Boarders Boards crew hits up Landgraaf!

Posted on Monday 1st August, 2011 Times Viewed: 4367
It was a surreal feeling at 2.30am, driving past the Sno!Zone at MK, glowing purple on the horizon through the darkness. We considered stopping, waiting a few hours, and spending all day riding there. Most people escape in July for some summer sun, but Boarders Boards flipped our cards and instead we drove 400 miles to the world's biggest indoor snow centre in Landgraaf, Holland.

Words: Kaz Willmer
Pictures: Andrew Jay
Road trips always have adventures, and so, as always, the journey was an adventure in itself. Five of us were packed into a small Audi (thanks Callum for driving!), propping up boots and bags, fuelled by Haribo and Red Bull, and faced with the epic road ahead - from the Boarders Boards' HQ in Weedon, 123 miles to Dover. I'd already trekked central London through Friday night rush hour with my board and riding kit, long before our 2am start from Weedon, so delirium set in early. By the time we'd missed our 6am ferry, we'd witnessed a Polish punch-up in a Kent service station, been searched by border police, and nearly lost all our luggage after a slight boot-not-closed-properly issue on the motorway.

But after a brief nap-attempt under a Norfolk Lines stairwell, disrupted by continuous announcements about the cheap deals on Old Speckled Hen, we finally made it to Dunkerque to finish our ride through France, Belgium and Holland to SnowWorld, Landgraaf.
There were 25 of us on the Boarders Boards trip, 20 of whom had arrived before we had, despite leaving after us - something to do with us having to wait two hours for another ferry! SnowWorld at first sight reminded me of Hemel Snow Centre, with a familiar white dome, built into a natural hill. Having heard so much about it, it didn't look so big from the outside, but it was surrounded by a giant wooden building.

As we walked through the building, we were faced by the reception, and a never ending line of bars and restaurants through to the hotel. SnowWorld has its own four star hotel built on, each room with its own character – whether it be split-level rooms, massive murals to snow, or views over Holland. But every room had the unique feature of sliding glass-walled toilets and showers, making room-sharing slightly more interesting with people you don’t know so well – or didn’t know so well before you shared the room!

But having been awake already for a good 34 hours, we decided it was time to get what we’d came for – an immense fix of snow. As the minus five-degree air wiped away the tiredness and delirium, we strapped our boards to our feet and sat on the six-man chairlift for our first runs. That’s when the size of the place truly hit. I’ve never seen a chairlift in an indoor snow slope before, let alone a six-seater. And as you make your way to the top of the 520 metre red slope, you get the full picture – five slopes, including the world’s only official indoor FIS slope, eight lifts, a bar half way down the slope (closed for renovation this weekend, which may have been a good thing for our riding’s sake!), and the world’s largest indoor snow park.

The fun park has several kickers of different sizes (props to Calum Paton and Becky Menday for hitting them!), as well as various Nike 6.0 rails and boxes, and (my favourite feature!) the Nike 6.0 stairset. Every Friday freestyle night you can get four hours in the park, with a DJ, for just 24 euros, which is a pretty sweet deal as it goes! Shout outs go to Calum for busting out the back 7’s on the big kicker, and Becky for her front 5’s (and for convincing me to hit the stairset in the first place!), but it was great to get to ride with such a different group of people, with some awesome new riders.

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After five hours of riding, we came across the all-you-can-eat BBQ next to the slope for a much-needed energy fix and a couple of beverages, before heading back out for more riding action. Not many stayed up long enough to enjoy the bar for too long, considering some of us had topped 40 hours awake, but after an epic night’s sleep and punishing the breakfast bar, we were out again for another eight-hour day on the slopes.

With breaks included (including another BBQ-beasting!) we were on the slopes by 10am and didn’t finish til 11pm. The whole complex had everything you’d ever need without ever needing to leave (I think I counted four bars and three restaurants!), and it wasn’t til the Sunday afternoon that I realised we hadn’t seen the light of day for over 24 hours, and needed some normal fresh air! Sitting on a deck chair, in my snowboarding kit, in the middle of Holland, at the end of a July, was a very strange feeling – but one I’d repeat tomorrow! By midnight, we were all nursing aching limbs with some medicinal beverages, enjoying the continuous repetition of strange Dutch folk music blaring out the front of the building. The waiter said it was impossible to turn off, but it wasn’t long before we were able to forget it was there, and enjoy our last night in Holland.

As we packed into the Boarders Boards vans for the journey home, we finally had a chance to think about everything we’d done in just 48 hours. With little sleep, epic riding, good times and top road trip adventures, all in such a unique location, it was a delirious weekend which passed far too quickly, but one which every single one of us enjoyed. The guys at Boarders Boards had got together such a great group of people, who were all out to ride and enjoy themselves, and there’s not much more you could ask for on a weekend.

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Boarders Boards have recently moved location to bigger shop here is the new address!

Boarders Boards
48-50 High street,
Weedon
Northampton
Northamptonshire
NN7 4GD
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Comments (440)  
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