I’ve been snowboarding for most of my life.
It all started, because I had to snowboard. I did not even want to at the beginning, since I was a declared skier, but the ski resort I worked in was unlike any other you’ve probably seen.
Deep in the heart of Drakensberg mountain range in the middle of South Afrcia, on the boarder of Lesotho. The place was called Tiffindell and was the only ski resort in South Africa. I started working there in 1996 as a ski instructor. As part of our instructor training, which happened almost every day in the morning, once a week skiers had to take snowboard classes and vice-versa.
By the end of the season, I felt quite comfortably on a snowboard and actually bought my first board. Next year i returned as a ski and snowboard instructor. Tiffindell was not only a great place to work and play (and we played hard), but a great chance to meet instructors from all over the world. Almost all of the instructors were foreigners mainly from Austria, Switzerland, Canada, Slovakia, Scotland, France and other countries.
We had direct exposure to different teaching methods and training programs and could chose the best practices out of an array of options. I always enjoyed thinking outside the box and that worked miracles for broadening of our horizons. I worked at Tiffindell Ski Resort for total of 5 seasons, between 1996 and 2007.
I also did a bit of snowboard racing. For a few years I took part in FIS competitions, representing South Africa. I did start racing quite late in my life – I was 30 when I took part in my first FIS race. So never expected to be the next Sigi Grabner, but diid my best. It was a great 3 years – each year I’ve spend on snow more than 200 days.
While representing South Africa I had the opportunity to attend FIS camps. These camps are organized by FIS for the developing nations and give them opportunities to train with to coaches.
Now and then I do take part in races. In the 2011/2012 season I’ve placed 2nd in the Open Category in Polish Snowboard Championships in Parallel Giant Slalom.
I’m a certified Snowboard and Ski Instructor by Polish Ministry of Sport and Education. I’m also doing a postgraduate diploma in Snowboard coaching at Krakow’s Academy of Physical Education.
Here are some videos of me riding.