Bound to the board

Olympic snowboarder Alex Pullin talks training, recovery and his favourite snowboarding runs.

Growing up in the foothills of Victoria’s high country, Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin was skiing at three and on a snowboard at eight. His parents, who own and run a ski/snowboard shop in Mansfield, immersed him in the world of snow sports and by 14 he was competing on the international circuit.

Taking a break from the board, Chumpy tells us what he loves about his sport, what’s running through his head before a race and just what is so addictive about snowboarding.

What attracted you to the sport?

Snowboarding in the beginning was always about fun, riding with friends and searching for new runs and terrain. SBX (Snowboard Cross) is the best way to size up all of my snowboard skills. It’s racing, with no judging involved, and high speeds throughout a different course in every competition. I love figuring out the line and how best to ride every track, and it pushes my snowboard skills.

For those who’ve never tried it, what is it about snowboarding that hooks so many people?

It’s all about the travel, seeing new places and riding new mountains. You can get so much enjoyment out of just cruising around the mountains, it just feels natural to me.

What are the physical demands of your sport?

It’s a very diverse fitness required for SBX. Every event runs over 3-4 days. One run through a standard track is very explosive and lasts around one to one and a half minutes. I usually do around eight runs at a contest per day, with limited amount of recovery time.

What training is involved in competing at the highest level?

Our training is a combination of strength, explosive, agility, long distance and altitude, and on top of that is our on-snow training. It’s 11 months a year on, with one month off after each competition season. Working with my trainer, John Marsden through the OWIA (Olympic Winter Institute of Australia) program, he keeps it varied and fun. We often do two sessions a day, one specific gym session, as well as cardio. To keep it interesting, cross over sports like mountain biking are really good. Plus, I fit surfing in most mornings and afternoons.

Favourite snowboarding run in the world?

Tough question, I would have to say my favourite track that I have ever ridden was in Stoneham, Canada, at this year’s World Champs.

Favourite run in Australia?

Going split boarding out to the backcountry and finding something fun!

What do you do to psych yourself into a run when you’re at the top?

With the energy running through my body on race day, I usually focus on just trying to channel it all towards my riding. It’s a mixture of nerves, expectations and fear. Putting all my energy into getting out of the gate fast to set up the heat well usually helps me to focus and use that as a positive.

How important are your sponsors and the people who support you?

It’s huge. To have support from all the great companies I work with really does make a difference. I get a lot of enjoyment from really being involved with each one of them and it just becomes part of it.

What items of apparel cant you live without?

In winter I live in my 2XU compression tights and thermals. It’s just comfy to kick around in inside our accommodation, plus it increases my recovery.

A lot of recreational skiers/boarders get pretty sore after their first run of the season. Do you have any advice on ways to deal with this?

A good amount of exercise prior to a ski trip is key. Single leg squats are always good. Plus comfy boots and compression tights can make a difference to how you feel at the bottom of every run.

To buy Chumpy’s gear visit 2xu.com.au or follow his adventures at @chumpypullin

Recommended reading - Issue Fourteen Summer 2015/16

Community

Fishy business

How does your fish get from ocean to plate? Organic fish farmers This Fish share their philosophy

Read more
Experts

6 ways to beat menstrual cravings

You’re too busy to deal with cramps and cravings once a month - here’s how to beat them off.

Read more
Community

A life of plenty

Passion, people and purpose are at the heart of health food company Table of Plenty.

Read more
Community

Kara Rosenlund: The call of home

Capturing inside stories through photographs of buildings across Australia.

Read more
Lifestyle

Why we should eat more mussels

Sustainable and nutrient-rich, these succulent shellfish gems are the perfect addition to our plates

Read more
Experts

The power of beetroots

Can beetroots help you work out harder, faster, better? Professor Tim Crowe explains the benefits

Read more
Experts

Myokines: The secret way exercise boosts your health

Professor Mark Febbraio explains how exercising helps you stay healthy in more ways than one.

Read more
Experts

Is breakfast really the most important meal?

How much does breakfast really matter for health and weight loss? Dietitian Tim Cassettari explains

Read more
Community

Matt Preston: Secrets for better cooking

From summer spuds to juicy roast chooks, Matt Preston shares his tips for simple, delicious dishes.

Read more
Travel

Eat and play in New Zealand

Take yourself on an invigorating New Zealand adventure with pristine water and organic cafes galore.

Read more
Lifestyle

6 creative developments in health tech

Sci-fi or reality? The latest innovations in the brave new world of health tech are unbelievable.

Read more
Experts

Sun safety: How to protect your eyes

Your vision is unique - Opthamologist Gerard Sutton explains how and why you should protect it.

Read more
Community

The Huddle: Engaging youth through sport

The Huddle engages youth from migrant and refugee backgrounds using Medibank's Community Grant.

Read more
Lifestyle

5 tips for summer weddings

Be a cool, calm and collected bride with these tips from author Alex Miles.

Read more
Experts

Why moderation is the key to wellbeing

Dietitian Daniel Thomson shares some advice for navigating your path to health.

Read more
Experts

5 reasons not to cut grains from your diet

Fibre-rich whole grains are vital to a balanced diet. Accredited Dietitan Tim Cassettari explains

Read more
Lifestyle

The best of be. magazine 2015

As 2015 comes to a close, we remember the best of this year at be. magazine.

Read more
Recipes

Perfect meatloaf recipe

Matt Preston's succulent take on glazed meatloaf with a blend of tomato, paprika and Worcestershire

Read more
Lifestyle

The history of glasses

Where would we be without glasses? Nick Snelling takes a close look at the evolution of eyewear.

Read more
Experts

This running technique improves your form (and your glutes)

How a simple tweak to your running form can lead to better results.

Read more
Lifestyle

Choosing aged care accommodation

The thought of aged care for your loved ones can be daunting - here’s some tips to ease the strain.

Read more
Community

How Men’s Shed improves men’s wellbeing

Men's Shed has a mission to reduce social isolation by providing camaraderie, skills and support.

Read more
Advice

How prenatal pilates can benefit mums-to-be

Here's why prenatal pilates is about more than just exercising.

Read more
Travel

Exploring New York City on foot

NYC is famous for a reason - Alexandra Carroll wants yu to take the time to wander and find out why

Read more
Lifestyle

Stand up paddle boarding: A sport with something for everyone

Discover the relaxing and exhilarating experience of stand-up paddleboarding.

Read more
Recipes

Teriyaki salmon recipe

Sweet, sticky and slightly charred – this dish serves up a delicious blend of textures and aromas

Read more
Experts

How to stay hydrated

Don’t wait for thirst to hit: keep fluids up throughout the day for optimal mind and body function.

Read more
Community

How trekking across New Zealand changed my life

A search for simplicity took travel writer Laura Waters on a 5 month journey to reset and reassess.

Read more
Travel

The best things to do in Toronto

From iconic landmarks to indie haunts, local Karla Schaus takes us on a whirlwind tour of Toronto.

Read more
Experts

5 ancient grains to add to your plate

Accredited Practising Dietitian Sanchia Parker reviews the best ancient grains to add to your diet.

Read more
Advice

What to expect when you have a colonoscopy

An idea of colonoscopy is daunting, but as Medibank member Libby shares, the idea’s the worst part.

Read more
Experts

Natural after-sun remedies

Soothe and protect your skin this summer with remedies from Chinese medicine.

Read more
Experts

What Cadel Evans can teach us about riding better

Cadel Evans offers biking wisdom and the best spots to hop on two wheels around Australia.

Read more
Travel

A wander through NoHo and NoLita

Meet Noho and Nolita - where high-end vintage clothing is curated and elevated to art.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.