Winter is just around the corner and so is the latest snowboarding season. Just in time for the start of the season we had a chat with the POWER HORSE snowboarding duo Ina Meschik and Hanno Douschan, two Austrian pro riders. While Ina caused a stir last year in the slalom and giant slalom – she came fourth in the 2014 Olympics, amongst other things – Hanno's speciality boardercross, in which he is also one of the extended elite. Alongside exciting insights into their preparation and goals for the upcoming season, the two pros also tell us how to get the best out of yourself and how to focus before the start.
The season is just around the corner. What were your preparations? Did everything run smoothly and without injury?
Ina Meschik: Preparation was good today, the summer was great. I didn't change much, but everything has worked over the past few years. However, I did change my board company and have been able to test on snow for around 30 days so far – now I just have to hope that everything works out as I'd imagined it would.
Hanno Douschan: My preparations have gone great, too. Last year I was in a minor motivational rut; directly after the Olympics I unfortunately had a head injury and had to sit out two months. The home world championships didn't work out as planned either, so I had to fight my way back in. I have received a new board specially developed for me from my manufacturer and the times have so far been great.
How was your summer in general? How do you prepare yourselves in the summer? Were you able to switch off and recover?
Ina: You never quite get completely away from the sport, after the season I had a break of no more than a month, after that I went straight back to training. In the summer I went inline skating, swimming, downhill riding – anything that's fun.
Hanno: After season I went to the glacier to test out my new board. During the break I went to uni, to make sure things keep developing upstairs as well. I'm studying business administration in Innsbruck, a sponsored degree that's really fun. After that it was time for training again. I pretty much love to sing whilst driving my car. In other situations not so much, but behind the wheel I really rock out. Mainly to older songs that my dad listened to.
Ina, do you sing as well?
Ina: No, that's more Hanno's thing. I just live for the sport and my hobbies pretty much all revolve around this topic.
When are you starting your season?
Ina: We've already had the first race, an indoor Europa Cup event. The World Cup gets going on 12 December.
How did that go?
Ina: Good, I came fourth and sixth. But the race was at a very high level, there were many World Cup racers involved.
Hanno: I'm starting my World Cup on 11 December in Montafon, before that I've got a Europa Cup race. Hopefully the snow conditions will be good, that's always difficult in boardercross. I'm assuming that's they will be good.
What are your tips for preparation in order to be able to get the best performances out of yourselves in your competitions?
Ina: I can't give any secrets away, of course, but in general I'm hardly ever nervous – it's the opposite, I really have to push myself.
Hanno: Breathe. It also helps me to use my thoughts to imagine I'm in a place where everything is good. During a race I hardly have to push myself at all, but during training I'm sometimes a bit too laid back.
How long have you known one another?
Hanno: Erm, quite a long time. We got to know one another about 15 years ago, when we were in the Carinthia state team. Back then I was still riding parallel giant slalom...
Ina: ... at some point we went our separate ways, because we were taking part in different events. But we were also at school together.
Hanno: Plus, we train together and are also both members of the Austrian Armed Forces Sports. And, of course, we also have our mutual sponsor POWER HORSE in common.
Thanks for your time and we wish you all the best in the coming season!