The countdown continues... so far we've had a fistful of legends, a world-beating up-and comer, and two Olympians - but who else made the cut?
#15 - Aimee Fuller
At the age of four, Aimee Fuller agreed to take ski lessons at Bromley dry slope in exchange for a hamster. While obviously no longer with us, that little guy will go down in history as the UK’s most influential rodent.
Once Aimee discovered snowboarding, that was it – she was committed to making it her career, and a fearless approach (forged in a childhood spent racing motorbikes) saw her rise quickly through the ranks, taking her first major win at the 2012 Pleasure Jam.
Her Olympic debut two years later is better remembered for her stint as a commentator than what happened on the hill, but we fully expect her to be giving it another crack in 2018. Recently she nabbed second place at the Ale Invite, and we may have to get used to seeing her on the podium.
She’s no contest robot though; Aimee fully embraces the adventure side of snowboarding, just as happy riding sketchy motorbikes up Norwegian glaciers as she is on a slopestyle course.
"Has raised the profile for both UK and women's snowboarding" - Chris Orchard, The Snowboard Asylum
"Crazy person, crazy skills!" - Edd Deurden, DC
#14 - Dom Harington
Even though he could still pass for 20, Dom's been on the scene for years, first as a hard-grafting pipe rat (who somehow managed to qualify for the Olympics AND get a maths degree in the same year) and now as coach for the next generation of kids coming through the GB Park & Pipe team.
Away from the park, he’s accompanied the good ship Whitelines on many a trip and is always the one making that one last hike up to the drop in to get the shot. Friendly, open, extremely talented - he’s one of the best statesmen for British snowboarding we’ll ever have, and you can be sure that he’ll always get the grab.
"There’s many a rider from the UK that’s described as ‘the nicest guy in snowboarding’, but for my money Dom takes the top of that particular poll." - Sam McMahon, Whitelines
"Classic Yorkshire dryslope kid turned career pro. Has had his injury setbacks but will never lose that natural style." - Ed Blomfield, Whitelines
#13 - Sparrow Knox
If snowboarding still looks to the skate world for inspiration, then Sparrow Knox is as close as we have to a bona fide Gonz. Raised in North London alongside six siblings (his brother Tom is a pro skater with Isle) this street-wise urchin with the huge grin has had to hustle his way to a shred career via the dryslope circuit and regular trips to the MK dome.
It helps that he is as friendly as he is talented. Known as ‘Mowgli’ when he was coming up on the old Nike 6.0 team alongside a young Jamie Nicholls, he has a wild energy for life that disarms everyone he comes across – if anyone can blag a ride, a lift ticket or a couch to sleep on it is Sparrow.
Whether on four wheels or a snowboard, his style is a reflection of that free-spirited personality. In a word: loose. In an era of pre-rehearsed contest runs, you never know what Sparrow’s going to pull out next, and the truth is – neither does he. This, combined with some balls of steel, makes him one of the most compelling riders in the UK scene.
"One of the most talented individuals on and off a snowboard." - John Weatherley, Rider
"The coolest cat in the game." - Scott Penman, Rider/Presenter
#12 - Nelson Pratt
Nelson was that kid at school who’s good at every sport: from cricket to skating, he was a natural athlete (famously, he once entered a local road cycling event on a knackered old push bike, with zero training or lycra, and destroyed most of the competition).
But the most remarkable aspect of this man’s talent was how it utterly failed to go to his head. Indeed, ‘Nelly’ was universally known as the nicest guy in snowboarding. Humble, polite and loveably hesitant, he made countless friends on his journey from the family farm to the heart of British snowboarding.
Arriving in Tignes as a seasonaire in 1997/98, Nels rode first with his fellow dish pigs before setting up shop with some of the biggest UK kicker riders of the time including Danny Wheeler, Ryan Davis and Josh Wolf – keen shovellers all. Sponsorship and magazine trips inevitably came his way, but Nelson always seemed happiest ‘doing it for the love’ which is perhaps why he proved such a natural coach, giving back to the sport through his coaching of the British Olympic and Army teams.
When Nelson took his own life in 2012 it was a hammer blow to the whole scene and a wake-up call to many of us about the common reality of male depression. His place well up this list – not to mention the popular annual cycle ride held in his honour – tell of the enduring respect and affection in which he is still held.
"Amazing natural talent, the nicest man you could meet." - Mark Kent, Rider
"The one and only. More talented than most people can believe. God he was good. RIP you legend." - Jon Weaver, Rider/Team Manager
#11 - Scott McMorris
For British snowboarders of a certain age, the name McMorris refers to just one guy.
Scott the Scot cut his teeth at Edinburgh’s Hillend dry slope, but was soon making a name for himself on the contest circuit. Seasons in Whistler and Morzine cemented his reputation as a master of style, and soon there was nothing he couldn't step up to - just witness his floaty backside 180 over a monster booter (built especially for Travis Rice) in New Zealand.
He also served as muse for Tim Warwood and Adam Gendle of Lockdown Projects, showing off his thespian skills in several of their videos – Wang vs Chang (below), No Strings Attached, and of course the famous ‘helmet cam’ footage from 2007’s Terminal Ferocity.
After years spent repping Oakley goggles (not to mention that famous pair of white pants with the massive logo down one leg), he’s now working as their Sports Marketing Manager.
"Epitomised style at the time, and how many British riders can say they've impressed on a kicker session with Travis Rice?" - Tristan Kennedy, Mpora Editor
"Beautiful clinical style, his board control is something to behold and at the height of his powers easily one of the best all-round park riders in Europe" - Ed Leigh, Rider/Presenter
The countdown continues tomorrow when we reveal who's made it into the top 10!