Arriving in Pomporovo four days before Interski was due to begin was a little surreal. The town and the resort was still being prepared, with park rebuilds, scaffolding constructions underway, and a general sense of organised chaos.

But it all ramped up for the Opening Ceremony today, which we’ll post an edited version of soon. The Interski organising committee put on a real show, with a special mention for New Zealand to pay respects to the tragedy that occurred in Christchurch. The reaction from the crowd was heartwarming, as has been the many individual condolences given face-to-face from so many different nations.

Claire and Leo at the top of the demo slope for the opening ceremony, with a few thousand people at the bottom.

Team snowboard spent the past three days, prior to Interski starting, focusing mostly on our clinic and indoor lecture, with a few laps of the demo slope (and jump) with our fellow skiers and telemarkers in between.

Aside from the preparation, we’ve been exploring the resort of Pomporovo and enjoying the spring slush – especially in the park…

Richie Johnston in the Pomporovo park

Richie Johnston in the Pomporovo park

We’ve managed to connect with most of the other snowboard nations already, including Switzerland, the USA, Aussie, Argentina, Chile, Canada and Great Britain. This is one of the most important aspects of this event for SBINZ; connecting with the international snowboard instructing world, building relationships with other associations and creating opportunities for our members overseas.

Richie and Leo hanging out with Kevin Edwards from BASI

Richie and Leo hanging out with Kevin Edwards from BASI

Oscar from APSI locking in a frontboard with Richie mid shifty-spin in the background

Tomorrow we’ll be getting into the first day of clinics, with Poland and Slovenia to kick it off. Look out for write-ups from the our crew along with some quick interview videos on our Instagram and Facebook.

In the meantime, here’s a few shots from the past few days…

– Written by Keith Stubbs
– Photos by Keith Stubbs and Richie Johnston