05/03/2014 | by Sam McMahon
Tom Brookfield hit us up yesterday to tell us about a new monthly Air-Bag night up at Rossendale, one of Britain’s longest running and most renowned dry slope spots. With a rich history of freestyle we wonder whether this might be the revival of a scene that looks like it’s on the up:
Back in 2010, to coincide with the Vancouver winter Olympics, struggling dry slope Ski Rossendale was part of a grant scheme intended to boost snow-sports in the UK. At the time the slope was short on visitors and could have even faced closure.
With the situation as it was, you couldn’t necessarily tell that the small Northern hill was once home to some of the best snowboarding the UK had to offer, Steve Bailey, the Brass brothers, Danny Wheeler and Chris Moran all learnt their trade on its dendix. Ros has been consistently described as the most progressive dry slope scene of the early 90s, and it was there that Steve Bailey (pictured) landed the first ever 900 on dendix in 1995.
Now in 2013, Rossendale looks like it will be getting a fresh burst of freestyle with a monthly air-bag session in association with Air-Drenaline, creating potential for a new scene similar to what we’ve seen out of Bearsden north of the Scottish border.
In 2010 we looked at Sean Miller’s suggestion that the UK scene might be dying with the popularity of park nights pushing youngsters towards jibbing and away from aerial tricks, so it’s always a welcome change when sites like Rossendale encourage jump sessions. With the combination of new air-bag nights and the recently rebuilt kicker, Rossendale could prove to have the right elements for a new generation of emerging talent.
It’s also great to see that there’s a growing link to the surrounding community, with volunteers helping with slope refurbishment and maintenance over the last few years, and on and off-slope events including a link to Factory Youth Zone in Manchester, supporting young people to develop their sports skills. The Rossendale Facebook page, or the Ski Rossendale website both have info about what’s been going on and all the details of future events.
If they can build up momentum and get a regular crowd down for the air-bag night, it will be interesting to see the results coming out of there in the next couple of years; as much as we’ve loved the rail progression that’s been going on in domes recently, it’s always good to hear that the places where it all started in the UK are still going strong.
Rossendale was really the be all and end all for us - Danny Wheeler, 2007