Whether the world will come to end today or not, Deeluxe and Capita Snowboard’s Mary Luggen is the ideal companion to brave it with, seeing the latest addition to Austria’s rail slaying squad only broke her back last winter and is back on board and jibbing her heart out again already…
Interview by Anna Langer
Hey Mary, where are you and what are you up to right now?
Right now I’m chilling in Innsbruck, enjoying being able to go shredding again, spending nearly every day on the mountains. We got a lot of good snow in early December, so I’ve just been trying to enjoy that as much as I can.
Are you gonna spend Christmas there too?
Nah, I’m gonna head back to my hometown of Serfaus to spend Christmas with my family and friends and enjoy the beautiful snow there. I’m also gonna help out at the shop I ride for back home, Peep Shop, if you’re in the area you should come by and say hi, maybe get some christmas presents!
Do you enjoy the holiday season?
Yeah I enjoy it but my family owns a hotel, so I always have to help out and work there as the holidays are a very busy time. But Christmas is always sweet as it’s snowing and my brother and his wife just had a baby boy in November, so this year is extra special.
You already mentioned how happy you are to be able to ride again after your horrible back injury last year. Is this Xmas especially nice for you?
Of course! But not only Christmas, my whole life is especially good since I’m able to get back on my board! But I try to live every day like it’s
Christmas anyway haha!
I hit it about 15 times without a problem but I wanted to go a little bit bigger.
Can you tell us a little bit more about how it all happened in the first place?
I was in my hometown of Serfaus and there was a little bit of snow at the beginning of December. Everyone was hyped about this tiny amount of snow, so we went out and built a jump over a hut. I hit it about 15 times without a problem but I wanted to go a little bit bigger. I hit it with more speed and cleared it with ease, but this time I came down quite tail heavy on super frozen ground, my board slipped out and I landed heavy on my butt, crushing 3 of my vertebrae.
That was my winter over. No stepping on a snowboard for at least 8 months… The worst part is that last year was one of the best Austria has seen for a long time, it started to snow just after my accident and it felt like it never stopped! It’s kinda funny though, I broke my back but all my Eastern European friends are spreading the story that I broke my ass haha!
Only a year later you’re already jibbing out again as your tube riding edit this week showed. Aren’t your scared to hurt yourself again?
No, not really. I mean, there’s always the risk that you can hurt yourself, but as long as you are prepared and 100% in your mind, then you should be fine. If you don’t feel confident about something, then you shouldn’t do it. The tube edit was just a way to warm up and get my muscles back at the start of the winter.
It seems as if jibbing and urban riding hold more injury potential than jumping kickers or riding powder. Do you think that’s true or just a layman outside vision?
I think kicker and backcountry is way gnarlier than urban. Don’t get me wrong, hitting cold steel has it’s risks, you can always taco the rail or get a stair massage, but for me, the danger of knuckling or overshooting a kicker or getting caught in an avalanche in the powder is far greater, you get it wrong out there, you can die.
There’s always the risk that you can hurt yourself, but as long as you are prepared and 100% in your mind, then you should be fine
Rail riding is still pretty gnarly too, why or rather what about it do you love so much?
It’s just a sweet challenge every day. I see a rail or obstacle and think about what I can do on it and how I can get creative. The feeling when you land a new trick after 3000 tries (or whatever!) is great, all the tries before are just gone and all you feel is good. Also, you don’t really have to rely on the weather so much, as long as there’s snow on the ground, you can ride. And I get to chill with my homies, hiking up a rail all day. It’s just great fun!
What’s the most important thing to keep in mind when hitting a rail?
You know that song Bamboleo….? Just be 100% sure in your mind that you can do it, there’s always good days and bad days on your board, but if it doens’t feel right then don’t risk it. A good ollie and a bit of speed always help (the faster you go, the less time you have to spend on the rail haha!) and always remember to look at the end of the rail or you won’t stick it!
Thanks Mary and merry Xmas!
Mary is sponsored by Capita Snowboards, Deeluxe, Rhythm Livin, Ema Neckwear and Niffa