If there was ever a gathering of people dressed inappropriately for the weather, it was the audience of the British Big Air Championships today. First thing on the morning the valley, the sky was blue and it was looking to be a hot one. We all ditched our layers and went for minimal gear. Up top it was a different story – the riders battled soft conditions, dodgy light and a fair bit of wind. And it was Baltic.
But there was plenty to watch while we battled to keep the life in our extremities. The girls did seem to be struggling with the conditions and there were a couple of big slams as well but thankfully no-one was injured.
In the end Rebecca Cullum took third, Sophie Addison came second and Katie Blundell took the title.
The standard of riding in the guys contest was pretty high and it was a fantastic day’s riding. There were plenty of grim moments as people attempted backflips and frontflips and landed on their faces. But again no-one seemed too badly injured – although Sam Cullum did pull out of the men’s final.
But only a serious set of rotations and/or flips would do when it came to getting on the podium. Scott Penman came third but the contest for first and second place was tight with judges left to choose between two double corked 10s . In the end it was Billy Morgan who took the top spot with Jamie Nicholls taking second.
While we were shivering on the hill there were some big British sporting cheeses were in town. The British Olympic Association (BOA) is the national governing body for snowsports in the UK at the moment, following the collapse of Snowsports GB due to financial troubles. The chairman of the BOA, Lord Moynihan turned up to check out the set up and was pretty impressed by all accounts. Given how vital the organisation will be in helping to fund the development of snowboarding and facilities for elite riders in the future, this was a pretty crucial visit.
The apres session had some added extras tonight. While DC rider Seb Kern hit the decks, James Thorne MC’d a session on the Cushe Airbag. There were 500 Swiss francs and plenty more spot prizes up for grabs for skiers and snowboarders going the extra mile with the tricks they attempted. Given they didn’t have to land anything, the creativity had to happen on take off or in the air.
Therefore we had a combination of topless riders, one ski skiers and snowboarders who didn’t bother strapping into their bindings. Fun stuff.
Tonight we’re off to the concrete cave that is the Indy Club for the Cushe VJ night with the Urban Knights.
Today’s board was a Ride Promise 148 – a brilliant all mountain board that slashed through the slush with ease but was still lightweight and easy to ride. It has snappy carbon stringers in it, a directional twin shape and Ride’s patented Slimewalls (urethane rubber side walls).
If you liked the Ride Vista you’ll love this. I had a great time on it and would definitely recommend it for riders looking for a fun, easy to ride all mountain board – it’s also a decent price, coming in at just £290.
Day 2: Checking out the Trespass British Boardercross Championships
Day 1: The Brits arrive for the, erm, Brits