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Comment Share Posted on Friday May 1st at 4:01 p.m.

At first glance watching me shred down a mountain you may think I am just your normal snowboarder carving some tracks. And to some extent that is true. However, I only have 1 leg!

NAME: Carl Murphy
NICKNAME: Carlos Mancini
AGE: 30
HOMETOWN: New Plymouth, Taranaki
RESIDENCE: Lake Hawea, Wanaka
HEIGHT: 6'1" leg on - 5'6" leg off!!!
STANCE: Regular

My name is Carl Murphy and I am a below the knee amputee.

I lost my leg at a young age while surfing off the south coast of Australia when a tiger shark thought I looked like a tasty lunch package!!

Ha, I wish it was that dramatic! I was actually born with only 1 and a half legs. However, this hasn't stopped me from getting up on a snowboard and competing at an international level in Adaptive Snowboarding.

What is Adaptive Snowboarding? Basically, it's much the same as snowboarding but with changes to equipment and rules to cater for people with various physical disabilities.

I ride my board in the same setup as a 2 legger (A.K.A. person with 2 legs) does but with the help of a prosthetic leg made by a company called Lab Industries in Levin. This custom designed carbon fibre leg provides me with light weight strength and a built in Fox RP23 mountain bike shock to help with the bumps and hard landings. How many of you shredders can hit a kicker and snap ya foot off with no pain involved!! I just head to the car and slap on some spare parts!

2009 has been a great year for me with some awesome results both at home in NZ and in the Northern Hemisphere. Placing 2nd in the 2009 WSF Adaptive Snowboarding World Champs, at the USASA 2009 National Championships I claimed my first international gold medal in Slalom, a silver in Boardercross, along with 4th in Giant Slalom and 5th in Halfpipe. I also placed 3rd in the 2009 Canadian Adaptive Snowboard Nationals Boardercross.

2009 has also seen me included in the NZSBU (New Zealand Snowboard Union Squad), the first ever disabled snowboarder to be included and also being awarded the 2009 Snow Sports New Zealand ‘Emerging Talent of the Year Award'.

For the long term, I have my eyes on the 2011 World Champs and more importantly the 2014 winter Paralympics where Adaptive Snowboarding is to be included for the first time.

Snowboarding at an international level comes with many costs and I have been lucky enough to have some great sponsors over the past couple of years. Big Thanks to Lib Tech Snowboards, SS20 UK, Lab Industries, Klein Architects and of course my Wife.

Without the ongoing support from my sponsors, Snow Sports NZ and some awesome coaching from my coach Adam Dooney I am sure I wouldnt have seen results I have over the past season. Big ups to those guys.

  • Adam Dooney (Coach) & Me, 2nd Place WSF World Champs Adam Dooney (Coach) & Me, 2nd Place WSF World Champs

When I'm not spending time on the slopes, I enjoy surfing, fishing, keeping fit and healthy and catching up with friends over a couple of coldies.
I will be keeping this blog up to date with results and other random things happening in my life so stay tuned.


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