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Katie Blundell back in Europe!

Tignes Spirit rider Katie Blundell has just landed back on British shores after another highly successful winter season in Perisher, Australia. We checked in with her to find out everything from taking on some of the southern hemisphere's most challenging competitors, dealing with competition nerves, and her dreams of owning a pet elephant!

Words: Katie Blundell

Photos: Bruce Lerman 


How did the season in Perisher compare to your previous winters there? 

As it was our second year there, I think we just made better friends with everyone and became more involved with the scene out there, which meant we had a lot more fun riding. We rode a lot with a crew called BHK (Bucket Hat Krew) which was awesome! They liked filming too and we got involved in a few of their projects. Riding with them everyday really made my season... they were heaps of fun! Kinda flattered that they let me join in as the only girl, so thank you BHK!

I also snowboarded for Perisher Media, riding for the daily snow reports. That was fun with some interesting themed days…puppets/80s/Denim!!


Which competitions did you get involved in?

I did the whole of the Perisher Slopestyle Night Series. It was made up of three events and then an overall placing at the end. I also did the Thredbo Freeride Series-Slopestyle, which was a TTR event. I would say that Australian comps feel a lot more laid back and relaxed than American and European ones, but this didn't stop me still absolutely sh****g myself! I really loved hanging out with all the Australian (plus one American) girls and riding with them as they were all so lovely. I actually got to shred with one of girls I had really idolised from afar so that was pretty cool. I'd give anything to ride like her!


How does snowboarding in Australia compare to riding in Europe?

It's very different and seems less serious. You ride in bigger crews because everyone knows everyone and it rains A LOT. The snow is slushy but there's also some epic powder days with random jibbing in amongst the gum trees.  The runs are shorter and mellower, the punters are craaaazzzy, the parks are sick and the vibe is generally fun and laid back. I like the way that Australians are always happy and positive!


Since your last interview, you came 2nd in both the Slopestyle and the Big Air at this year's Brits in Laax. What do you aim to improve for next year?

Yeah I was really stoked with those results... very, very happy!!! Guess I've been working on a few things since then and trying to improve my snowboarding in general! Jumping is an area I need to work on a lot, as well as jibbing.. and technique.. and style.. and consistency.. and competition nerves.. and big mountain riding.. and street riding. The list goes on!!


What do you enjoy about competing?

To be honest, the best part about competing is when it's all over! Then I think, "ah that wasn't so bad, I quite like comps", but I just get so nervous during them. I'll get the shakes, be on the verge of vomiting, have cold sweats all the way through and have no idea why. I'm not very competitive with others at all, but I am concerned about doing the best that I can.  It worries me that I might look stupid in front of everyone but meeting all the other girls at the comps and getting to know them better more than makes up for it!


You spent last winter in Tahoe.. did you get chance to make the most of all the fresh snow they had?

It was a little frustrating actually as we lived on a bad road and had a crappy car so when it snowed we couldn't go anywhere! The huge dumps of snow meant that setting up street spots was easy, which I LOVE!!!!! This is definitely one of the areas where I want to push myself this season if I can. The parks in Tahoe are literally AMAZING.. So sick! Although this year it was hard to keep them maintained with all the snow, but I still believe them to be the best parks in the world.

BHK, Perisher
BHK, Perisher

Do you think that riding with guys makes you improve? 

Yes for sure. I quite like quick laps and being pushed and find that girls push you in different ways to boys. The guys I ride with have some crazy tricks, some of which I find unobtainable, but if I see a girl doing it, then there's no limits!


With all these back to back winters, do you ever miss the beach?

It has been 3 years since I had a summer. Back to back seasons are awesome and I feel really lucky, but I am a bit of a sun worshiper. I love beaches, the smell of the sea, summer clothes, sun tans and the summer vibe in general. So I just needed a fix to set me up for the next winter. I've just had five days with the girls in Majorca and it was just what I needed to prepare for the snow! Nothing much to report from the holiday really as it was pretty mellow. We had one night out, the details of which I should probably not share. Let's just say I am never drinking Sangria again!


What's in the pipeline for the coming season?

I'll be heading to Tignes at the start of the season for a team trip with Ride Snowboards. It's to celebrate the launch of the Ride Demo Chalet in Bourg-st-Maurice called Loft Bourg. Must say I can't wait to hang out with the Tignes Spirit/Dalikfodda crew and do apres at the Loop Bar.  Lynsey Ashdown is now with baby bump, so me and miss Helen Fox will be representing for the Ride girls!!!

Lots of other exciting things are also planned... I'm going to hang around in Europe until February, try my hand at a couple of the Euro comps, then head Stateside in Feb. Breckenridge, Park City, Northstar and Bear. Lots of road tripping and exploring new places! One very exciting thing is I have a new sponsor……. O'Neill! So stoked! So I would like to try and do some cool things with them this season.


What will you be doing five years from now?

I would like to be rich and famous, have a pet elephant in my garden, have grown at least 5 inches and have gone to the moon! Honestly, I would love to still be doing what I'm doing now. I will keep snowboarding until my body will let me, then after that, I would love somebody nice to give me a super cool rad job in the industry somewhere!


Anything else you'd like to tell us?

I have a little blog now, so if your ever bored, go check it out. It's just somewhere to update things about my travels. So far I think my mum is my only fan!


Cheers Katie! Best of luck for the coming season and look forward to shredding with you in Tignes!