There’s never been a better time for British snowboarding. Not only do we have a handful of top world ranking riders, but there are also some seriously impressive rookies emerging from the ranks.
We currently have 4 male and 4 female riders ranked in the top 100 of the TTR world tour rankings (men and women are ranked separately), with our leading man, Jamie Nicholls, at 41 in the men’s, and top lady, Aimee Fuller, at 15 in the women’s. This is not to mention British snowboarding legend, Jenny Jones who took slopestyle gold twice and silver once in the Winter X Games in Aspen, three years running (2009-11).
Among the rising talent is Billy Morgan who shot to fame this season by landing the first ever ‘triple rodeo’. The gravity-defying trick was captured on film and has now received over 777,000 hits on You Tube. Another talented young Brit to be propelled into the limelight courtesy of a good bit of media exposure is Andy Nudds, who was selected to represent the UK in the Nike Chosen Sessions, an innovative and highly publicised event, in which he came fourth overall.
All of this is pretty good going when you consider that the only skiable mountains in the UK are in the Scottish Highlands, and even those are mere hills compared to the Alps or the Rockies, with an extremely unreliable snow record at that.
They're really just a short stretch of slope in a giant fridge. When you compare that to the world class ski areas which have produced many of their competitors, it makes the achievements of our riders all the more remarkable.
While there is some amazing talent coming from north of the border (Ben Kilner, Angus Leith, Orla Doolin and Sophie Addison, to name but a few), much of it is being reared on the handful of dry slopes and artificial snow domes that are scattered throughout the country, and it’s no coincidence that many of the UK’s top riders were brought up within close proximity of the best of these.
These ‘snow centres’ provide excellent facilities for our predominantly snow starved population, but ultimately they are really just a short stretch of slope in a giant fridge, be it indoors or out! When you compare that to the world class ski areas which have produced many of their competitors, it makes the achievements of our riders all the more remarkable.
Reared on a diet of rails and compact kickers, it’s unsurprising that this is the area in which British riders excel. Arguably, Jamie Nicholl’s biggest achievement last season was taking first place in the Tokyo Rail Days Jam, against some of the best jibbers in the world.
To celebrate the talent that’s emerging from the UK indoor scene, Gonzilla.tv, a website which produces and showcases video edits of British riders, recently released a series of edits entitled ‘Homegrown’, which feature some of the best up-and-coming British riders shredding their home ‘turf’.
The Grindhouse is another collective of UK riders who are also representing the British snowboarding scene by producing some great edits. They are also currently working on a full-length film to be released later this year.
With video edits and movies being a pivotal part of today’s snowboarding industry, these production teams seem set to propel even more of our rising stars to the centre the world snowboarding stage.
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