DC Shred Days is the perfect event to spur on the transition from winter to spring. Imagine a bunch of pro riders, BBQs stockpiled with the finest French bangers (a slightly odd thought we know), eurobeats blasting from the speakers and a park bursting with features open to all. What more could you want?
The laid back event went down in Meribel-Mottaret last week and brought global and national DC riders, DC staff and media together for three days of fun and frolicking in the... (we wish we could say sun) ...whiteout conditions. Yep, like many of the events we've attended this season (the Burton European Open and The Brits spring to mind), Shred Days was plagued by less than ideal weather conditions with Mother Nature lighting a fag and blowing a thick white cloud over the park for pretty much the duration of the event. The bitch.
We say 'pretty much' because the day I arrived in Meribel the sun was actually shining. I'd caught a lift up from Tignes with British band the Cheerleaders who had also wowed us with their indie-tinged cover classics at The Brits. They may be four of the nicest dudes around, belt out some bloody brilliant covers and between only two of them have enough hair to outdo rapunzel, but they really need to invest in a new van. The banger that we drove up in had a broken petrol gauge, leaving the band no choice but to make an educated guess on petrol levels. Inevitably, we ran out on the way, leaving Rory (lead singer, hair to die for) to hitchhike with a jerry can to the nearest petrol pump. Luckily, the man's a looker and the French can be more compassionate than us Brits take 'em for sometimes and he was picked up quickly. Still, it was a setback, and by the time I had arrived, found my hotel and checked myself in, the minishred session up at the Rond Point des Pistes, featuring all of the riders and a bunch of raucous student and seasonnaire onlookers, was already beginning to wind down. Still, I'd heard the weather the following day would be alright so didn't sweat it...
Turns out the weather the following days varied from distinctly 'alright' to downright awful. Whiteout conditions rendered the jumps totally unrideable and the tons of rails littered around were extra challenging. Still, Si Cudlip got stuck in hiking a down rail on the first day and stomped a host of bangers including front board, backside 180 on and backside 180 on cab 360 out. As the crowds gathered around the BBQ, MC extraordinaires Tim Warwood and Christian Stevenson began to rouse up the assembled crowd up for a chinese downhill style race across the park.
Teams were loosely organised by country and set off on a makeshift course that took them over the bumps and mounds of snow that made up some of the rail setups, culminating in an over and under style obstacle that most could handle but few could truly pull off in style. The Spanish team, dressed mostly in black, probably dealt with the final obstacle the best, popping 180s over the penultimate hurdle before squeezing under the final one. Of course, the British team - vocally and unabashedly spurred on by MC Tim Warwood and consisting of DC's Edd Martin, resident magician Jerry, Si Cudlip and Sam Turnbull also put on a wildly entertaining show, spinning off bumps and throwing in a couple of spins (and wipeouts) for good measure. After the afternoon's activities wrapped up it was down into town for a curry and an evening in the pub listening to my favourite resort cover band, the Cheerleaders.
The final day on the hill, in terms of organised activities, was sadly a bit of a write off with truly awful weather forcing the organisers to move the planned on-hill BBQ down into town. Still, team UK persevered and the afternoon was spent dicking about on the piste and filming Sam and Si lapping an elbow kink rail in the Shred Days park. A couple of Dutch filmers with a fancy camera and crane setup were also there capturing the action. Look out for our forthcoming mini-edit for some of the bangers, slams and harlem shaking (don't ask) that went down in that session.
After that it was back into town for an epic meal, complete with DC branded burgers and a boat full of beer before a concert in an ice rink with Ministry of Sound DJ's (I can't recall who they were but they were nay shabby). Tim Warwood tore his jeans throwing some pretty extreme shapes, some dude with a bikini tan took his top off and in general, a jolly good time was had by all.
Check out some more shots from the first day in our gallery below. If you're a little confused as to why the weather actually looks fairly decent in the official edit, most of it was filmed a couple of days before the start of Shred Days proper: