The DDU crew return for another season of southern hemi shredding, kicking off with some early season shred around Queenstown with Zoi Sadowski-Synnot and a bunch of NZ's finest...

"Early season is the best," says Diaries Downunder bossman Nick Hyne. We can all relate to the sense of anticipation that a new winter brings: the stoke you get from taking the first turns, seeing which zones are getting filled in, dropping into the park for the first time after a long summer and feeling the froth build for the deep days to come later on.

That froth becomes even greater when the season starts well. The area around Queenstown, like much of the souther hemisphere, has enjoyed a killer first few weeks of the winter with powder days and park laps a running theme that has been gobbled up by NZ riders.

"The area around Queenstown, like much of the souther hemisphere, has enjoyed a killer first few weeks of the winter"

And this first Diaries Downunder of NZ's 2018 winter covers a bunch of the country's finest riders properly getting some. Starting off in The Remarkables, the crew enjoy cliff drops, backies, pow slashes and lines before heading down to the city to get involved in that other early season favourite - the downtown rail jam, in this case the Legends of Steel rail jam at Queenstown's Winterfestival.

From there, it's on to Cardrona, home of NZ's biggest park. This is where the national team - who've been impressing in recent years thanks to riders like Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, Carlos Garcia-Knight and Christy Prior - come to train, and it's clear why. The setup is looking mint, and Zoi, CGK, Christy and co. duly tear it up.

As Nick says: "What a start... and it only gets better from here on in!"

Riders:

Zoi Sadowski-Synnot, Nick Brown, Stef Zeestraten, Nick Hyne, Christy Prior, Ethan Cruise, Carlos Garcia Knight

Filming:

Heath Patterson

Additional film:

James Holman

Drone filming:

Nick Hyne