Welcome to the TDA blog. Here you will find what we are up to at the moment. Kind of a diary, kind of reflections and impressions of our world. Have fun.
11.09.2013 Splitsticks Season 2
Splitsticks is proud to present the 2013/14 edition of splits. Yes, we are going into our second season. Winter is coming, and it won´t be long until many of us will wake up in the morning to snow covered peaks. Another winter, another chance to complete projects, ride new lines, and check out new mountains, What was already pretty good last year, could only get better.
30.07.2013 Red Bull X-Alps 2013
July kept us busy with a really fun project. Following the crazy X-Alps dudes through the finest mountains of the alps in a pimp Landrover was not the worst thing to happen. Thanks everybody involved, we had a blast.
18.04.2013 Season recap
It has been a busy season that kept us on the road for 5 month. Completing 5 stops this year was a challenge for everyone, but we did it.
The level of the sport is definitely growing, so we are keen to step it up one level in 2014. Thanks to everyone who made this fantastic season possible.
Before I say anything else, i say thank you, to everyone who made this possible. Thank you for your support, your time, your passion, your trust.
Without you, it would not have been possible to get things done properly. What we achieved won´t make us rich, and there will propably just be a lot more work along the way, but every hour spent on this project so far was worth it. Our splitboard system is a masterpiece in terms of functionality, quality and design, an ultimate mountain tool that will get you to new places without ever letting you down. Product testing these days is one of the most joyful things ever, cause realizing that every though spent was well worth it, and that the final result could not have been any better.
30.06.2012 Dirt digging done
More building tracks, not for ice skates but for bikes. After some recovery surf in May it was time to spent some time up on the mountain in the woods, cutting trees, digging dirt, removing rocks and roots. A sensationally long track of over 5k was built in only 4 weeks by a handful of fine young men, thanks velosolutions and Claudio for having me, if there is some more ice cross stuff happening in Switzerland i will for sure get back to you for some skilled assistance for the build up. Amazing to see true dedication and passion for a sport that i am not familiar with.
Of course i had to do some test riding, cause i thought hell yeah i can ride a bike down there for sure. All the fun waves, rollers and steep turns looked too tempting to not try it. Somehow i got too confident and it did not take too long to overshoot a roller and smack down really hard. Maybe i should grow up and accept the fact that i am not 16 any more.
There will be also a documentary about how to build a track like this. Check out the teaser in the meantime.
23.04.2012 The birth of a new sport?
2013 could be a magic year for ice cross downhill. Every sport needs possibilities for training if it wants to progress. Well, here we go. A little bird told me that there actually might be a few professional permanent ice cross downhill tracks popping out of the ground here and there this summer. At least i can promise you that there are people working on the project right now, trying to make things happen. Here is the first glimpse at the one that is planned for Quebec, Canada, 30m vertical drop at a length of 340m. Not to bad i would say......
When you are deep into something, the whole world could go down and you wouldn´t notice. Being driven is good and bad. Bad because the inner unrest never sleeps, not at night, nor during the day. It is always there, and it won´t go away. Never.
Good because it just drives you, and things happen that you would have never thought of. Finally I have a life again, and life is good. I get to follow up on my passion, which is just riding boards in snow and water. As easy as it gets.
Some guys have dedicated their lifes to ice cross downhill, because they get their kick out of that, fair enough. I can fully understand that, and I am proud to have contributed to this adrenaline rush. Looking back at the tracks that were built by a few dozen of really cool people around the world, I can only say, mission accomplished, yes we have pushed a new sport into the right direction this season. How much further can we go? We will see.
Thats it for now, enjoy some clips of people who enjoy riding down on ice skates and splitboards. I wish I was a better skater cause this really looks like a lot of fun to me.
Product Testing Splitsticks
Ice Cross Downhill
Ice Cross Downhill
25.02.2012 Splitsticks V 2.0.
After a few month of nothing else but working, it is time to follow the true passion again. Being on the road a lot, there is nothing better than coming home finally. Snowpack is good, days are getting longer, and finally the new splitstick is ready to be taken out whenever possible. A few small things will have to be changed to make everything perfect, but nothing major. Thank you Nitro for putting in some effort and motivation into this project, hope we will go a long way from here.
18.12.2011 Road Tripping
After driving through Germany the last 2 weekends, I just realized that I basicallly don´t know too much about the northern part of my own country. Being on tour with the German National Team for the Red Bull Crashed Ice Season 2012 was really good, and I only hope they will do well on the tour and not get hurt.
Congratulations to Phillip Auerswald, who just qualified in Altenberg, and makes some really good Gualitschi juice by the way.
Now I will pretend to be in Christmas mood, bags packed, ready to hit the road and collect some frequent traveler miles the next month.
See you soon somewhere.
Ice Cross Downhill
27.11.2011 Falling for Sweden
I already fell in love with Sweden before even getting here the first time. Now that I have spent some time in Scandinavia, this feeling even gets stronger. Despite cold weather, short days and a shitload of work to get done, the Sweds made up for a good bit. Without really knowing what was coming our way, as always in life, timing is everything. Making the right calls with the right people at the right time is crucial. Right after we finished the production a snowstorm moved in.
Big thanks to Richard and his crew for making things happen, they are really cool guys and if you ever have some event stuff going on up here, I can only recommend to give him a call.
Well back to Austria tomorrow morning, then off to Germany to do some qualification rounds for the German Ice Cross National Team. Check out our little production video of the first real permanent ice cross downhill track. Maybe we will see more of those permanent tracks around the globe in the near future.
06.11.2011 Kindergarten about to begin
Only 8 more days until the start of production of the first real permanent section of an ice cross downhill track up in Sweden, and I still don´t have a plane ticket. A few personal facts of what is ahead this season:
- My involvement for the next season is something like 100 working days, 65 of them will be consecutive, everyday out in the cold.
- All tracks together will cover about 11000 squaremeters with ice about 15cm thick.
- For the sidewall construction alone we will go through 50000 screws, so setting up and dismanteling requires 100000 times using a screw driver.
- All tracks together are about 2km long, and it would be really cool if one could connect them (on the computer i can, and this looks massive).
- Every day on production, you run from start to finish and back up propably 15 times which equals 1450m vertical drop on average and results in a distance of 20km. Most of the time you will be carrying a chainsaw, screw driver and wood.
- We will work with 200 tons of crashed ice, which piled up in one spot would make almost a real iceberg.
So what do the facts tell us, we will be busy a lot to get things done, and out of experience this only works if everybody is putting in true dedication without being distracted. Distraction for me could be stupid kindergarten manners that some people sometimes waste energy on rather than getting things done properly. Fighting over power, money and other stupid things, even trying to seperate long trusted friends. Come on, be real, that is f.......!!!!
01.11.2011 The next dimension
It has been a quiet summer, good. Time to get a new perspective on all kinds of things. Things look different in 3d, when you finally can have a look from every possible angle. And things chance a lot once you´ve got that view. What appeared to be real and valid turns out to be wrong. Can be quite shocking sometimes, but that´s the way it is.
Well, at the moment I am very curious what the next month will bring, a lot of work for sure, fun times with old friends also. What I can promise is that some ice cross downhillers will get a new perspective on speed soon. After a very hectic month of october I can proudly announce that the tracks for the upcoming season will be downright sick. All between 400 and 600m long and with a good vertical drop in them. Every single track and location this season will be very very special.
Check out a few shots of the final track in Quebec, which has always been the most scenic location of the tour. The rough constructions are set, now we will fine tune it with some challenging obstacles that will require skills and brain to find the fastest line.
22.07.2011 Planning time
Although it is summer, slowly things for a new season of ice cross downhill are getting a face, and so do the different track options. There will be some stunning locations, and truely a new level of speed, airtime and flow that we will try to put in every track we design.
Check out a few impressions what might come your way next winter.
07.02.2011 Valkenburg to Moscow
Valkenburg is history, it was a good one. Now the hardest part is coming up, we are heading to Moscow soon to do things all over again. Weather forecast is looking quite cold with minus 30 degrees celcius. Good for the ice, bad for the guys working. I have never worked under such chilled circumstances. Stay tuned for more Ice Cross Downhill soon.
The hard part of track construction is done, and it is gonna be perfect. Thank you guys, you really are a great crew, and with all of you on our side, I don´t care what and where we are doing something. Love you longtime. Always a pleasure to work with true friends and brothers. Some fine tuning is the schedule for the next days. More updates as soon as we will have some action on the ice.
27.01.2011 More Ice Cross Downhill
Valkenburg here we go. This track already looked quite good on paper, but it is always a different story to see in on site. Be surprised, this one will be packed with obstacles from the very top all the way down to the finish line. Some innovative stuff is going on for sure. All I can say is balls to the wall.
Ice Cross Downhill
19.01.2011 Mission Munich accomplished
It was a tough one. I have never seen such nasty warm winds eating our beloved ice within hours. Experience, dedication and fighting until arrival of special thermal mats and more crashed ice finally saved us and. The ice was perfect for the showdown.
Looking ahead, 2 more tracks will be set up in Valkenburg and Moskau soon, and maybe over summer we will realize a permanent ice cross downhill track somewhere. It is really necessary to have an opportunity for training in order to get this new sport to the next level.
Ice Cross Downhill
23.10.2010 Ice Cross Downhill planning
The first mountains here in Innsbruck are turning white, and it definitely smells like winter, and like ice. As every year at this time some track designing is happening, and so far things look very interesting. Some new obstacles, some old ones but a tiny little bit bigger, a little steeper here, a little higher there.
Every location is different, so every track will be different. Building these tracks is fine art and precision, no mistakes are allowed.
This requires understanding the physics of ice paired with the downhill aspect. Not an easy task I can tell you.
Have a look at the making of an ice cross downhill track, exclusiv pictures from Munich 2010 on www.tdaservices.at:
27.07.2010 Future of plane racing once again
Having cancelled the last two events of the series in 2010, we might have our last race for a while or forever, who knows.
After everyone regarded the event in New York as the milestone of plane racing, in my opinion it will be at the Lausitzring where the future of the sport will be decided. The future of air racing in long term depends on how much effort it is to have a safe race, and of course how much money is spent therefore. After having looked at the event master plan of the Lausitzring, I realized, hey almost everything we normally set up is already there. We can actually use a good bit of the given infrastructure, which should make things easier for everybody.
Well, we will see soon if some more plane racing will come up in the future. If not, it was a very interesting experience and it would be a pitty if everything achieved would be for nothing in the long run.
23.06.2010 The next level
New York was the first event this season to be blessed with good weather. Flying in front of the Big Apple definitely was cool. But after we were now racing in the worlds biggest cities, I think it is time to face the next level. It is time to go to the desert again.
What I would see in plane racing as a promising aspect is a variety of racing challenges for more diversity. There are concepts to let planes race each other, on parallel tracks. It would be a matter of getting technical crew together to a remote location and acutally test them. Who knows, maybe sometime.
15.06.2010 City Thoughts
After having spent almost 3 weeks inside cities, with no escape and no other view than streets, cars, people and other noisy things, I realize that this busy world with its busy people turns in the most negative feelings I have had in a while.
I have a memorable picture in my mind walking around in Manhattan. A black women is lying down on the pavement in the middle of this hectic city, wrapped up in a dirty blanket, and obviously in a lot of pain, and a million people walking past with their shiny clothes and shiny shoes. Manhattan is all about money and being beautiful.
It took mankind about 200 years since the start of industrialisation to consume all resources, to overfish the oceans, to pollute the planet and make future predictions for further generations not looking too promising. Actually our construct of the world has never been that fragile on a global scale. So would you consider humans to be smart?
Life is short, and maybe it takes more than just a lifetime to be wise enough to get behind the things that would count eventually.
The Windsor Whiskey Well
Canada started with, take a guess, rain again. Luckly things look ok for the next days. The track looks very challenging after the first training today and the only thing that reminds us of muddy Rio is a fine taste of mould in our fightcases. So far so good.
Windsor setup is ridiculous, you can walk to work, and just halfway there, there is a unique bar, the Papa Cheney´s. Word out, they make some of the best burgers and drinks I have ever had . It was very fun the other night to have a lot of the crew out there finally. It was just about time.
Now things are getting serious, tomorrow a few more final checks of various systems, hopefully a dry and smooth race, and after that everybody will rush to New York for the big showdown in front of the Big Apple.
The muddy Rio experience
Hello jetlag, my trusted companion since 3 weeks. Rio mud war is over. Heavy rain had cancelled the race, and made dismanteling a rather dirty game. Thank god the volcano this time decided to not give us a hard time coming back to Europe. Brasil was fun, it is amazing to see how organised chaos works there. Let´s hope for better weather in Canada soon.
Gracetown asylum seekers
Being stuck in Australia due to air traffic crazyness in Europe is not the worst thing that could have happened. After stressy work in Perth kicking back in one of the most peaceful places on earth was definitely exactely what was needed to recharge batteries. Eat, sleep, surf was all that was done. Life can be simple if you choose it to be.
Gracetown also made for a nice backdrop for a music video by FlowT, our newest crew member with an angel like voice and some sound skills on the guitar, check it out.
All good things come to an end, and we are ready to hit the road again for Rio de Janeiro, our next tour stop, which will be some 45 hour travel.
See you there soon.
Planet Perth returns
The latest news from Planet Perth is that planet earth is still the one in charge. The only thing I can say right now is that the world is a crazy place. A pilot survives a crash into Swan River with devinitely no low entry speed and in a last minute reaction he pulls the plane into a position where you stand a chance to survive. And walks, ah swims out unhurt, neck a litte sore but that is it.
A vulcano blows out a big one and shows us that we are only tiny little ants running around and looking after funny things if you look at it from far above. Our system is vulnerable, economic crisis, tsunamies, earthquakes and other stuff keeps us busy and shows us our limits once in a while. I don´t know if the things we are greedy for are the right ones, and I have understood that as well as we have to look after ourselves, we also have to look after planet earth, and also we have to look after each other. Same ship you know.....
Maybe it is time to reconsider, to recallibrate and do a debrief of our misson on this planet. I know mine for sure. Do you know yours?
What can i say, it is good when it is over, especially in Abu Dhabi. Tentions were running high and everybody was pretty much at the very limit. Personally I lost 4 kg of weight, a side effect of hard work that some women would only dream of. What doesn´t kill you makes one only stronger. All internal and external conflicts were smoothend and TDA will hit Perth soon enough to keep up the high performance we achieved here at our first stop 2010.
Another rare opportunity here in Abu Dhabi is to see all technical equipment we carry lined up for customs and security inspections. I don´t know how many times we have had each case in our hands. It makes for a nice picture for sure, the rest is up to discussion.
Big tribute to all the crew who worked under really harsh circumstances and nevertheless most of the time had a smile in their faces. Once again I can only say that friendship in this business is more important than anything. Thank you for everything, see you in Australia soon.
Abu Dhabi here we go. After arriving late night, we survived the first day in the strong sun without any major damages. New season, new game. Same same but different - no honey no money no hurry no worry.
Difficulties came up, as expected, so everybody is a little bit behind schedule, but nevertheless no problem for an experienced crew. We will keep you posted with impressions once in a while, because pictures tell more than words. Check it out.
TDA prepares for battle. Soon enough we will be heading to Abu Dhabi for the start of a new season. 85 cases full of fine electronics and stuff were packed, listed, modified and checked. Customs documents were issued, cable harnesses were produced in endless night shifts, and finally we are ready to face whatever comes our way. Smoke on!
Good news, finally the homepage is online now. Enjoy! Thank you, Mr. Danny the Wire Fox. Although working in Canada for the olympic games, in his coffee break this young gentleman put in some work to finally transfer all data onto our new server.
Munich was a killer. With over 50.000 spectators, there were intense moments for sure. Everything turned out to be perfect. 14 days of construction resulted in a perfect track winding down the Olyimpiapark. Very sexy.
So far Munich was my personal favourite ice cross downhill for one reason only: Working with friends rules. No matter how cold, icy, rainy or stressy, you cannot go wrong with friends. 6 fine young men were with us, no matter what it took to set up a track like this. After 16 days of consecutive work everybody was happy to defrost frozen feet and legs.
Ice cross downhill is a really cool sport which has a lot of potential. I can only imagine what one can do on ice skates, given the perfect location, the perfect track, the perfect ice. We are already full of ideas how to reach the next level of tracks. Safer, faster, more spectacular.
Back from Porto, off to Barcelona for the finals. Porto this year has been quite difficult due to a nasty sea fog making flight operations very difficult. In the end, all turned out to be fine and a beautiful race took place.
In a quiet minute with perfect light, TDA member Florian Baumgartner managed to sneak out and clear the famous Eiffel brigde. Hit and run. Target cleared. Mission accomplished. See you in Barcelona.
Once again we are heading to Porto soon to do the same thing as every year there. Porto has always been great with tons of spectators really appreciating what we are doing. I have rarely seen such a passionate and fun crowd as in Portugal. I am really looking forward to work in the friendly and warm atmosphere the locals provide for every single one of us. See you soon Porto!
Budapest is over. As every year, it was a tough one. Limited space for logistics and set up were challenging as well as the special task we encountered. 6 tons of material were set up, calibrated and then torn down again all within 10 days. No thunderstorm, no accidents and a smooth race left only room for further improvements. Congratulations to the winner Mike Goulian, who deserves the sweet taste of victory like no other. Hard work pays off, at least sometimes.
The summer break is over. Tomorrow the first pack of the crew will hit Budapest to start setting up our material. Budapest has always been a challenge due to limited space and heavy thunderstorms. But it has also been a lot of fun and one of the more crowded events. More breaking news is the birth of Pauli, fortunately no event baby since timing is everything. Congratulations and all the best to the lucky parents.