flow that we are faced with our biggest challenges. For me, that challenge came on June 27th, 2011 when I was in a near fatal motorcycle accident. I broke a ton of major bones and became an amputee after losing my right leg. Though I had to adapt to a new life and a new way of getting around, I knew something big was in the horizon. I talked about getting back on my snowboard with hopes of making the paralympics all the time, and even though I was usually heavily medicated (and I’m sure everyone probably thought I was just talking crazy), I made it happen only 8 months after hitting that guardrail.
The process wasn’t easy. I spent the first day on hill frustrated with my sports knee, and because I was worried the hardware in my hips and pelvis wouldn’t hold, I duct taped my body with memory foam. So here I was.. no balance, XL outerwear and a sobbing mess with a big smile on my face. I can only imagine how entertaining that was for the parents standing at the bottom of the bunny hill. As i returned home that night to reflect, I realized that despite learning to have to do something all over again that I was once good at, my love for the sport was still just as strong as it was before I had lost my leg.
I often tell people I did what I knew how to do- and that was to get back on my board. But truth is, I was constantly fighting the battle. A part of me was saying “it’s risky and you don’t want to hurt yourself again” while another part was saying, “If you want to get on that podium and make your country proud, don’t give up”. I had days where the fear set in so I sat at home eating pizza and watching prison break instead of getting out on the hill. Then I also had days where I would sit in my car checking the clock every 20 seconds to see if the hill had opened yet.
One step at a time (literally), I learned how to snowboard again. Within a year I had made the National Para-snowboard team with my sights set on the 2014 Paralympic games. I would have people sit me down, look me in the eyes and tell me that doing this only 2.5 years after my accident wasn’t realistic, that I needed to focus on 2018 instead. I would listen and think to myself about how great I’d feel when I proved them wrong. I quickly learned that doubt was my biggest motivator on my road to success.
Throughout the ups and downs, I started to see a side of me that was resilient and dedicated. I allowed myself to be angry when the day didn’t go as planned and to be proud when I could get down the boardercross track without flying in the netting or taking someone out. In March, I showed those doubters who was boss when I competed in the 2014 Sochi Games, becoming the first ever female Canadian Paralympic Snowboarder. I’m cool with that, but what really makes it all so incredible is that I didn’t do it alone. I had amazing sponsors, supporters and friends who were by my side the whole time. As I waited in that start gate to compete, I knew I had people watching, which pushed me to ride as best as I could.
I always say that life is a gift. We must not take anything for granted, including high heels and the dougie (which are both a faint memory to me now). We are still on this earth for a reason, so make the most of it. If you’re going through something tough, it’s OK to cry.
Do what you can to see the positive in the situation. If you’re sitting on the couch right now not wanting to go to the gym, get your butt up and get moving! I definitely don’t want to live with any regrets. Do you?
Spring is beginning to… spring, and our minds have giddily run away with themselves dreaming up heavenly places to pack our bikinis into. Here’s a list of our top 5 hidden fantasy getaways that require you to bring a swimsuit but don’t require you to max out your credit card (and while you’re at it, take a peak at our dreamy spring 2015 swim line).
Located an easy $32 shuttle away from the Cancun airport, this breezy beach town takes your away from the commotion of city life and closer to the heart of paradise. While the cheapest places to stay are in an area that feels more like a highway truck stop than dream getaway, the money you save will let you make the most of your vacation. The reason to take your bikini here is so you can swim in one of the many cenotes that surround the area. Crystal-clear mineral pools that bubble up from hundreds of feet below in secluded locations. These, “cenotes” were sacred places to the Mayans and some are still lovingly maintained by local co-ops, creating a “lost in time” feel to this pristine place.
Find more Mexican cenotes at Lonely Planet
We all know Costa Rica is famous for their beaches and surf. But why not get lost on a lesser-known path to one of their hidden beaches? Playa Junquillal is one of those places- a gorgeous beach accessible only by kayak. Throw your tanning top on under your lifejacket, slap on the sunscreen and paddle out to this paradise-style playa from the Gulf of Papagayo. The water is emerald green and the sands are a blissful white. We’re getting warmer just thinking about it.
Pueblo Verde is the near-by community that takes pride in preserving their low-key paradise.
Queen’s Bath, Kuai’i Hawaii
CAUTION: Please use your head, this spot can be deadly if visited during inclement weather or strong tides (what’s a little fun without a hint of danger?).
Wearing your bikini isn’t always about placid waters and sun-soaked beaches. You’ve got mix things up a bit and get your adrenaline pumping in the warm weather too! Discover Queen’s Bath, located on the beautiful island of Kaui’i Hawaii. Not only is this crystal-clear tidal pool home to sea urchins and other marine animals but some fun cliff-jumps that send you splashing into the volcanic pool. If you find yourself here, you’ll probably see locals launching off rocks into the ocean, but we recommend sticking to the tidal pool- strong currents can pull you out to sea and drown you. It’s fun to take risks, but not ones those big. That being said, this spot is on the top of our tropical bucket list.
Read up on an intriguing brief history of Queen’s Bath:
Roadtrip Around Santiago, Chile
Pull a partner along with you for this getaway so you can split the cost of a car rental and share the breathtaking views of this raw landscape.. You’ll be finding yourself in Chile and touring the collection of spectacular bustling city life, imposing volcanoes and traipsing from one winery to the next (if you’re of that age) along this coastal country. Of course, don’t forget to find your way to one of the beautiful beach (that’s why you packed your bikini, right?). Being a country that literally makes up the western coast of south america, there are tons of places to sneak off and get a good view of the ocean. We’re fantasizing about camping under the stars at La Caleta and touring the Pan De Azucar National Park. It’s a place where desert hits the sea and you can fiesta into the night with fellow travelers and dreamy souls.
Here are some more Chilean beach-stops you need to add to your itinerary.
Green Bowl- Bali
You can’t always put on a bikini and not expect to put in some work. Discover Green Bowl (or Dream Beach) in Bali- a secluded hike-in beach that houses bat caves and some serious surf. Bring a surfboard along with you down the hundreds of concrete steps to the beach and get to mastering these amazing waves.
Discover more hidden beaches in Bali.