Tudhope: My first time on a snowboard

The up-and-coming rider explains how at first, snowboarding did not come naturally. 12 Mar 2016
Ben Tudhope

Ben Tudhope, just 14 years old, finished in 10th place in the men's snowboard cross competition at Sochi 2014.

ⒸGetty Images
By Giuseppe Di Florio | For the IPC

“You can explore and put all your thoughts away and just focus on the snow and most of the time the incredible views.”

Australia’s Ben Tudhope won his first race at the 2016 IPC Snowboard NorAm Cup in snowboard-cross in Big White, Canada, in February.

The 16-year-old is now training for the World Cup Finals in Trentino, Italy, between 17-18 March. Soon he will start planning his way towards the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

Here he explains how he started snowboarding and why.

“The first time I tried snowboarding was when I was eight at Mount Hotham, Australia. I always wanted to start try snowboarding because my sister was on a snowboard and I thought it looked really cool. I was just in a local ski school class with my other sister and a few family friends.

“I was the worst at it to start off, it actually took me two weeks to link up a two and heel turn. I could not do a toe turn. But I was so persistent I kept on trying till it worked and then it flowed from there. The first time I competed at an IPC [Snowboard] event was in 2013 at Landgraaf, the Netherlands. I was so small that a lot of the other competitors thought I was someone’s little brother and they all got a bit of a shock when I went down the course the first time. That event I came fourth but there was not a lot of competition”.

The reason why Tudhope started snowboarding is because it makes him feel happy and free.

“You can explore and put all your thoughts away and just focus on the snow and most of the time the incredible views.

“I also love the adrenaline it gives you. You always feel pumped on a snowboard ready to do anything that comes in your way. Competing really just came with snowboarding. I didn’t really set out one day and say I want to compete.

“What kid wouldn’t want to spend their time travelling the World snowboarding and not being at school. It’s a pretty good gig!”

Fans will be treated to two World Cups in snowboard-cross and banked slalom in Trentino. The first take place between 15-16 March and are followed by the 2015-16 IPC Snowboard World Cup Finals between 17-18 March.

Results will be available at IPC Snowboard’s website.