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!
Yesterday I went down to Snow Factor, Braehead for the Scottish Indoor Champs, there was a sick park including a new wall ride that had been bought just in time for the competition and the slope was at maximum capacity with all the entries! It was amazing to see so many people competing in a British freeski and snowboard competition and hopefully the numbers will only continue to rise.
My practice session went pretty well in the morning and I managed to figure out a run for the two run, best run counts qualifier. Once practice finished there was a quick riders meeting before the snowboard runs began. I was one of the last riders to drop so there was quite a lot of waiting around so I had to do a couple star jumps to stay warm haha! I ended up having to improvise a little bit on my first run as I did a cab 270 on the first down rail and took it round to switch instead of back to regular but it still worked out so I didn’t have too much pressure to land my second run so I could go for something a bit harder. I did a cab 270 on, 270 out of the down bar into a gap BS lipslide on the next feature followed by a FS 3 indy off the toes on the jump and then a FS lipslide 270 on the top of the wallride at the end.
There was then a bit of a gap before finals were announced so I just got a bite to eat and watched my little brother Chris put down his qualifier runs. Once they’d finished the finalists were announced and I’d made it in so I went up and had a few practice laps. For the final runs I was last to drop so I really did have a lot of time to kill so I just took a couple runs down the public slope to keep myself warm. I decided to do the second run for qualifiers as my first run in finals and that worked out pretty well. Then for my second I wanted to do a FS blunt 450 out on the top rail into a cab 270 to switch on the next feature, then a cab 5 mute on the jump and FS lip 270 on the wallride but unfortunately I slipped out on my cab 270 and had to hope my first run was good enough for a podium spot.
Once I’d watch the skiers in the finals I went back on to have a few more laps of the course as it was that fun! I managed to get a gap cab 360 onto the second down rail which I was really stoked with! After this mini session I went in to watch the prize giving and ended up winning my category and the overall title! I think there will be a full video round up of the day coming out soon so I’ll get that up whenever I see it. I’d also like to say a massive thanks to Lauren MacCullum and the rest of the Snowsport Scotland team for putting on such a fun event!
Over the past few days I got to do a few sessions with the British Freestyle Snowboard Team which are always really sick! For these sessions we were going to be doing some skating, gymnastics and an indoor airbag session so I was really looking forward to spending a few days with the team!
On Sunday, Lewis Courtier- Jones -one of the British Team members- flew into Glasgow from Geneva where I picked him up and took him back to my house to stay for the night. The next morning myself, my brother Chris and Lewis all got on a train through to Edinburgh. When we arrived we met up with Katie Ormerod, Billy Morgan, Jack Shackleton and Hamish McKnight before heading back to Hamish’s to meet my older brother Danny and Henry Shackleton (Jacks younger brother) and go for a skate. Check out these shots of myself and Lewis session the park -
Once we’d finished skating we had a quick BBQ before heading through to Snow Factor, Braehead for a night Airbag session. The park crew had done an amazing job putting together a kicker and canon rail into the bag for us to try a few new tricks. I started of doing some double wildcats which were good fun and then decided to work on my take-off for my BS double 10 to get it really clean with lots of pop. It took me a while but I did manage to get some around twice into the bag. By the time the session was over it was about midnight so we all headed home to get some rest for the next day.
The next morning we all got up a bit later to give ourselves some time to properly wake up. At about 11 myself, Lewis, Danny and Chris along with some of the junior team made our way into Glasgow to skate Kelvingrove Skate park. We only stayed for about an hour but it was still a really fun session! We then said goodbye to the juniors as they were driving back up to Aberdeen and went back to my house to chill for a few hours before taking the train back to Kelvingrove to meet up with Hamish, Henry, Billy and Katie. By this time the park had gotten pretty busy so we didn’t stay long before getting some dinner and driving to bellahouston for a bit of gymnastics.
The gymnastics session was really sick and it was really cool to get to see Billy and Katie there as they both did a lot of gymnastics/acrobatics when they were younger so they sent it on all the apparatus! We spent quite a bit of time with Hamish trying to figure out FS double 10s on the trampoline and how each cork would look and how you would need to throw them. It was pretty cool to work through a trick and get it properly in our heads. The gymnastics was the last part of the training days so once we’d finished we said our goodbyes and all headed home to recover! Hopefully there will be a video coming out over the next few days and I’ll get it up here as soon as it drops.
A few weeks ago was the 4th year of Bearsden’s Go Big or Go Home and it was the biggest and best yet! I did a lot of the organising for the competition along with my brothers, Dad and the guys at Freeze Pro Shop and we were so stoked that it was such a success!
As well as helping with the organising side of things I also competed in this years event which was really good fun! The format was pretty mellow with a jam session in the morning which cut the rider list down to the top 15 and then another jam which cut it down to the top 4. This gave everyone loads of time to just enjoy the atmosphere and chill with their friends while riding. After the second jam we a had a small rail jam which was pretty good too. All the younger riders got the chance to win a few prizes which is definitely important!
Once the rail jam had finished the finals were announced which consisted of myself, Fin Bremner, Marc McClement and Matt Corry. The format for the finals was head-to-head and I was partnered up with Marc for the first round. In my runs I landed a switch BS 9 melon and tried a BS 10 mute but bailed out on the landing while Marc sent a massive double backflip and BS 10! The scores must have been really tight but I managed to qualify through for the battle for 1st and 2nd against Fin. Fin had been sending it all day and put down a sick switch BS 9 mute on his first run and tried a cab double underflip but didn’t quite get it around. I was pretty gutted to sketch out of both my switch BS 9s in the final but it was still good to get to walk away with 2nd!
Even though I didn’t manage to get my final runs down I was still super happy with how the day went! This was the busiest year it’s ever been with about 80 entries and hopefully it will only continue to grow!
Last Saturday I headed down to Sno!Zone Castleford with for the Sno!Down Competition. It was just after my exams were over so it was good to catch up with a few people and ride a fun park with no pressure. I rode a bit of the night with Katie Ormerod who soon abandoned me to go judge so I spent most of the session with my brother Chris and a young skier from from Scotland called Kyle Jenkins. The format was a jam session so I just tried to get as many trick down as I could as well as try a few new ones I’d been working on recently.
Once the jam was over we had a quick break shortly followed by the team event which I had been picked as a captain for. Our initial idea was to ride through the park all holding onto a long piece of ribbons that we’d been given at the start. Sadly it didn’t really work out and we snapped the ribbon before we got to the first feature hahaha. In the end a few members of the team went down holding the ribbon while the rest of us did a high jump over one ribbons at the jump which worked out pretty well. Unfortunately the judges didn’t quite agree and we didn’t win the event :( . It wasn’t all bad though as I managed to get 1st in the older age category and win £70 which I was pretty stoked with!
I was back up in Cairngorm again on the 19th April for the first ever real snow halfpipe competition in Britain – Bag the Pipe! Cairngorm crew had put so much work into making the pipe this year and it definitely paid off! Massive shout out to Euan Baxter who I know put loads of time and effort into making the competition such a success! The weather on the day of the competition was bluebird with almost no wind so it ended up being an amazing event.
I don’t get the chance to ride pipe very much so it’s safe to say I was feeling a bit rusty but still had good fun and managed to put down some FS 720s straight to the flat bottom haha. In the end Lewis Courtier-Jones walked away with a deserved 1st place by stomping 5s, 7s and handplants throughout his run.
Air to Fakie
After the competition was done I went and hiked some rails with my little brother Chris, Lewis Doherty, Lewis McWilliam and Harris Booth and we ended up making a short edit with the shots we got:
I went home that night but I ended up heading back up the next day as, if there weather was good, there was going to be a small British Team session. Unfortunately it was a bit too windy so we had to take it mellow but still had a good session on the jump and rails in the morning and a fun session out the bottom of the halfpipe and on the quarterpipe at the bottom. After the session was done I headed back home and had to get ready for my final exams as they were starting in a couple days.
That was pretty much the end of my season riding snow. Sadly I didn’t get too much done with all my exams but now that they’re over I can start planning for next year and hopefully I’ll be able to get plenty of trips done and hopefully do my first European competitions. Over summer I’ll still be riding at Bearsden and Snow Factor so I’ll still be posting here and I’ll be doing a few British Team training days which are looking to be really good this year along with maybe doing a small glacier trip somewhere mid/end July.