Frode Sandbech

by The Good Life on April 21, 2014

in gentlemen of the goodlife

frode

The one and Only.
IMG_4361

I’m very lucky that besides talented snowboarders I get to work with some of the best photographers in the game including one of the very best.  Coming from Norway, land of talented athletes and good looking people, Frode ticks both boxes, and is an insanely talented guy behind a camera.  He was in town this week, so we cruised the city looking for a few spots.Portland_MG_1863

Frode wanted to find a spot to strike a pose.  Best I could do was a headstand.  On the Hawthorne bridge.

You probably know Frode from these kind of insane shots he does

ethan frode

Legend.  Talented.

I have travelled and worked with Frode for about 4 years now, and is one of the good dudes, talented, good fun, and loves to spend a good few minutes a day with a nice coffee.  You probably know his brother also, who is a teenage heartthrob when he isn’t a Olympic medal winner.  Frode deserves something for his beautiful beard.

IMG_4357We found this spot, which has seen better days for going hard in the paint.IMG_4364Parts of East Portland right now are looking amazing.  Pink Trees.  If I knew the name I would be very happy.  Answers below please.IMG_4370This girl was running so fast I couldn’t hardly contain her in film.IMG_4377I took this of another of the bridges also.  My photographer is nowhere near as good as Frode.

This is a shot he took of me a few years back… lovely day for it.JonWeaver_Breck2010_FrodePhoto_IMG_0969

If you want to see how good he is, watch this.  He went to Whistler and won 10 grand in a photographer contest.  This was his winning entry.  Thanks Frode for also introducing me to Woodkid (3rd song)

Pacific City, Oregon

by The Good Life on April 16, 2014

in Portland

IMG_4337

This weekend, we decided to take the drive down to Pacific City down on the Coast here in Oregon, for a spot of cold water surfing.  The weather was sunny, the water was freezing, there were dogs and cars everywhere.  I’ll endeavor to do a better job of explaining below.IMG_4292

The drive out in the morning was pretty damn early and so black and white was kind of how I felt.

IMG_4302The European crew getting at it, Ami, Finnish man getting ready to suit up, or vice versa.IMG_4306

This is something new to me, needing to wear boots in the water, because its so damn cold.  Its super fun surfing out here though but damn chilly so you need the boots, gloves, hood to get out at it.

IMG_4341

As you can see though the waves are worth it, so its definitely good to get down there.
IMG_4311

Like I say…. Dogs. They run that place, and drive in the back of cars.IMG_4315

The scenery here definitely reminds me of Wales, with rolling hills straight into the sea.  This one almost has a sand dune from the sahara at the side of it ready to go.  You won’t believe this, but there was even one kid with a palmer snowboard going up to do some sand boarding out there.

IMG_4324

On the beach, in Oregon it seems its ok to park on the beach, so everyone just goes full on for it.  This guy had an amazing car which becomes  a tent and then back again.  Amazing contraption, with surfboard rack under neath also.  Ingenious.

Mayrhofen

by The Good Life on April 12, 2014

in Austria, Snowboarding, The Good Stuff

IMG_4277

This week I was lucky enough to be able to squeeze in a quick trip over to Germany and Austria, back to an old stomping ground in Mayrhofen.

photo 1-1

Mayrhofen, well Austrian villages in general are some of the most beautiful places ever.

On the way over Delta managed to get their inflight entertainment stuck and for 11 hours it tried offering me “highlights” of Chelsea which considering their style under mourinho, meant an easy way to fall asleep.  Saying all this they will probably smash us tomorrow now.

IMG_4157

We did some train travel to get to Austria, which has to be one of the best things ever about Europe, you can take the train pretty much anywhere you want and right into the resorts.

IMG_4179

The only thing which would make Mayrhofen easier to get to would be if they would upgrade the Zillertalbahn as it takes an hour from Jenbach, but well better than needing to drive.

IMG_4226

Suns out guns out.

IMG_4228

When we got up to the mountain, it blows my mind every time the terrain in Austria, its not just a small hill, its a huge mountain range, most of which is accessible.

photo 4

It was definitely slushy when we were there but that means side hits are everywhere.  The mountain goat himself henry jackson giving it some..photo 3

Besides slushy snowboarding, another of the famous institutions of austrian life are Schnitzel Semmels.  For about 3 euros you can get the best piece of fleisch you could wish for.

photo 2-1As you can see from the banner above, it was snowbombing this week also, luckily for my health we were only there for a few hours, but long enough to see the snowbombing rally arrive, full with fancy dress regalia.

photo 1

Another of the great things which Austria is famous for is Radler.  The drink of the gods.  Beer and Lemonade mixed, so you can get by having one early on in the day.IMG_4269

The mrs clearly enjoying the joys of europe, and being allowed to drink a radler in public.  The US could learn a lot.IMG_4261

Zillertal is one those places that no matter how much tourism there is, the local people always continue with the things which keep them going besides that including timber and farming.  When you pull into the valley there is a huge wood yard which is kind of a sign your back. IMG_4244

This is the Horbergbahn area, slightly out of town, and a real good spot for some powder in deepest winter.  From the house there, where we lived it was a 500m walk to the lift for the saturday riding.    Perfect for the weekend warrior.IMG_4286The other lift in Mayrhofen is the Penkan which must be one of the highest in europe and has  a crazy corner half way up apparently the only lift with such a corner in the world.IMG_4238

We also did some wedding planning whilst there too.
IMG_4257This is the setting
IMG_4221

This isn’t, because not being catholic its not possible for us to use this nice little church.IMG_4214

The Mrs took this picture of me to show my wrinkles…
IMG_4192Drinks.
IMG_4175

Thank You for a great few days.

IMG_4281

Baldface

by The Good Life on March 29, 2014

in Snowboarding, The Good Stuff


IMG_4073

This past week, I had the lucky opportunity to travel to Canada to the Snowboarding Mecca that is Baldface.   Thats it across the valley, remote, up in the mountains, and set up perfectly for riding powder.

IMG_4042

To many snowboarders around the world, you say the word “Baldface” and you get an instant smile and recognition about this legendary place.

IMG_4070

The guides up here are so knowledgable about the terrain that they find fresh powder every day for all the groups up here.  All in all there is 32,000 acres of accessible terrain, which is testament to the quality of the guiding up here.

IMG_4112

The whole operation is so smooth its amazing.  You fly to Spokane, drive up to Nelson (don’t do it with a hangover though, its rough, and please don’t try taking apples over the border”.  Then from there the heli comes down to pick you up and 10 minutes later your up in the snow at the lodge.

IMG_4038

The lodge is so nice, and like a dream for snowboarders the world over.   The amazing staff look after you from the minute you get in, until you leave.

IMG_3956

We were lucky enough to be able to take Sage Kotsenburg up there to ride Powder for a few days as he got some well needed riding for himself after the crazy season he has had this year.

IMG_3938

Its a cat operation, so each of the groups, get a cat, guide, tail guide and driver for the 3 or 4 day session.  Its amazing to have the cat, as between laps you can eat, dry off, re hydrate or sleep if needed.

IMG_4079

The guides up here are amazing, noting snow temperature, conditions, visibility, route taken, etc for a precision way to ensure that all guests get the best conditions possible up there.

IMG_3981

Mike Tobia on the hunt…

Having the cat also means you can grab a couple of boards to ride… that has to be the best thing in snowboarding over the last few years and the development of hardgoods.

IMG_3951

They also have a full demo selection from Burton, Jones, Lib Tech..IMG_3949

Or of course you could just take out a surfboard in the pow…

IMG_3948

This has been my set up, Fish 161 and Malavita binding…. no question the best pow set up I ever rode.

IMG_4051

The cat also boasts one of the best selections of stickers you will ever see…

IMG_3998

and hand painted artwork too

IMG_3940

Our cat driver Bones on the left

IMG_3947

For the trip, we had an amazing crew, with Sage, Keating from Nike, and the dragon crew… From Will Howard the legend of Dragon himself, Mike Tobia and Ryan besides Chip and Nate in our cat alongside the loosest german I ever met….  Ready to ollie into the unknown at a moments notice.

photo

The dream team.

IMG_4017

Will Howard, Stoke levels high at all times.

IMG_4128

Tobia, after stopping at a gas station only to find they don’t sell Palio diet salads.

IMG_3975

Scott Keating, hyped on that pow life.IMG_4035

The light up here is pretty insane in the evening.   This was the view from the cat one day… Take your pick on your line.

IMG_4075Thank You Will and the crew.
IMG_4131

Thank you Canada.  I like your mountains, remind me a lot of Austria.IMG_4106Exactly.  Bless up.
IMG_3967

What a trip.

IMG_4095

2013 – Swansea City FC – What a year

March 28, 2014

This shows some of the highlights of an unbelievable year for Swansea, when we finished in the top half of the league, won the league cup and went on a […]

Read the full article →

Mark and Daves – Nicaragua

December 31, 2013

Blokes in christmas hats, thats christmas alright.  I was lucky enough to spend this Christmas in sunnier climes than normal, when I am usually making the pilgrimage home to the […]

Read the full article →

Nicaragua – Mark and Daves

December 27, 2013

This was my few today whilst watching the swans game, looking out to sea.  Not too shabby at all. There was definitely some better waves today, with some bigger sets […]

Read the full article →

Nicaragua

December 25, 2013

Having spent my 33 years during Christmas in predominantly cold climates, this year I felt it was time for a change.  Besides if you can mix surfing with warm weather […]

Read the full article →

Tahoe

December 1, 2013

  For this years thanksgiving, i was lucky enough to go and stay with the legends that be Plumley and Plumley, and their new addition Oscar.  I have been to […]

Read the full article →

Hawaii

November 12, 2013

Somehow, through what has been a busy summer it seems that I managed to overlook blogging about the summer holiday to Hawaii.  Well June holiday, but that classes as it […]

Read the full article →