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Jay Hebblethwaite Blog Mar/April 23

Jay Hebblethwaite Blog Mar/April 23

Georgina Clark |

My first Europa Cup Premium was an experience. There were four of us competing with our coach, Bobby, we all travelled to Laax, Switzerland for this event. A World Cup slopestyle competition was hosted in Laax earlier this season, so the course was sure to be in prime condition. We did several days training before the competition started.

In a slopestyle run Judges love to see you spinning in all different directions (left, right, switch left and right). After landing several left-side double cork 1080s in training, I wanted to link this with my right-side double corks for my run, a trick I haven’t done in over a year. After several runs getting mind ready, I sent it. I came up short on the jump, under-rotating the spin and landing flat on my side on the knuckle. I also hit my head pretty hard in the process. Luckily, I wasn’t knocked out and skied to the second knuckle where my friend was standing. We went back up the lift to talk to my coach. On the lift up I felt very strange and talking to my coach at the top I realised I had a gap in my memory from just before the crash. With a suspected concussion and only two days before the Europa Cup started, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to compete.

I took a day off the next day to rest and the following day I went up the mountain and did some light skiing, doing a few small rails and jumps to see how I felt. That evening I had a call with a Physio, we went through the SCAT test, a series of questions and exercises that help gauge whether an athlete is concussed. I felt fine and the Physio advised me that I wasn’t concussed and could compete without added risk. A big thank you to the team at Ski Exchange who sorted me out with an Oakley mod 1 mips snow helmet just before this trip, which saved me from a more serious injury. I then talked to my coach and we created a plan for the following day of competition.

On competition day all riders only had 1 hour on the course before qualification started. This meant we had to get used to the course and do all our tricks in about 5 runs. Practice went extremely well for me. On my second run of the day on the course I got redemption on the right double cork that I crashed hard on only a few days prior. I went into run 1 of 2 confident but I crashed again on the same trick. I had only one attempt left to put a run down. I did one of the best runs of my life, landing all my tricks! It’s an amazing feeling when everything goes right, I was buzzing for the rest of the day. It’s the reason why I love the sport so much and has made me hyped for more competitions to come.

Jay h blog

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