Going to Snowboard Camp with Ross Powers
by Lauren Traub Teton
I attended Ross Powers snowboard camp at Belleayre Mountain, in the
Catskill Mountains of NY state on January 31 and Feb. 1 2004. In case you
need a refresher, Ross won the gold medal in halfpipe in the last
Olympics, (Park City) and bronze at the Nagano (first snowboard!)
Olympics. He has a long list of other wins. It was the first time he
brought his successful snowboard camp from Stratton, VT, to NY, and riders
from the NY metro area gave hearty approval to the idea of having a great
Ross Powers Camp Photo
32 campers attended the camp, and they ranged in age from 7 to 47. They
ranged in ability from beginners to competition level. Campers were grouped
by ability and interest. Intermediate and advanced riders spent their time
in Belleayre's halfpipe. And in the park, where we worked on straight air
jumps, hips and spines, and an assortment of rails. Coaches worked our group
on riding switch. And doing 180s over small jumps. And we had a fun run
through steep bumps covered deep in untouched powder. Most of us fell down
there, but it was playful and joyous.
I have found that most campers at the camps I go to have already spent a
bit of time trying tricks. There are always a few who are riding the pipe,
etc., for the first time. But I think it's best to have worked on tricks on
your own or with a coach or friends before going to camp, and then using the
resources of camp to refine your tricks.
Sometimes at camp, I am just not ready or willing to do what the group is
working on. No problem. I'm usually not the only one. It 's better to heed
your intuition, and work on what you need to work on. There's no stigma
involved. Just work on what you're feeling, and steer around the jumps or
rails on your run down if you're not feelin' it.
Ross Powers and Lauren
The camp was produced by Gerry Pallor of RadX Sports, (http://www.radxsports.com/)
and much of the camp was filmed by his group. Campers will be able to buy
the video, which will help them improve by watching what they do right and
wrong as well as provide fond memories of a great weekend. Ross Powers will
show up on tape throwing down his tricks too. This camp was held the weekend
before Ross's big showdown with rider Andy Finch for the Chevy Grand Prix
Finals at Mountain Creek.
This was the 5th snowboard camp I have attended since July, and this one
was right up there at the top of the pack as far as organization,
progression, and FUN! Ross is personable and as well as being a good speaker
who can command the room when he speaks, in a friendly and down to earth
way. On the mountain he spent time with each group. The coaches who worked
with us were helpful and skilled. Dave "Goes Big" Meckes, Avery Jenkins,
Georgia LoPresti and Jamie Rizza from Belleayre's snowboard school led
groups. Jamie Rizza has been teaching at Belleayre for 9 years and was
particularly clear and effective as a teacher at camp. Ross's buddy Carter
Olcott coached us also.
The weather on Sat. was nasty cold, with wind. I spent a little time on
my own at the lodge at the top thawing out. It's always better to leave your
group and go inside than to get frostbite! Snowboard camp is hard work. You
probably spend more time on the hill than you do when you go riding other
times outside of camp. Some days are hard. Hard work, and not seeing
results. The results sometimes show up later. Other days are great, when
your new riding skills and the weather all join forces to bring bliss.
We had orientation the first night, and after Ross introduced himself, he
asked for questions from the group. Everyone was too shy to ask anything.
But this same group was comfortable and loud and happy together by the last
day. A bonus was the delicious camp lunch of baked ziti we had on Sunday.
Gerry and Ross for running a successful and fun camp on their first endeavor
Lauren and Carter Olcott