Day 1: The Brits arrive for the, erm, Brits

It’s ten years since my first Brits. I couldn’t link turns, I got lost off-piste in a whiteout  and I ended up with septic holes in my feet from my too-large boots. But it was a bloody fun week – super friendly and very drunken. The event is now much much bigger, in a different country and I can link turns now – but the Brits remains the funnest, most drunken week you can have in the snow.

I missed it last year so I was pretty keen to get back to Laax to see how it has changed over the last 24 months. I’ll blog later in the week about its new look but I can safely say I’m pretty impressed with how Laax is shaping up through the new Rocks Resort development.  Our accommodation is just a couple of metres for the end of the slope – the nearest I’ve ever been to ride in/ride out – nice!
Thankfully most of us had steered clear of evil British Airways and their strikes at the weekend and got to Zurich on time. The transfer is always super fun – a bus-load of media, industry, Brits staff, riders and holidaymakers chewing the fat, getting the lowdown on who’s heading to Laax and finding out what everyone has been up to for the last few months. 
We dump our bags and then it’s off to the Rider’s Palace for first night drinks – but it’s a tame session though as we attempt to pace ourselves for the week ahead.
Monday is always practice day – the pipe, park and boardercross course are all open for people to get ready for the week’s events. 
Spring is definitely in the valley and conditions are pretty soft so it could be difficult for riders later this week looking to keep up speed in events like the boardercross and big air. 
After a few hours slush sliding we ride down to the legendary Crap Bar (which has also had a pretty radical external makeover as part of the redevelopment). A gorgeous silver Airstream trailer has been converted into a stage and Tony B and the other DJs get the day’s music started while several snowboard brands dish out 2010/11 snowboards for people to demo for free.
I took the DC Snowboards Biddy for a spin for a couple of hours. It’s a super fun board, really flexy and light (that’ll be the Astro Core which is made of poplar wood and – skateboarder’s favourite – polyurethane). Loving the owl and penguin graphics too. It’s DC’s cheapest board for girls – perfect for a fun park toy or a newer rider looking for something light and easy to get to grips with. 
Later tonight we’re out for the first real party of the week – Trespass hiphop night with DJ Woody and Rodney P at the shiny new Indy Club.
Tomorrow sees the start of the competitions with the snowboarders hitting the boardercross course – and hopefully not each other in the process.
Oh and I’m sharing an apartment with the lovely Ski Club of Great Britain crew and they’re making daily video blogs of the Brits – click here to check out their piece about today on Facebook.

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