This was the fifth consecutive year my family helped organise Bearsden’s Go Big or Go Home dryslope competition and we were pretty stoked with how it all went! We started running GBoGH as we thought the UK scene was starting to lack a bit in freestyle ski and snowboard competitions. When me and my brothers were growing up we always had such an amazing time riding at events like the Westbeach Snowflex series and we were pretty gutted when it came to an end so we thought we’d try do our bit to get things going again!
It was awesome to have so many riders travel from across the UK to ride in the competition. We always try to make it as relaxed a format as possible which is why we include two rounds of jam sessions followed by a head to head final. As well as helping with the organising this year, I also competed. I’ve been doing dryslope competitions since I was 11 and I still love riding in them! It’s one of the few times when you get to see people from all over coming together to shred!
Getting some laps in with my brother during the Quarter Pipe Jam.
I managed to qualify through the two jam sessions and into the head to head final. In the first head to head I was up against Ciaran Tucker. It was a three runs, best two runs count format so I put downs a BS 7 mute, a FS 7 melon and a switch BS 9 drunk driver which got me into the 1st and 2nd play off with Fin Bremner. For my first run I landed a BS 9 drunk driver and then went for the switch BS 9 on my second. I managed to land it but not as clean as I wanted so I tried it again on my last run and thankfully managed to get it better. It must have been pretty tight between Fin and I but in the end I managed to walk away with 1st overall!
This year we’ll be running a second leg of GBoGH for the first time at Aberdeen Snowsports club on the 1st August so make sure you get down to that especially if you missed the Bearsden leg!
On the 5th of April I drove from Mayrhofen to Ischgl with Ben Kinnear and Fin Bremner for the World Rookie Fest Finals! This was my first and last World Rookie Fest event as I will be too old to compete next year :( . It was a really fun competition and I’m stoked I had the chance to experience it!
We arrived a day early so got an extra day cruising around Ischgl and checking out the course. In the afternoon they opened up the course for a few runs so I ended up testing the first jump which was pretty nice but they had to close it after a few runs because it was hard to get enough speed. During official practice the next day the first jump was almost perfect with much better speed but the second kicker had a really long take-off which made it feel really flat. The rails were a little bit weird but still fun to ride. I managed to land my run a few times so I was just hoping I’d be able to put it down in qualifiers!
We had a break the next day for the Grom and Girl qualifiers so we just took it easy and practiced our euro carves! We then had the Rookie boy qualifiers on the Friday. I didn’t have the best practice on the day of qualifiers and I didn’t land my run at all but luckily when it came to my first qualifying run I put it to my feet! My run was a cab 9 switch indy on the first jump, BS 7 melon on the second, 50-50 FS 3 out of a cannon, 50-50 on a flat bar to transfer into back board on a down bar and finally a lipslide cab 270 onto a rainbow. I was really stoked to manage to get a run down but I there were a couple areas I could improve on for my second run so I knew I could do a bit more. We had a speed test run between our two qualifier runs which I used to clean up my run a bit. I added a roast beef grab as well as the switch indy on the cab 9 and got a better lock on all the rails. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to put my cab 9 down on my second run which I was a bit gutted about.
In the end I missed out on finals by 5 points and finished 21st. I definitely would have been nice to make it into the finals but I’m just happy to have put a run down!
A couple weeks back I was out in Tignes, France with a few people from the British Snowboard Team for the Brits. This was one of the busiest years in Brits history and it was sick to see so many you kids there to compete!
The first snowboard event was the bangers and cash rail jam and the Tignes park crew had built a sick set-up for us to ride. I managed to land a couple new tricks during the rail jam like cab boardslide to underflip out of the cannon and switch BS 270 on to 270 off which I was pretty stoked with and I managed to win a bit of cash spot prizes which was pretty good too!
The next event I entered was the slopestyle, the course was pretty good with some nice rails and a fun kicker line. Unfortunately the weather was rubbish so the course was restricted to the two rails and the first jump. I managed to put down a pretty mellow run of 50-50 FS 3 out a flat bar, gap to back board to switch on a flat down box, into a cab 5 on the jump. That managed to win me the 18 and under category and get second overall which was pretty cool considering the bad conditions.
My last competition was the halfpipe which was probably the one I most enjoyed! I haven’t ridden much pipe recently and I was definitely scared of the massive pipe they had in Tignes but it ended up being really fun and I managed to put a run down and land a couple new trick like BS 5s and ally-oop chuck flips! In the end I finished 1st in the 18 and under and I think I was 4th overall.
After the Brits I headed over to Mayrhofen for a week of riding (which was pretty terrible because of bad weather all week) before driving to Ischgl with Ben Kinnear and Fin Bremner for the World Rookie Fest Finals…
This is pretty late but while I was in Mayrhofen at the end of January/start of February I managed to get a really sick day riding powder and a bit of park with Rowan Coultas. We got a couple shots from the day and made the edit below…
This was my first year going to Colorado with the British Snowboard Team and it was my first time ever in America so I was pretty excited for the trip! We flew out on the 1st of December to Denver and then drove to Frisco where would be staying for the three weeks. We spent the first couple days cruising the smaller jumps in Breck and the rails in Keystone while we waited for some bigger jumps to open up. A few days later the Keystone medium line opened which was sick!
Once I’d gotten used to them, me and Rowan Coultas started thinking about trying double wildcats on the second one so we went up, did a straight air, then 2 or 3 layed out wildcats and then we just gave them a rip! Rowan managed to pretty much land his first try but I kept spinning a little bit of a backside which was pretty annoying. After about 5 or 6 bails in a row I decided to take a break and give it another try the next day. I went to Woodward that night and did a few into the foam pit to get a better feeling for them which seemed to be working. The next day I did the same little warm up and then ripped it and landed it first try and then went on to land 5 in a row! From then on me and Rowan tried to see how few practice runs we could do before we would try them and managed to get it down to two warm up runs and then try them.
While we were out there the Dew Tour was on which was sick to watch especially as we had a few Brits competing. During one of the practice days I was lucky enough to borrow a bib and go ride the course! It was pretty unbelievable to be riding the the practice session even though I wasn’t meant to be there haha
From then on we were just waiting for the bigger jumps in Breckenridge to open but the weather was really stormy the day they were planned to open and the first day they did open we weren’t able to ride them for very long as it got windy pretty quickly so in the end we only really had one day to session them properly. I’d really wanted to try a cab double underlip for a while and it was looking like this might be the best time so after a few slow cab underflips I tried it and managed to land it first try! I landed two more after that before the weather came in and we had to call it a day.
That ended up to be my last day riding of the trip so I was stoked to end it on a high! A few days later I flew home to chill with my family for a bit over Christmas and new year before I head back to school….
It’s been quite a while since I posted any updates on this as I’ve been pretty busy with school and, more importantly, riding! After my last post I went to Stubai for about 10 days which had a sick park but we didn’t really have much time to ride it as it was always snowing :(. We did get about 2 or 3 good days though and I managed to land some more BS double 10s and I got some pretty good photos with Tom Copsey from Onboard Magazine.
Once we’d finished in Stubai we headed to Dachstein for the O’Neill Pleasure Jam. We went up to ride the practice session the day before qualifiers but it was dumping so we could only hit the rails and straight air the first jump. The next day was qualifiers and the weather was pretty much perfect! The course was fun to ride and really well shaped so it didn’t take long for me to get a run figured out. For my first run I played it safe and did a cab 1 on, BS 1 out of the rainbow rail, cab 5 indy on the first jump into BS 7 mute on the second followed by a FS 3 over a hip/gap feature and finally a 50-50 up a rail to BS wallride and then BS nose pretzel on the down bar.I managed to put the run to my feet so I was stoked especially as it was my first international competition! I tried to up my second run by trying a cab 9 on the 1st jump but scrubbed out on the landing. I was there with Ben Kilner, Rowan Coultas and Lewis Courtier-Jones who all managed to land a run too and Rowan managed to qualify to the Semi-Finals and then the Finals to end up finishing 6th! Hopefully I’ll be able to get back there next year and put down some better runs!
After a really long year of not much snowboarding and loads of school work and exams, I’m finally back in the mountains again! I came out to Hintertux on the 20th October to ride with the British Snowboard guys for a while and so far it’s been really sick!
Bridge jumping on one of our down days
The first few days I arrived it was really stormy up the Glacier so we just chilled and waited for the good weather to come in. When I did get up there was a lot of fresh snow so we pretty much spent the whole day doing laps in the powder and throwing backflips off side hits.
The next day the park had been fully shaped so I was able to ride a pro-line for the first time in over a year. It took a couple runs to adjust again but by the end of the day I was pretty comfortable with them again. When we got up the day after I did a few BS 7s and then tried my first BS double cork 10 in over a year, which I landed! I was pretty surprised and really stoked to go onto land the next two in a row as well! When we went back up the following day I managed to get it done with drunk driver (like a truck driver but grabbing mute and stalefish instead of indy and melon) which I was pretty happy with too.
From then on I spent most of my time doing cab and frontside as I’ve never really had much time to try it on bigger jumps. Unfortunately though after a few days I slipped off a rail and banged my leg pretty bad so I had to take it really easy for pretty much the rest of the trip so I mostly just lapped the rails.
We’ve now all moved over to Stubai to ride here till the O’Neill Pleasure Jam later this month. We had a really good first day and the park is incredible over here but it looks like there is going to be a lot of bad weather so we might not have much time riding it :(. Hopefully we get a few more days up there as I’ve still got a few things I’d like to try before Pleasure Jam!