If you’ve driven down Dalmeny Drive in the past few weeks, chances are you’ve seen the brand-new ski/snowboard jump in Kianga.
The jump, built by Guido Guseli, is the most recent step in Valentino Guseli’s snowboard training, and has been made big enough to land the types of tricks required to do well on the international stage.
The jump starts with a 45-degree angle at the top before rising into a 15-degree lip, or kick. Once Valentino is airborne, he lands on a series of massive airbags on the downslope.
Ric Guseli, Valentino’s father, said the airbags meant there was no risk of injury when his son landed.
“The airbags are from China, and they’re basically the same sort of airbags that would be used if someone needed to jump out of a large building,” he said.
“The bottom bag is always full of air, and the top one is slightly deflated so it collects the impact better.
“Every time he goes to do a jump, we do a visual check that all the airbags are blown up to make sure there’s no danger.”
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Rather than pumping in fake snow for the jump, Ric and Guido used a specially designed brush on the downslope.
“It’s called Enoki, so if you imagine the enoki mushrooms, they have a little rounded head on them,” Mr Guseli said.
“They’re about 60 millimetres high, and they have round ball-bearing heads. When you use a special type of candle wax on the board, it makes them really slippery. We wet everything down before the jump as well to make it really slick.”
Eurobodalla Shire Council on Tuesday, December 4, said no development approval had been lodged for the structure and it had asked that construction be stopped.
However, Neil Mumme, a family friend of the Guseli’s, said on Thursday, December 6, that all the appropriate council approval applications had been lodged as of this week.
“It’s an ancillary development to a house on the block,” Mr Mumme said. “I’ve spoken to council officers about how we’re handling the applications, and they’ve provided us the correct way forward.
“It’s the first one of its kind, so it has it’s challenges in how it was lodged and how we went about it.
“Once the ground around the jump recovers, I don’t think there will be any issues. I’m very confident it’ll get the tick of approval.”
The jump is technically a temporary structure, and is only planned for the use of Valentino at this stage.
“We’re just planning for Valentino to train on this,” Mr Guseli said. “He’s got the inside track to a spot in the next Olympics as far we can tell, so this will obviously be a big help in achieving that, and making it safe for him to learn some of the crazy tricks.
“The reason we've made it so big is because he's chasing after the triple flips which won the last Olympics.
“Now we're heading into quad flips, and there's a couple of riders who are already landing them in competitions, so the next Olympics will be a combination of the two.
“We believe this jump is already big enough to do quads on.”
Valentino won’t be doing all his training on the jump, as he’ll still spend a good chunk of time at the snow.
“The idea is we take the new tricks we learn here to the snow, and stomp them there when it’s safe,” Ric said.
Mr Guseli said the jump is a talking point in the Dalmeny/Kianga area.
“We’d like to thank the local people and the local area for their interest in the project,” he said. “We’ve had lots of awesome feedback, and a lot of people really love it.”