When Lochie Hall broke his ankle in June it cut his training for the New Zealand Freeski and Snowboard Junior Nationals from 12 weeks to just three.
Not that it stopped him from winning a medal.
The 13-year-old Nelson College student grabbed a bronze medal for his efforts in the half pipe at the nationals at Cardrona, a result he didn’t expect.
“When they called my name out to go on the podium, I thought they said something else so I just gave it a little while to see if anyone else came up, but they didn’t.”
Lochie, who comes from a skiing family, started on skis as a kid before “turning to the dark side” and swapped them for a snowboard when he was nine.
His mum Jackie says Lochie is “passionate” about snowboarding and is heading to Big Bear Mountain in the United States with a coach from Wanaka.
It’s a happy end to what could have been a very frustrating winter.
He broke his ankle when his brother double-bounced him on a trampoline. The initial five-week stand-down turned into 12 weeks, so when he got to nationals Lochie wasn’t expecting much.
He says you are scored on the amount of height you get in the half-pipe and the technicality of the tricks you do.
“I wasn’t doing crazy stuff, because I haven’t done too much half pipe – basically just a few spins and grabs and 360s,” he says.
Jackie says the ankle did hold him back in some other parts of the competition.
“There’re five things that they can compete in and half pipe was one of them, the others were slalom, slope style, border cross and big mountain and he was a bit limited on what he could do in the other ones because the surgeon said he’s not allowed to do big jumps.”
Lochie says his ultimate goal is to get to the Olympics or X Games, but for now it’s about strengthening that ankle for his trip to the US.