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Spotlight on Coach Tim Russell
Tim Russell is the definition of a gentle giant, he loves nothing more than hand planting and mucking around in the park with friends or slashing through the trees on a powder day. Tim is so stoked on snowboarding; he truly enjoys teaching people and watching the excitement in their face when they land a new trick.
Tim has been part of the Pro Ride family for over 6 years making his knowledge of both Whistler and Blackcomb mountain quite extensive (he knows all the secret spots to get the best powder).
We asked Tim to answer some questions so you can get to know him a little better.
Q. What’s your favorite go-to trick that always puts a smile on your face?
Cab 270 back tail on a box or rail. Method off a side hit. Japan BS180 off a park kicker.
Q. Your favorite all time video part?
JP Solberg - TRANCENDENCE
Q. When did you last feel on top of the world while snowboarding?
Asking my wife Rhianna to marry me at the top of Kyhbers on a big pow day. It’s our favorite place to ride with stunning views looking across the Cheakamus Valley of Black Tusk.
Q. Hailing from Ireland, where there is rarely snow and no mountains, tell us how your first got into snowboarding - Who or what inspired you to take up the sport?
We went on a family ski trip to Italy when I was three and the bug started from there. With no snow in Ireland the next best thing is dryslope. In the mid 80s I saw snowboarding on TV and the weird hardboot euro riding when I went on holiday. On one trip to Austria, I saw a pack of skate rat riders riding around like a pack of surf pirates. Terrorizing the slopes. Home made snowboards and hacked up jeans and shorts on a cold day. No outerwear. They were having the time of their life. I knew I wanted to go soft boot snowboarding. Alas rental equipment was terrible and I had to use ski boots, plate bindings and a 1987 Burton Elite 130 swallow tail. I swapped over from skiing and never looked back.
Q. What is the most satisfying part of your job?
Riding with people so stoked on snowboarding who have looked forward to their trip all year. Helping them improve their riding skills way beyond what they expected to achieve. Sharing 1st time moments in riding with people.
Q. Do you remember your first bottomless pow turn, box hit, ollie/spin or pow slash? Magical moments.
Yeah! Of course, those moments will always stay with me. I get paid to smash pow and park laps all winter with interesting motivated people from around the world.
Q. What makes Whistler stand out from other European resorts?
The shear amount of terrain squeezed onto two mountains. Blackcomb and Whistler are quite different. Side country, inbounds trees and alpine areas. We have everything here. Controlled inbounds conditions making it as safe as it can be. The main thing that sets it apart from European resorts is the world class customer service and the short, organized lift lines. The parks are second to none. With features being changed up daily, not hitting a feature one day could mean missing it forever. Variety is the spice of life and all that! Very few places in Europe have backcountry Snowmobiling, Heli and Cat access snowboarding.
Q. Is there any one trick you have on your mind to learn this year, what are your biggest goals this year – more backcountry, more sledding, more park, or all of the above? What keeps you so motivated to keep pushing your riding?
Goals: Get out Snowmobiling a whole bunch; build some backcountry kickers with Coaches Duncan and Alan. Learn some butter to invert tricks.Keep exploring. The learning days are never over. There always seems to be a new thing discovered and developed. Constant enthusiasm for snowboarding keeps me motivated.
Q. As one of the tallest snowboarders I know, your known for your super relaxed style whether your putting runs down in the park or riding steep lines throughout the mountain. What are your top tips for up and coming snowboarders?
Keep experimenting and trying new things. These don’t have to be crazy difficult tricks. Just learning how your edges work and react to different conditions and situations.Get low on your board will help you in so many ways.Tall riders especially, need to learn to get low and stay comfortable so they don’t hunch or break at the waist. Study some pro snowboarder or skater’s riding styles. That’s how we grew up snowboarding, watching videos and wanting to emulate timeless styles of the Gonz, David Vincent, Jamie Lynn, Nicolas Muller, Tom Penny, Chad Muska, Travis Parker …the list goes on and on.