UK shredder storms New Zealand nationals!

Posted on Wednesday 17th October, 2012 Times Viewed: 2533
At just 12 years old, Ayla Thidling has accomplished more than most will achieve in a lifetime, having won a whole host of medals and already sponsored by some of the biggest brands in the industry. Having just returned from New Zealand, sweeping the national championships, we caught up with Ayla before she sets herself up for the northern hemisphere winter.

Interview – Kaz Willmer
Name: Ayla Thidling
Age: 12
Hometown: Chamonix
Number of years snowboarding: 8
Favourite mountain: Laax
Sponsors: Animal, Gnu, Zero G Chamonix
Setup: I ride a Gnu B-Mini 135 with Gnu B-Famous bindings. My stance is regular and the angle is front +15 back -12.
Click to view full image

Kaz: Hi Ayla, congratulations on your successes in New Zealand! What titles did you come home with?
Ayla: Thanks Kaz! I got gold in slopestyle, halfpipe and boarder cross and a bronze in giant slalom.

Kaz: How was the trip for you?
Ayla: It was awesome because I got time on snow in the summer which is the first time for me. I also had a lot of training on rails and boxes which I haven’t had much in the past.

Kaz: What was your favourite thing about New Zealand?
Ayla: Snowpark NZ and bungy jumping!

Kaz: How did it feel to compete in competitions on the other side of the world?
Ayla: It felt the same as competing at home in Europe. The events were well organized and the atmosphere was good so it was a lot of fun.

Kaz: Do you hope to do more international competitions this year?
Ayla: This year my main focus is on training but I hope to do the Brits and the French Nationals as well as one or two more TTR events.

Kaz: What’s your biggest competition achievement so far?
Ayla: 3rd in Big Air at the Brits 2012 in the women’s overall category.

Kaz: What got you into snowboarding?
Ayla: I saw my brother and dad snowboard and wanted to have a go, and that was it, I was hooked!

Kaz: Who do you most enjoy riding with?
Ayla: I love riding with my friends in Chamonix. When we have time off school we head up the mountain early and spend the day there.

Kaz: Where do you live throughout the year?
Ayla: At the moment I live half the year in the French Alps and half the year on a boat in the Pacific.

Kaz: What other sports do you enjoy?
Ayla: I like hiking in the mountains when the snow has melted. It’s awesome when you come across deer and mountain goats on your walks. I also like longboarding and skateboarding when the roads have dried and when we’re on the boat I kitesurf and dive.

Kaz: How do you train for winter while you’re on your boat?
Ayla: I keep fit kite surfing and swimming and I also do exercises and stretches I’ve been given by my physio.

Kaz: You are coached by Why Aint You Jibbin’s Steve Addicott. Why did you pick Steve?
Ayla: We were looking for training camps in Europe and came across Steve. I went to one of his camps and loved it!

Kaz: What makes him a good coach?
Ayla: Steve explains everything really well and is super enthusiastic. He makes you want to try as hard as you can.

Kaz: How do you fit school in around all your sports?
Ayla: I do school per correspondence so I have a flexible schedule. I do most my studying from April – December so I can have more time off in the winter. If I have to study and train at the same time I do my easier subjects such as languages then, and keep maths and science for after the season has ended.

Kaz: Do you like school, or do you prefer training?
Ayla: I much prefer training but school isn’t too bad! When I get in to my study routine it goes easily, but it’s always hard to get started after I’ve had a long time off.

Kaz: What languages do you speak?
Ayla: I speak French, Swedish, English (obviously) and I’m learning Spanish.

Kaz: What are you most looking forward to about this season?
Ayla: Spending the season in Avoriaz! It’ll be my first season in a place with a park and a pipe so I’m really excited!

Kaz: What’s your favourite trick?
Ayla: Frontside 360 Indy.

Kaz: What tricks do you most want to learn?
Ayla: Frontside 540 and alioop 540 in the pipe and frontside 720 off a 12-14 M kicker.

Kaz: Do you ever get scared? And if so, how do you still manage to keep going and not give up?
Ayla: Yes I get scared! Fears are usually unrealistic so I push them aside and believe I can do it.

Kaz: Who’s your favourite female snowboarder?
Ayla: Jamie Anderson

Kaz: What tips do you have for any girls who want to follow in your footsteps?
Ayla: Never stop trying and always set yourself new challenges when you have accomplished something.

Kaz: Do you have any Olympic ambitions?
Ayla: Yes I’d like to be in the Olympics, but I don’t know what discipline yet! At the moment I’m training three disciplines; boardercross, slopestyle and halfpipe and I like all of them as much so I’ll have to see later which one I prefer.

Check out Ayla's edit!
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