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With the first few edits and pictures coming out of New Zealand and Australia now comes the time of year where we at WL hq were back down under shredding the amazing terrain that opens up for the Southern winter.
But what about the riders native to these lands? Aussies rule and Kiwis fly, at least in the snowboarding world. In fact, despite 99% of people here in the UK still believing that Australia is one giant desert (it's not - the Blue and Snowy mountain ranges on the East coast are some of the best in the world, despite their rather unimaginative names) some of the best riders in the world come from the same country as kangaroos and
Rolf Harris Kylie Minogue.
Not to mention New Zealand too - any rider who has to battle through gorse and near horizontal winds will get pretty good pretty fast, just like the UK riders north of Hadrian's Wall. Evolve or die, baby.
So in celebration of the Antipodeans waking up to winter, here's five of the best Kiwi and Aussie riders getting it done right now:
[part title="Kent Callister, Aus"]
For someone so good, there's surprisingly little video evidence of Kent Callister online, hence the fan made edit above. We have to confess, it wasn't until the Sochi halfpipe qualifiers that we'd even heard of him more than in passing, but as soon as he cranked out that method, he was right at the top of our list of riders to look out for more.
He's still in his teens, but given any terrain park feature he can rip it to shreds. His USP is his amazing rubber spine which seems to have an infinite flex. Just check out the back 7 japan at 2.57 - it's not technically corked but he gives the grab so much tweak he ends up upside down. Here's us hoping there'll be more to see from this kid in the future.
[part title="Will Jackways, NZ"]
An surprisingly under the radar powder hound, in reality Will Jackways should be up there with the very best. Any doubts, check out his rad edit from Japan above, or the short and sharp unreal ender from Videograss' 'ENLIGHTEN' below, bloody massive doesn't cover it. Not the drop, his balls.
Calm and understated, if you like travel blogs with minimal fuss and heaps of amazing pictures be sure to check out his page here.
[part title="Scotty James, Aus"]
Scotty James is a dude. Not only has he been shredding since aged three (he started out on a $10, 80cm board!) but at age 20 he's already been to two Olympics, even doubling up in Sochi this year - hitting both the pipe and slopestyle courses. Like a boss.
On top of that, he's well known on the contest circuit as an all round nice guy, hitting it off well with many of the Team GB riders.
[part title="Christy Prior, NZ"]
To regular readers of WL.com, it'll come as no surprise to find that we're once again waxing lyrical about Christy Prior. There are few guys in the world that can come close to her on rails - let alone girls - and with maybe the best frontside lipslide ever we challenge you to tell us different. Just check out that video above, she just did all four 360s out. Boom.
But if skill was all there was to judge a rider, snowboard journalism would be a pretty dull science. No, we rate Christy so much for her attitude. Fun, positive and at time hilarious - just check out her Instagram, or her Vimeo account with titles like 'Doing the Boarding' and 'Turning is Fun'. It's good not to take it too seriously eh?
[part title="Torah Bright, Aus"]
However, if we're talking great attitudes, the queen of colonies has to be Ms Torah Bright - a true all-round ripper like no one else. She can slay it in the pipe, park and powder, hell even the boardercross track these days.
No one else has competed in all three snowboard disciplines at the Olympics, no one else delights as many fans and no one else even comes close to looking like they're having as much fun on a snowboard as her. Not just down under but in the whole world.