May 30, 2013
by Travis Grant

Trav’s Trippin’ Episode #4: Snowboarding In Summer!

Trav's Trippin' in Europe with Rico Leroy
The latest episode of Trav’s Trippin, in which our intrepid explorer Travis Grant and his trusty sidekick Rico Leroy head up to the Alps to go snowboarding… in Summer…

Straight after the SUP Race Cup awards ceremony was done, Rico, Alain and myself jumped in the car and headed for the Alps.

Alain has a place up there and we’d heard there was a fresh batch of snow coming. Yes, it’s officially Summer in two days and it’s still snowing in the alps… crazy! Pretty unheard of this time of the year so obviously we had to check it out!

Monday morning we woke up to a fresh batch of snow and decided to go mountaineering. Never heard of mountaineering, but it’s basically cross-country skiing up a mountain. You put these special skins on the bottom of your skis, hike straight up to the top and then ski back down.

So I went from the top of the podium on Sunday to the top of the Alps on Moday haha.

Summer snow in the Alps

Here’s a cool shot I found that shows just how much snow is still left on the alps this year. Crazy!

I borrowed this special snowboard that splits in half and turns into skis (pretty cool little invention!). So we hiked our way up to the top of this mountain, which was covered in fresh snow, drank some champagne at the top and then I put the snowboard together and rode back down to the bottom.

The view from the top was mind blowing. It was a beautiful day and there wasn’t a single other person on the mountain. Amazing experience. This is the last week in May, it’s June next week… summer… and we’re snowboarding on fresh snow. How cool is that!

I’d never heard of mountaineering before this week but it’s pretty fun (I might not be a mountain man but I love mountin’ women!).

Trav's Trippin' at mountaineering

Mountaineering… no ski lifts here! That’s Rico on the left, and me and my two-piece snowboard on the right

Trav's Trippin' in the Alps

View from the top was mind blowing! And of course we had to celebrate with some champagne!!

Trav's Trippin' at snowboarding

So yeah, that whole day was unbelievable…

Tuesday the snow turned into rain so we headed off the mountain and decided to try our hand at taekwondo. Not sure why but it seemed like a good idea at the time… Until I realised that one minute of taekwondo is equal to a 20km SUP race.

Totally exhausted… But you can see from the pics we had some fun! Flying kicks and all haha.

Trav's Trippin' with Taekwondo

Me and Rico after our Taekwondo session. Flogged…

Trav's Trippin' with a flying kick

Living out my childhood Street Fighter dreams haha

Apart from that I’ve been getting totally spoilt with French cuisine. Eating really local, like the French do. The amount of cheeses and cured hams has been unreal, then we finish every meal with a dessert. Could get used to this country!

On Wednesday morning we started our road trip up to Germany for this weekend’s big Lost Mills event. Along the way we stopped in Switzerland and visited the guys from SpiderTech, who make these special kinesiology recovery tapes. Robert from SpiderTech paid for a foot specialist to check out my feet. I get really sore feet after one or two hours of paddling, I just thought it was something with my feet but I’ve found out a lot of people have the same problem.

So we tried to see if there was a special tape or brace we could use to fix the problem and stop my feet getting sore/going numb on my long paddles. We tried a bunch of stuff to see if it works, if it’s all good then SpiderTech will release it for everyone. Hope it does, coz I’m doing Molokai this year so I’d like to fix the problem before I paddle across the Ka’iwi Channel for five hours!

Arrived in Germany wednesday night. Still not quite the summer I was expecting, pretty rainy, but the event itself is unreal. Probably the best setup and one of the most well organised SUP races I’ve ever seen. The place is epic, we’ve got a really nice hotel next to the lake that we’re all staying in, and the event organisers have put up this giant beer tent beside the finish line. Kinda reminds me of a mini oktoberfest, but with a few SUP races on the side! The Germans definitely have their priorities in order…

Today it’s Thursday morning and the first races are about to start. There’s gonna be a whole bunch of events – sprints, knockouts, short distance, long distance. Should be fun! I’m not a flat water guy but feeling pretty good so we’ll see how it all goes.

So yeah, check back after the weekend and I’ll give you a full Lost Mills recap!

Big thanks as always to my main sponsor NSP, wouldn’t be having these fun adventures (or winning races!) without their support. And huge thanks to Alain Teurquetil for basically organising everything here in France, couldn’t have done it without ya! And also to my NSP team mate Rico Leroy for always being up for an adventure!!

– Trav

MORE >>>

Trav’s Trippin’ Episode #1: Welcome To Trav’s Trippin’
Trav’s Trippin’ Episode #2: Downwind Time In Biarritz
Trav’s Trippin’ Episode #3: I Won The SUP Race Cup… Pumped!


European SUP Racing Tour presented by NSP