Kiwi challenges himself on Ohau

Arrowtown's Jake Koia to take part in Heli challenge

AUDREY MALONE
Last updated 05:00 05/09/2014
Jake Koia
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FRESH POWDER: Jake Koia rides his snowboard, making fresh tracks.

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A New Zealander is in the second team to take part in the World Heli Challenge (WHC) in Ohau and Aoraki/Mt Cook next week.

Arrowtown's Jake Koia is part of the duo Team Mates, who along with Australian Ryan Tiene, will compete in the international competition.

The competition will tell a story through skiing or snowboarding on film.

It was announced last night in Wanaka there would be a second team to take part in the nine-day "shootout" starting on Sunday.

Team Mates will compete against the peoples' choice award, the North American group called Team Vacation.

Koia, 29, was excited to be riding in the WHC for the second time, and at Ohau for the first time.

"Yeah, I have never been there before so it should be pretty good.

"I have been to Mt Cook once before, but that was when I was 20, so ages ago," he said.

He was mainly looking forward to working with one of his "best mates".

Koia films his riding on "back country" mountains across the world. It is one of the only ways to make money as a snowboarder, he said.

Unlike other sports where people peak at a younger age, he believed snowboarding was one with a certain amount of longevity.

"Most of the guys who are at the top of the sport are over 30.

"By then you have developed a really good knowledge base and technical skills," he said.

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- The Timaru Herald

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