Snow in Africa – Xperia Winter Whip at Afriski

Two weekends ago saw Africa’s top snowboarders and skiers compete in the 2015 Xperia Winter Whip Snowboard and Ski Jam. The event took part on Saturday, 15 August 2015 at the Afriski Mountain Resort in Lesotho, and welcomed athletes from around South Africa and Lesotho, as well as a further 9 international riders from Canada, New Zealand and Slovenia.

The Resort’s Kapoko Park was pristinely groomed and prepared over a number of weeks, in order to provide the competitors with a top-class slopestyle course to lay down their best tricks and vie for a podium position.

The Amateur division was the largest and most competitive of the day, with judges giving progression precedence throughout the day. David Copperfeel, a local rider from the Wits Ski Club put down some impressive runs and finished in 3rd place. Jason Lammers looked good to defend his 2014 title, including some steezy transfers and good amplitude in his runs, but it wasn’t enough to beat the scale and progression from Sean Irwin who claimed victory, leaving Lammers to settle for 2nd place.

JTK returned for another competition year and dominated in the Ski division taking the win convincingly with a variety of big airs, switch backflips, 360’s and a frontflip over the final feature of the course – the Ugandan Stall Rail. Slovenian skiers, Patrick Matula and Karol Hierweg put on a big battle for 2nd place with Matula claiming it in the end and Hierweg taking home 3rd.

Among the cash and product prizes, Amateur Snowboarder and Ski division winners, Sean Irwin and JTK both also took home Xperia M4 Aqua phones.

The only entrant into this year’s Junior division was 10 year old, Erin Nel, who also insisted on riding with the Ladies division in their jam session. Nel didn’t hold anything back, hitting all of the course’s big kickers and technical rail sections, taking the Junior division win. More impressive is that Nel’s overall score would have put her into 3rd place in the Ladies division – a serious future contender in ladies snowboarding.

In the Ladies division, Vanessa Jackson showed consistency in her runs throwing down a solid 180 switch 50-50 to 180 out on the flatbox to finish in 3rd position. Slovenian Martina Molnarova had solid rails, cab 180’s and switch rails featured in her runs to put her in 2nd place. Mawa Jekot was again unbeatable and defended her 2014 title with cab 360’s, frontside 360’s and steezy rails. Jekot’s 1st place also saw her win one of two Club Med prizes consisting of an all-inclusive snow holiday for two to Club Med Val Thorens in France.

The Pro Men division was the last on course for the day, never disappointing with some extremely impressive riding from all the competitors. A very close battle took place between Luke Dutton and Dean van Greunen. Dutton threw down 360’s and front lips over the kickers and a big 360 over the rainbow rail. Van Greunen had Backside 540’s on lock and solid rail riding, but it was van Greunen’s use of course and hitting all the features, that counted in his favour as he edged out Dutton for 2nd place. Canada’s Liam Roy was dominant with his technical rail riding, switch frontside’s, backflips and 360’s to take the overall. Being the top South African finisher, van Greunen took home the second Club Med prize for an all-inclusive snow holiday for two to Club Med Val Thorens.

Xperia Winter Whip organiser, Ryan van der Spuy said, “This year’s event was a huge feat and we cannot thank all those involved enough – from the athletes who continue to share their passion for the sport, judges who gave their time to score each run, the media who have helped spread the word, the medics onsite, Kapoko Park parkies and Afriski Resort who provided us with a top grade course and facilities, the spectators and our incredible sponsors. We have received such great support from our sponsors this year; Sony Mobile, Club Med, Red Bull, Skullcandy, Neff, Jägermeister, G-Form and Burton, all of whom helped to make the 2015 Xperia Winter Whip a great success”.

Celebrations went on late into the night at the Gondola Café with resident DJ Black Sparrow and a live performance from SDO.

2015 Xperia Winter Whip Results

1st Sean Irwin
2nd Jason Lammers
3rd Wesley Schallen

1st JTK
2nd Patrick Matula
3rd Karol Hierweg

1st Erin Nel

1st Mawa Jekot
2nd Martina Molnarva
3rd Vanessa Jackson

Pro Men:
1st Liam Roy
2nd Dean van Greunen
3rd Luke Dutton

The Winter Whip Snowboard contest at Afriski – presented by LW Mag

This is the first time in over 10 years that I have missed the annual snowboard contest in South Africa. I am pretty damn bleak about it, especially watching the video and realising what a great weekend the boys and gals had. People are always amazed when I talk about snowboarding in Africa, but the bottom line is that if you wanna ride a fun park, you don’t need to travel abroad! Even world famous web boarder and pro, Marko Grilc, was impressed, just see his video below the comp one.

Juniors 1 – Eduan Enslin
Amateur 1 – Jason Lammers 2 – Graham Sepata 3 – Wesley SchallenOpen
Ladies 1 – Mawa Jekot 2 – Vanessa Jackson 3 – Tamara SusaOpen
Men 1 – Andrew Le Roux 2 – Luke Dutton 3 – Dean van Greunen
Ski 1 – JTK 2 – Augusto Risso 3 – Alexander Travers

Snow in Africa feels Backwards – A Quiksnow Interpretation…

It does feel like we are doing it all backwards sometimes here in Lesotho. Most people would never believe there is a Resort for snow in Southern Africa, never mind a fully fledged and competitive Park. But the truth of the matter is, there are! Here is a really cool little video by my man Lebogang of this year’s SA Snowboard Champs…

South Africa Quik Snow Slope style 2013 championships from lebogang rasethaba on Vimeo.

Quiksnow 2013 – A decade of mayhem ends!

As I sit here, I cant but help feel a little sad. Quiksnow is over, its done. Not just for this year, but forever…

Having said that I will tell you the event went out with a bang! Celebrating a decade of Quiksnow (I have not missed one), everyone went hard from night 1 with Jack Parow playing and the mountain staff going bonkers. Two days of solid riding and ending off with the City Bowl Mizers playing to a wild snow crew. Livers were abused, the bar was punished, emotions ran wild, the riding was insane and the promo trolls were the official side show… (In joke…)

Now I sit here and wonder where to now? We have been promised more events next year, but none quite as big as Quiksnow. We have the crew and riders, we have the magnificent Kapoko Park and we got snow thanks to Afriski. Anyone keen on sponsoring the best riding party of the year?

Quiksnow 2013 from Quiksilver South Africa on Vimeo.

Quiksnow 2013 Teaser

WOW, 10 years of Quiksnow this year and the event is being hyped through the roof by main sponsor Quiksilver. Bands, DJ’s and masses of prizes and product for the loyal snowboarding community of South Africa. I am heading to Afriski for a week just to warm up for this massive event! Check out the teaser video and good luck trying to get accommodation for the event – it is sold out!

Burton Park Jam Tour 2013 at Kings Cup

I was pretty sad to miss this event, due to Jbay, but it looks like the crew got on with it in my absence and threw down an insane event. Snowboarding in South Africa is all about a passion for the sport and the crew always have a good time! Check out the videos from the event as well as results below:

Junior boys
1. Chad Laybourn
2. Graham Sepatla
3. Ethan Tereblanche
Junior Girls
1. Abi Clare O’Donnel
2. Erin Nel
Amateur Men’s
1. Dave Phillips
2. Nick Amoretti
3. Dean Stephenson
Womans Open division
1. Mawa Jekot
2. Vanessa Jackson
3. Veronica Serdult
Pro Men’s
1. Andrew Le Roux
2. Luke Dutton
3. Rueben Storbeck
Freestye Skiing Open Division
1. Bradley Stephenson
2. Janko Krivan
3. Linze Veenstra

Epic Snowboard POV of Tahoe Park Run

Meet Pro Snowboarder Tim Humphreys. Known online for his great Gopro selfies shot all over the USA over the winter season. With our winter steadily approaching and the forecast for an epic snowfall, I thought this would be a good way to amp you all up for the season at Afriski. Worth noting that almost every obstacle and jib you see in this video is available in the Afriski Park. The run is not as long, but you can definitely have a good time!