Get SuperRad this summer

Posted on Friday 27th April, 2012 Times Viewed: 3567
This summer is the time to not just get rad, but SuperRad. Winter withdrawal symptoms have already kicked in, made worse by the photos sweeping our newsfeeds of massive April alpine dumps.

But thanks to two of the top names in British snowboarding, we don’t need to wait another 8 months for our next fix, because this summer it’s all about getting SuperRad at shredding.

Words- Kaz Willmer
SuperRad is the brainchild of two top BASI coaches – Lewis Sonvico and James Sweet – who will be taking riders to their next level in snowboarding this summer.

With just 12 riders per camp (6 per coach), everyone’s progression will be off the scale – whether you’re looking to nail your first 180, or just go bigger than you’ve ever gone before – and you’ll be having fun while you’re at it.

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Based in their home lair of the immense Tignes, Lewis and James are bringing a new era of snow camps to the Alps this summer – and with places filling fast, now’s the time to get involved.

But as the countdown begins to a SuperRad summer, we thought we’d catch up with the names behind SuperRad, to prove to you just how rad these guys are.

With Westbeach behind them all the way, and a massive park set-up in the Tignes pipeline already, we think you should get in the mix with SuperRad camps before it’s too late. Camps run in June and July, so check out GetSuperRad.com to find out the best camp for you and how to get involved.

Til then, we introduce to you the UK snow legends who are SuperRad to tell you more about what makes SuperRad so much better than anything else you could be doing this summer.

Lewis Sonvico

Kaz: What's the story behind SuperRad?
SuperRad at its least is a new coaching company. It is about snowboarding for the love of what it really is! Being able to shred your board where ever you want to go in the style you want to ride, whether it be freestyle, in the back country or shred-carving. We believe in the importance of understanding snowboarding from a technical side and then adding in your own personal zest.

Kaz: Who are the faces behind SuperRad? 
James Sweet and Lewis Sonvico are SuperRad! Some of the highest qualified instructors and coaches out there. From coaching young up and comers, to snowboard teams. We snowboard for the love of snowboarding, flying around a mountain on a plank of wood and want to pass it on to others. Have a look at their profiles on the site to find out a little more about us.

Kaz: Describe your SuperRad copilot to us.
My copilot is a plank of wood with a few straps. Some edges and tech would be nice but i take what i can get!

Kaz: What makes your camps different from others? 
We believe in a strong technical understanding of riding a board. Our summer camps are about shredding. From the firmer snow in the mornings to the slushy afternoons, shred it all. It’s not about being cool, although it helps, it’s about have fun. Being able to control your board with whatever is thrown infront of you and to have a smile on your face whilst doing it. We have a strong freestyle basis on our summer camps, being able to jib around, ride park, shred-carve, all from the technical elements we will teach you. but the summers not just about riding, we will be doing tons of activities in the afternoons to help you with your snowboarding and just to generally have a laugh. At the end of the day, you’re not snowboarding unless you’re enjoying it!

Kaz: What makes riding on camps better than going away with a bunch of mates?
Riding on a SuperRad camp is pretty similar to riding with your mates, because we all know they are some of the best times. But you get that something extra. Someone watching you and helping you out, giving advice, feedback, videoing, knowing where will be best and whats going to be best to ride. It doesn't matter how good you are, hitting your first kicker or throwing doubles, everyone needs help alongthe way! Imagine one of the best days up the hill, throw in a little zest and progression that you can really see and feel....bada-bing-bada-boom. There's no better feeling than getting a little lower in your carve or a new trick in the park.

Kaz: Why Tignes?
Tignes used to be the mecca of summer shredding and its making a come back. The choice of terrain is amazing, the parks are awesome (with a park crew willing to work with us) and the town itself is insane. There is so much to do on and off the hill and allot quieter than most summer shred zones. Why not is the question.

Kaz: How important is location to being a better snowboarder?
I think location is important to progression, being able to ride the terrain that's going to allow you to improve. It takes away, the element of thinking about where you are actually riding, giving people less to think about. If you are on the right terrain so you can concentrate more on the riding. It then allows to you progress to the point of, it not mattering what terrain is in front of you, you can look down the hill and just see a playground.

Kaz: What can riders expect on a day on Super Rad camp?
A general day with SuperRad in 3 words....Stoke...Progression....Rad! Normally, we will be heading up to the glacier at early doors to go snowboarding. Ride as much as we can fit in, specifically concentrating on certain aspects each day. The snowboarding is the main part of our summer camps, but not all of it. Come down the hill for a well deserved lunch and activities in the afternoons. There's tons to do it Tignes off the hill and we have our own little treats in store on top, to help you progress in your snowboarding without even being strapped in.  It’s all about learning, progressing and just generally having an awesome time! Followed by some amazing food from the guys looking after you at the chalet. Have a little look at the chalet at www.hundredhills.com.

Kaz: What can riders expect to take away from a week with Super Rad?
Throughout the week we will be going through the techniques of how to control your board, balance, how to read the mountain...the list goes on. After a week on our summer camp, you will be going away with some new ideas, new creativity, new techniques, new tricks, new ways of thinking about snowboarding, it's not just getting from A to B, it's how you get there. Not to mention new friends, new experiences....the list is endless. Just be prepared to have some of the best times you can have.

Kaz: Where would you like super rad to be in 5 years?
In 5 years....I have no idea. I have new ideas constantly, some good, some not so good. We enjoy what we do and want to pass this on to others that have the bug. We want to build SuperRad to the most it can be, keep progressing in our own riding, our knowledge, our ability to pass it all on and we can see where we can take it. It’s the same as snowboarding, the sport itself is constantly progressing and shows no signs of stopping, that's what SuperRad is about.

Kaz: Tell us about your coaching background.
I started snowboarding about 6 years ago, as soon as i did, it literally took over my life, riding dryslope and snowdomes when I'm back in the UK and doing my first winter season as soon as i finished school, started with BASI qualifications (British Association of Snowsport Instructors). Since then, I have worked as an instructor and coach throughout the winters for a few companies, moving around a little bit between resorts and teaching a huge variety from first time lessons, weeklong freestyle camps and some people I coach on a longer term, more permanent basis. I love to teach and pass on what I know to those who want to hear it.
  
Kaz: You're an extremely qualified coach - will super rad be a hybrid of things you've learnt over the years, or something more?
Yeah, The coaching will link everything we've both learnt over the years from other riders, instructors and coaches. Along with our own view on things. I'm a bit of a tech geek when it comes to snowboarding and want everything to be perfect in my own riding, As lame it sounds, I spend allot of time thinking how to ride my board better, trying to work out new things and new feelings.

Kaz: Have you ever met someone you found uncoachable or is everyone able to be taught?
  Obviously there are things that make it easier but from my experience, everyone is coachable. It is up to the coach to be able to coach them. People learn in different ways and at different speeds and as a coach you have to adapt to that. For the SuperRad camps, we are looking for people who are physically fit who have an open mind, willing learn and be pushed out of their comfort zones.

Kaz: What kind of riding do you prefer - sunshine park day or powder day?
Powder day any day!No questions. Park is amazing fun and I've had some rad days spent in the park, but you can ride the mountain in the same way you ride the park, you just have to be a bit more creative to find the lines. You can still jump off and over things, ride on things, just natural features. If there's snow to be had, i won't be anywhere near the park.

Kaz: It's a free bar - what do you drink?
 I'm partial to some red wine and Guinness, but if it’s a free bar........

Kaz: How well do you ride with a hangover?
  Pretty well actually! I find, for some reason, it lets me focus on what I'm riding and can zone everything else out, as long as it’s not too often. The lifts are the dangerous part!

Kaz: How important is video analysis to coaching? 
  Turbo! It lets you see what is going on in your riding. You can relate the feelings you get when you’re riding to how it actually looks. Especially at higher levels it's super important and really works. I learn allot from watching back my footage after a day’s filming with friends.

Kaz: How stoked do you get watching the people you coach progress?
It’s crazy, that is why I love coaching, especially the longer term coaching. It’s a vicious cycle, I'm stoked to be up a hill on my board, they get stoked off my stoke which helps progression, I get stoked off their progression and it carrys on. Pretty cool though.

Kaz: Do you think the rail-dominated UK freestyle scene makes a good platform for Brits to enter the Euro competitions?
The kids in the UK are killing on the rails, it’s amazing to see and of course it gives a good base to progress from, better to be on a board than not at all. The problem is, domes are not difficult to ride so when dome riders come out to the mountains it’s like starting again, but the progression can be quick. I have alot of time for dryslope, you have to be a good technical rider to ride dryslope properly and so when you get to the mountains it's way easier. The more time spent in the mountains the better, especially if you want to ride at a European comp level.

Kaz: What's the earliest age you think someone should strap onto a snowboard?
There's always been difference of opinion in this. I think it is generally a good idea to ski first, you can ski as soon as you can walk but I would wait a little longer until you try snowboarding. You don't want your kid to hate snowboarding so wait till they want to try it. Learning to ski first lets them understand the mountain a little better and how edge control etc works and so makes the learning curve way quicker on to a board. I've taught a little girl who was 3 years old (nearly 4) before and at the end of a week she was following me down blue runs, it was amazing! She didn't want to ride with her parents after that though.

Kaz: Who would you most like to see in a 1-on-1 jib-off competition?
Don't know really. I love seeing people ride when they just feed off each other. Some of the best things I've seen have been up the hill with mates, all pushing each other. But if I had to choose, Halldor Helgasson and Nima Jalali, that would be pretty cool to see.

Kaz: Favourite snowboard competition?
Any comp where the riders are having fun. I hate seeing people take things too seriously. Obviously there's people out there that make a living off progressing the sport and so they have to be super competitive but I don't enjoy watching it. When people mess up and end up punching the floor, fair enough you’re angry, but dust it off, you still make a living off snowboarding! Super Natural this year was pretty insane to see, really cool idea and to see it go down how it did.

Kaz: Proudest achievement in snowboarding as a coach?
I really don't know. As I said I get super stoked of seeing people progress, but most recently I have been spending time coaching Mr Jake Binnee who's been coming out to Morzine. First European comp he got 2nd place, was super stoked for him, he deserved it. Keep an eye on this kid, he's come on a long way this year, spending some real time in the mountains, really cool to see.

Kaz: It's a powder day, which rider would you love to shred with?
  Just go shredding with some good mates, including other SuperRad man James. Love riding with him, we feed off each other with tricks, lines and styles. Wouldn't mind if Nicolas Muller tagged along though. That would be insane!

Kaz: Most fun rider to hit Tignes with?
I've spent a bit of time that way this year, been some real rad times. There's a good crew over there, too hard to pick just the one.
  

Kaz: Favourite park feature?
A nice floaty kicker with a long landing, deep and bolts!

Kaz: Favourite park trick?
My favourite at the moment has to be BS 540 late method, I've got a thing for counter-rotation at the moment...Told you I get a bit geeky.

Kaz: Is there a trick you absolutely hate seeing? 
Grabs that aren't real grabs, especially "methods" that are just pulled up behind you like the 'hello sailor' joke.

Kaz: Favourite snowboard video of all time?
Shoot the moon blew my mind, those guys are amazing, but I never get bored of Afterlame.

Kaz: What's the most important aspect of snowboarding to grasp to progress to competition level?
Competition level is a pretty broad term, but to be good at snowboarding, it is about having ultimate control of your board. Being able to have a variety of techniques and be adaptable so that you can shred top of your game in any condition.

Kaz: What are your interests outside of snowboarding? 
I am definitely a board person, I love flying around on my longboard, maybe you'll find me at the skatepark or at the closest break trying to surf. I'm definitely not any good at this stuff but it’s too much fun to give up trying. I'm quite into filming and taking photos and just going exploring. I can't sit still for very long and my mind wonders alot so I have to keep myself busy. It’s not a bad way to be, you see alot more.  

Kaz: Shoutouts?
Just want to give a little HOLLA to my sponsors that have been helping me out with riding, http://doodah.ch/ www.artecsnowboards.com www.moogroyale.com, www.forboardersbyboarders.net Also to everyone that has helped us out along the way, I've met a lot of awesome people and made some amazing friends. Also to people that have helped set up SuperRad, couldn't of done it without you, especially Mark Etherington who designed our website, check his page at www.nomoredull.com.
Lets get SuperRad!

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James Sweet

Kaz: What's the story behind super rad? 
We just want to help people shred their snowboards, in the most simple and effective learning situation!

Kaz: Who are the faces behind super rad? 
Myself and Lewis Sonvico

Kaz: Describe your super rad copilot to us.
Lewis is an amazing snowboarder, super fun to hang out with and a total geek!

Kaz: What makes your camps different from others? 
We are focused on fun and progression, we aren't too serious but we are very good at what we do. Our aim is to give the best coaching, whilst having rad accomodation and super nice food....... no bunkbeds or junk food here!

Kaz: What makes riding on camps better than going away with a bunch of mates?
Being on a camp is kinda like riding with your mate's and its a cool place to meet new people..... plus your learning is on fast forward!

Kaz: Why Tignes?
Tignes is cool, and it is a fun shred area and has a small, quiet snowpark. We rode there a lot in the autumn and it was so much fun! 

Kaz: How important is location to being a better snowboarder?
Well, you gotta have the terrain you need for progressing your riding, you wouldn't go to La Grave to ride rails..... hehe!

Kaz: What can riders expect on a day on Super Rad camp?
PURE 100% RAD FUN......oh yeah, and some focused coaching sessions, trampolining, video reviews, mountain biking, skateboarding, lake watersliding amongst a lot more!

Kaz: What can riders expect to take away from a week with Super Rad?
They will leave a well rounded, solid riding style, new knowledge and a big smile!

Kaz: Where would you like super rad to be in 5 years?
World domination or something....

Kaz: Tell us about your coaching background.
I started out doing some Kommunity summer camps, teaching freestyle.... I decided start on the path of snowboard instructor, and now I am coaching on such things as the Animal Snowcamps, and the royal Navy snowboard team. I also coach surfing and skateboarding, and we help run programs for kids in my local community. 

Kaz: You're an extremely qualified coach - will super rad be a hybrid of things you've learnt over the years, or something more?
Of course experience is a valuble tool in coaching, but myself and Lewis love taking ideas and exploring them, no matter how subtle it could be....if its rad then this is what we are going to be giving to SuperRad Campers!

Kaz: Have you ever met someone you found uncoachable or is everyone able to be taught?
Everyone has their own way of riding and learning.... a good coach will tune in quite quickly!

Kaz: What kind of riding do you prefer - sunshine park day or powder day?
Both..... powder you gotta get it while you can! Park in between!

Kaz: It's a free bar - what do you drink?
Guiness, real ale, nice red and G+T....

Kaz: How well do you ride with a hangover? 
Not too bad, but I was better at it when I was younger!

Kaz: How important is video analysis to coaching? 
It’s really useful, and you can spot things easily. It’s always good to see yourself ride, even with no input, you will still learn from it!

Kaz: How stoked do you get watching the people you coach progress? 
Really stoked.... its an amazing feeling!

Kaz: Do you think the rail-dominated UK freestyle scene makes a good platform for Brits to enter the Euro competitions?
Yep..... I think a few more kickers wouldn't hurt..... People like Nuddsy, Jamie, Jenny and Aimee come from a jump background, you need both skills to compete, not just rails....

Kaz: What's the earliest age you think someone should strap onto a snowboard?
My friends have a 3yr old who is shredding she can pop little 180s and traverse and stuff.... Go Tia!

Kaz: Who would you most like to see in a 1-on-1 jib-off competition?
Lewis vs Halldor

Kaz: Favourite snowboard competition? 
Xgames

Kaz: Proudest achievement in snowboarding as a coach?
Winning some golds with the Navy team, those guys are so cool.... I can't wait to hang out with them every time.

Kaz: It's a powder day, which rider would you love to shred with?
Will Hughes

Kaz: Most fun riders to hit Tignes with?
Will Hughes, Gav Leakey, Lewis Sonvico, Neil Mcnair and Mrs Sweet

Kaz: Favourite park feature?
I like kickers and anything handplantable

Kaz: Favourite park trick?
Smooth spins and fun flips

Kaz: Is there a trick you absolutely hate seeing? 
No not really, few dodgy grabs here and there, but good riders can make anything look cool!

Kaz: Favourite snowboard video of all time?
Afterlame

Kaz: What's the most important aspect of snowboarding to grasp to progress to competition level?
I would say it’s more important to have an all round understanding of every aspect.

Kaz: What are your interests outside of snowboarding? 
I like to film stuff and make videos..... and Surfing!
 
Shoutouts? 
Thanks to everyone who likes superRad, and my sponsors, Westbeach, Dragon, and Airculture.
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