For the past four seasons Mont Tremblants Jasey-Jay Anderson has won the overall World Cup title with solid results in both alpine and snowboardcross events. Although hes been a slow starter in recent years, picking up momentum as the seasons wore on, this season hes already on top of both the snowboardcross and overall World Cup rankings. He has two gold medals in snowboardcross, two bronze medals in parallel giant slalom, and, since October, has not finished outside of the top-10.
When Whistler hosts the FIS Snowboard World Championships Jan. 15-23, Jasey-Jay will be competing in both alpine events as well as the snowboardcross, and is easily one of the favourites in all three contests.
When asked why his snowboarding is so strong this season, even with the rest of the world working hard to catch up, Jasey-Jay didnt have an explanation.
"I think its maturity or maybe my experience is catching up with me. Something happened," said Anderson.
"I couldnt pinpoint whats different, Im not doing anything dramatically different. I had good training this summer, but nothing out of the ordinary. The only way I can explain it is experience."
Things are about to change dramatically for the 29 year old when he receives a new racing board this week. His board manufacturer, Toronto-based Coiler Snowboards, has had to practically reinvent the wheel to build a new type of board that the Swiss riders are already using that is similar in design to a ski. The company has been working through Christmas to get Andersons new boards ready, something Anderson appreciates.
"At Christmas, when everybody wants to be home with their families, Id guess (my board builder) spent about 50 hours in the shop working overtime to be able to get the boards to me for the world championships. Thats just unbelievable."
Anderson will only get about three days of practising on the new board before the world championships, and admits that he probably wont have mastered the new design by those events. Still, he says its the only way to be competitive with the Swiss riders in the Alpine events.
"I feel good in the alpine events, but this is going to be a huge change for me. Its a change thats probably more than overdue, but everyone is going to have to make an adjustment. Anytime youre up against a Swiss in the final (rounds) youre going to get annihilated, even if you do everything perfectly. Its that big a difference.
"Im really excited for the world championships. Ive been getting good results in every discipline, and Im hoping to be able to do the same in Whistler, provided I can get used to (the new board) in time.