Last sunday I set out to a local snow hill with shovel in hand and Adam Belnap by my side to document to landing of my first backflip on a snow board. Nevermind that I had yet to land ANY kind of jump with a board attached to my feet, I was jacked full of energy and 100% confident I could do this. I mean, I learned how to a standing backflip in a week in Seattle; how hard could it be to transfer that to a snowboard?
Turns out…pretty freakin hard.
I have thrown myself off cliffs, out of planes, off bridges, roofs, fences…you name it I’ve jumped off it. I have the bruises and battle scars to prove it, but wow…who would’ve thought snow hurt so much?
After my first ten jump attempts (mostly fails) I decided to up the stakes and put some extra pop into the take off – bad decision. I came down flat on my right side with my arm stuck behind me. Riiiiiiiiiip. Fuck…something seemed off in my shoulder. I laid in place for a couple of minutes contemplating the very real possibility that I just messed up not only my shoulder, but the chances of reaching my other physical goals. After a couple of minutes of nervous reflection I realised that god didn’t put a set between my legs for nothing and decided to push on. Gaining some confidence I started throwing in some grabs and a few 180′s and slowly but surely my completion average starting creeping up. It was time to starting uping my “hang time” in final preparation for the flip. Again bad decision. …..Same freakin arm, same freakin sound, same freakin pain, but only 2x’s as bad. There I was again starring at the sky, flat on my back in agonizing pain. That was it, I had to concede to my body. I had too many other things I needed my shoulder for and to be honest, I had two months of surfing ahead of me on the other side of this list. It was time to face the facts…it was either a broken body for one goal or hang tail to save myself for multiple other ones.
After consulting Adam and tallying up the amount of times I had smashed myself into the ground ( We estimated 30 crashes) it was time to call it a day. It all came down to time. If I had a week in waist deep powder I would have jumped until my legs fell off, but as I stood on 4 inches of packed snow, I knew I had to hang this one up for the time being.
It’s now four days later and although I’m saddened by the failed attempt, I don’t think my body could’ve handled much more punishment. I feel ten times worse than I did after my marathon and it’s still hard to lift my head up. At any rate, the days are falling quickly and my time is running short, but were there’s a will….well you know the rest.
* The shots are by my good friend Adam Belnap, a kick ass photographer. He’s making his way out to Nicaragua with me to put his skills to the test in the mighty Pacific. Next time you pick up a surfing mag, don’t be surprised if you see his name under a few pics!!
http://www.williamainsley.com – check his work out!!