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Stoked sponsored snowboarder Karlien Abbeel Live from New Zealand

- Pieter-Willem Ots

First timers are just brilliant. Invited to New Zealand by my two favorite winter-chicks Oreli and Claire, I decided to try snowboarding in summertime. We are living in a lovely house in Wanaka, right next to a turquoise glacier lake, surrounded by gorgeous mountains, … not bad at all!

Every day we enjoy a beautiful drive up to the resort, Cardrona. For New Zealand measures, this is a big resort. To our surprise, this ‘ big’ resort only has four chairlifts… The awesomeness of the park though, is not to be underestimated. For sure the most epic park I’ve ridden, Wow! Absolute amazing times with fantastic riding buddies, cheers dudes!!!

The shapers in NZ do more than smoking joints and having a laugh, these guys are on it full time! Take offs are easily shaped five times a day! With an endless variety of boxes, progressive rails and smoothly shaped jumps, there is lots of good times to be had! I made lots of progression on the rails and my favorite new trick on the jumps is a shifty back one. Tweaking that one is like a snowboard-orgasm :)

So what about the powder? We got some freshies and had a great time! We did a few hikes and enjoyed to be surrounded by absolutely stunning views. We were loving it to throw some sweet slashes around, got some lines done and played around on wind-features and little drops. What I experienced wasn’t the knee-deep stuff that we slay apart in Europe, neither did we encounter extremely gnarly stuff… But it was an epic time anyway ! 

Just when things were going so well, it was too good to be true… Disaster strikes: impact-fracture of the tibia plateau (knee), combined with damaged cartilage and stretched ACL. Comes down to three months of recovery, which should get me on full force again by next winter season. I am getting goose bumps if I think about that thousands of squats that are glancing at me in my near future, but well…. No one ever gained anything out of feeling sorry for themself. So that’s me on to the next best thing: roadtrippin’ ! 

And we got a beauty to hit the road with :)

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We ‘ve been exploring the gorgeous Lake Tekapo, relaxed in the hot pools, had an encounter with Maori’s, gazed at the milky way, drove around beautiful countrysides and chilled at beautiful beaches. We enjoyed the wildlife to the maximum with albatrosses, warmly dressed sheep, cute sea lions and a sperm whale of 15 meters! All of that indulged in endless banter… Thanks Oreli and Claire, it was EPIC !!!

 

 

We’ll be going for a quite a few more roadtrips before I’ll be heading back to Belgium. There I am ready to do what injured people do best…. Have a great time partying J see you soon for some drinking madness!

 

Thanks to: Stoked Boardshop, Bataleon, ThirtyTwo, Switchback Bindings, Snowbite and O’neill

And of course also thanks to all my friends, family, fun buddies and mother nature !

 

Pictures by Oreli B Photography

http://orelib.prosite.com