by The Good Life on April 12, 2014

in Austria, Snowboarding, The Good Stuff


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.


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.


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.


Suns out guns out.


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 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

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…

Thank You for a great few days.



by The Good Life on March 29, 2014

in Snowboarding, The Good Stuff


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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…


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


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


and hand painted artwork too


Our cat driver Bones on the left


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.


The dream team.


Will Howard, Stoke levels high at all times.


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


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.

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

What a trip.


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 European Tour.  What a year.

Swans 2013 by azazello1912

Mark and Daves – Nicaragua

by The Good Life on December 31, 2013

in America, Holiday, Surfing, The Good Stuff


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 UK and watching some good football, but this year I chose a different route and headed down to Nicaragua


.  I was given a tip off about a fantastic spot down there, which boasted great waves, sun, and a beautiful beach.  That was just the half of it!  Food, good people, amazing waves, it was a great spot.  Above is the actual house, which is literally 50m to the break, so its a perfect spot.


This is from the house, shows you how close the beach is.  The house features a pool and an infinity pool besides a table tennis table also, so you can have some good times through the afternoons, when your taking time off after a surf.  The rooms are really nice as you see here


They boast a couple of big beds, air conditioning, TV, en suite bathroom, and it really does feel like top class accommodation.  There is also a couple of great hammocks which you can read or spend a bit of a nice afternoon having a snooze if you want, so you can get charged up for an afternoon of this stuff….


So the daily routine looks like wake up around 5.30am, go in for a surf with no one else out, surf till 8, come back in for coffee, bacon and eggs, and then surf again till and early lunch, again, amazing food, like chicken and rice, then maybe a little snooze in the afternoon before a sun down surf.  In the evening when your done with your day surfing, you definitely need some good food, and I have to say the food was something I completely didn’t even think about before, but its amazing.  Zac is the chef, and surf hero in the house, and the food was really amazing.  With some home made dips, followed by a starter then entree of as with this evening, some insane sea bass, and then something great for desert like key lime pie, you feel so good with a full belly after a day full of waves.


This evening was caramelized banana, again which was off the hook.


There is also a lot of good wine available also, which you can choose over your free beer allocation if you want.  Keep in mind, free beers should be kept for rehydration after surfing.  Way better than Lucozade.


This cat also, would ask for food every single time, such a nice cat though.


Its funny, going surfing is one of those things which people like to battle for each wave on their own, but in essence people love to surf together, and i am no different.  There is nothing better than charging down the line with friends shouting you in, its an amazing feeling.  So then to go on my own for a surf trip, definitely felt a bit weird, but a place like Mark and Daves is perfect if your just looking for waves, and you need somewhere, this is the place.  During my stay, there were a few other groups in from Rhode Island, California and Brazil, so you are always amongst a good group of people, all of whom are there for the same thing, and you always have great people to paddle out with and share a beer with after a good day in the water.


This was Gio, who was from Brazil, riding a single fin 5’1 and charging fast as possible at all times, such a good dude, and dropping in deep as possible at all times.


This was Ken, who was a great guy, super friendly, and charging whether it be on the ocean or rattling through wine.  Surfing with like minded people is one of the best things ever.


Surfing is also pretty different to Snowboarding in terms of what the girls are wearing.  Thank you for surfing.


I’m hoping this counts. I got absolutely smashed on this wave.  Its crazy to think this waves isn’t that big, and they have waves 10 times this big which people surf.  I would got knocked all over the shop.

Good to know i made the next shot also…


Paddling to escape getting run over by Victor from Brazil.

Not sure why this photo is in here, but I thought I should put it in because I liked the light on the shrubs.


In the afternoon, the wind kicked up a couple of times, thankfully its always off shore down there, so you are able to get waves which stay up a little longer.  There is a huge lake inland which creates the offshore wind, quite a luxury after surfing various blown out junk around the world in the past.

Thats the view from the pool, not bad at all.

I took a walk one afternoon to go and check the out the next beach and found this zone.IMG_3286This reminds me of the scene in star wars charging down that zone in the death star.


They have a pretty amazing set up with one of the guys working the house Wilma, who shoots photos for you, for a reasonable fee.  Pretty sick to be able to see what your doing wrong or right.

If anyone needs a place to go surfing, either on your own or in a big group, I can’t recommend this place enough, its so nice, perfect spot.

Surfing literally is good for the soul.  Not sure why it seems so therapeutic, but surfing in the ocean is one of the best feelings ever.  Sounds super cliche but riding waves is one of the purest forms of sport.  Surfing at sunset is something, quite something.  Thank You world for the sunset.


I imagine this will be the last post of the year, so thank you for reading the few people who still read blogs instead of being addicted to Instagram these days.  I will keep posting on here, since I just like to be able to look back at something which shows the various trips through the year.  Happy New Year, and hope you have a great time.


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 →


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 →


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 →


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 →

Remembrance Monday

November 12, 2013

This weekend, a link kept popping up on Facebook about Harold Percival, a 99 yeard old ex bomber, who had died in his sleep and according to the obituary, didnt […]

Read the full article →

Moved to Tears

November 7, 2013

There arent many times when I get moved to tears whilst at work but this is one of the few things that managed too.  This is amazing.   Tweet

Read the full article →