Kings of the Wild Frontier Part 1

Blasting around our final bend in Lesotho, with the upper lift hut coming into sight, always sets our adrenalin buzzing, and the long drive from Cape Town didn’t dampen our spirits as we hit the final few twists and turns into the Afriski resort. Looking down from upon high over the white expanse of the resort, in the glorious African sunshine, man….it was good to be back!

Yes, It’s July and time for the Kings Cup , and we were back in Southern Africa’s premiere Mountain Resort Afriski! After passing the big new sign and heading to our (very posh) accommodation for the weekend we headed over to the slope to check out the park and to see who was about.

After bumping into Goneskiing’s main man Peter Peyper who along with a gaggle of electricians, plumbers, designers and resort staff, was putting the finishing touches to the all new Gondola Cafe we headed slopeside.

The main slope was fairly busy with the two plankers getting some time trials down, lessons and bum boarding sessions in full swing and the recreational riders enjoying the conditions it was awesome to see snowsports in Africa in such good health.

The park was fairly quiet though, with only a few riders lapping the toys, this years Kings Cup park was a little bit smaller than last years, mainly due to the mild conditions and earlier event, but it was still a belter. Butter Boxes, rails, bonks and Kickers all dug in to give all riders the chance to get creative and progress those new tricks.

This years big kicker is a cracker, as I soon realised when team rider Mamo flew over with a huge 360, followed closely by park shaper and ripper Rueben Storbeck who was locking into some big BS 5’s. The Locally Whipped guy’s were also out on the slope, shooting some rail sequences of Matt for an upcoming ‘how to’ trick tips segment so we’ll give you a shout when that hit’s the shelves.

It seems that a lot of the other familiar SA shreds where rocking in late from Jo’burg as they all had a days work to fit in before hitting the slopes for the weekend. So after watching Mamo & Rueben tear up the park for a little while longer we headed back to check out the new improved Gondola Cafe.

For those of you that have spent a night trying to drink enough Maluti and Jager to warm yourself under the old canvas covered Gondola, that excuse has been well and truly blown apart with a fabulous new bar, including wooden bar top and beams, colour changing mosaic tiles, glitter ball, DJ booth and Laser and smoke machines… the guys have really gone to down and the new cafe will undoubtedly be the centre of all things on and off the slope for the future of the resorts groups.

So after a good couple of hours thrashing out the details for Saturdays judging with Oliver and a couple of Maluti’s we settled down for a warm night, anticipating an exciting slopestyle event to find out who is the King of the Park for 2010.

To be continued……..
Rider images copyright Andrew Royal (Gearbox) 2010

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