It’s the last week of the 2016 winter season in New Zealand’s South Island. SnowHQ has been at Cardrona Alpine Resort covering the Junior Ski and Snowboard Nationals and discovers why this is a such a special and important place on the global snow stage.
Junior Nationals 2016 - Ski Cross
Whilst spring is in full bloom as I write this in a t-shirt in the afternoon spring down in Arrowtown, Cardrona is currently playing a huge role in the global snow sports industry. This week 250 of New Zealand’s best and brightest young skiers and snowboarders compete across a range of disciplines for individual snowboard and ski glory. Our national body, Snow Sports NZ are here in full force looking for the talent that will come behind the Wells brothers and others to take over the mantel on the global freestyle and big mountain stages in the years to come.
Junior Nationals Slopestyle Girls Intermediate
Cardrona officially closes on Sunday October 9th. However, the next two weeks will see 200 plus of the world’s elite freestyle skiers and snowboarders arrive for spring camp. The Olympic size super pipe and terrain parks will be groomed to perfection as the world’s best prepare for the upcoming Northern Hemisphere winter and the next Winter Olympics – to be held in Korea in early 2018.
New Zealand is becoming a huge attraction for the elite in global snow sports and we are more than holding our own on that stage. As “elder statesman” Jossi Wells still holds global status. Younger brother Jackson is fast becoming the next big thing on the world freestyle stage. And as I watch the primary and intermediate school divisions strutting their stuff in “Cardrona’s Lil Bucks Terrain Park”, wearing their X Games style competition bibs and dreaming big the future looks bright. Very bright indeed.
NZ's freestyle future is looking very bright
October is an unusual month. For most of us, skis are hung up, shorts are out and mountain bikes and water craft pulled out of winter storage. At Cardrona the spring sunshine beats down, ski tans glow and the world turns to Cardrona for the best snow on earth.