Words by Kerry Daines
The SNO!down took place Saturday 15th May. Kicking off at 5pm with a 2 ½ hour Jam session things got going fast! SNO!zone Castleford provided us with another epic park set up, with a technical rail line consisting of a 10m rail, side on mega pipe, canon mega pipe, a gnarly down rail or the option of a gap to flat down rail. The amateur line was slightly easier but still lovingly sculpted. It included the 3m rail, and a small kicker option onto flat-down-flat picnic benches. There was also a precision built gap kicker in the top section where we saw some huge corked spins and rodeos throughout the night. The music played its part in the night with a play list that felt like the best shred movie pick n’ mix getting everyone pumped.
All of the places had sold out by 6pm Friday, with the entry cost only at £25 and an amazing set up who wouldn’t want to enter? Yorkshire local Andy Nudds was amongst the shredders, as was skier James Woods. They weren’t just there to show off the UK’s talent but also do some coaching during the jam session to help the younger and less experienced riders. There were also some big names amongst the judges. Dom Harington, Wayne Taylor, Joe Tomlinson, Charlie Smith and Rob Hackney were judging for the day. They kicked off the jam session by riding for the first half an hour showing how the course should be ridden.
As the jam session heated up competitors started destroying the course, Sam Turnbull and Carl Howden were making the most of the kicker with their underflips and backside rodeo’s. Tom Hunt impressed the spectators with his front flips off the canon pipe and cab 270’s on the gap to flat down rail.
Jamie Lawson and Oliie Powell were on top form. Jamie was killing it all night, showing off his range of technical tricks on the 10m and down rail. This, together with his laid back steeze, helped him bag 2nd place in the 17 and over category.
Ollie Powel was riding consistently all night. He was throwing sick 540’s over the kicker, pretzeling out of tricks in the top section and destroying the canon mega pipe. As well as 1st place in the age 13-16 category, Ollie walked away with the Golden ticket. This was an exclusive invite to one of SNO!zone’s street sessions chosen by Damian Doyle.
A big shout out has to go to all of the under 12’s. These guys were showing up some of the older riders. Rowan Coultas was on top form as usual, mixing up combinations of kicker and rail tricks with style. He won top spot in the under 12’s snowboard category. John Leetham came second in the under 12’s and this was his first competition! He had some sweet back 3’s, tailslides on the 10m and rode consistently and stylishly. Both these boys have got big futures ahead of them!
Haydyn Fiori, only 9 years old, was also on top form and showed he is not afraid when he attempted a huge disaster on the flat down rail. But it was Ronan Connolly who took the ski title in the under 12’s. He was consistently throwing down and this kid oozes style. Expect these kids battling out many a freestyle competition in the future.
The ladies were on fire and definitely gave the boys a run for their money. Katie Ormerod made 1st place her own in female snowboarders and Sissy Herent took 1st place in the female skier’s category. Faye Young also impressed the judges with her front flips and claimed 3rd in the female snowboarders and the electric sick chick award, chosen by the coaches for outstanding female rider of the night.
At 7.30pm it was time for a well earned break and a swift park re-shape. Then came the SNO!down Throwdown. The riders had one run each to show off their skills. This was a good opportunity for first time competitors to feel what its like to take part in a limited run competition but without the pressure.
The skiers were up first, they all gathered at the top so they could cheer as each competitor dropped. The atmosphere was great and slave monkey was up to his usual tricks on the mike. Josh Birch and Sam Turnbull were crowned the SNO!down Throwdown winners and each collected a goodie bag. Sam’s run stood out from the rest with a huge back 270 disaster on the flat down and Josh’s smooth and technical run included a 450 out of the canon pipe, 270 on the down rail and 270 on, 360 switch up, 270 out on the box.
Prize giving in the bar saw over 35 prize bags given away. The event sponsors hadn’t held back on generous donations! Carl Howden was awarded Rider of the night. The judges were very impressed with his back 7’s and his incredible transfer from kicker to the up pipe with an underflip 540 hand plant! The best un-sponsored skier was Dean Eccleston and the best un-sponsored snowboarder was Dean Horsefield so a good night for the Deans then!
A big thanks to all of the sponsors Little Mountain, 4Frnt Skis, Rossignol, Bawbags, SnoKart, Subvert, UK Tall Tees, Bern, Electric and Standing Sideways.
Under 12’s Ski
1st Ronan Connolly
2nd Haydyn Fiori
3rd Tom Humphrys
Under 12’s Snowboard
1st Rowan Coultas
2nd John Leetham
3rd Tomski Robinson
Age 13-16 Ski
1st Ollie Powell
2nd Josh Herent
3rd Will Wozencroft
Age 13-16 Snowboard
1st Tom Hunt
2nd Jordan Gee
3rd Joshua Ainger
Age 17 +over Ski
1st Chris Wadsworth
2nd Jamie Lawson
3rd Joe Webster
Age 17 +over Snowboard
1st Carl Howden
2nd Sam Turnbull
3rd Ross Needam
1st Sissy Herent
2nd Molly Summerhayes
3rd Zoe Lewis
1st Katie Ormerod
2nd Sophie Nicholls
3rd Faye Young
Best Old geezer Snowboard- Robert Knoble
Best Old geezer Ski- Phil Harrison
Rider of the night- Carl Howden
Best Stack- Sarah Gold
Electric Sick Chick award- Faye Young
The Steeze award- Tom Black
Best unsponsored Skier- Dean Eccelston
Best unsponsored Snowboarder- Dean Horsefield
Throwdown winner Ski- Josh Birch
Throwdown winner Snowboard- Sam Turnbull
4frnt Standout Skier award- David Furley
Exclusive invite to the street session- Ollie Powell