Photos by James North
The British Snow Tour rolled into Castleford on Saturday night for one of the most hotly contested snowboard competitions in this year's indoor calendar. The British Indoor Snowboard Slopestyle Championships, sponsored for the first time by Protest, brought over 150 riders to the legendary Cas-Vegas fridge, for a session that saw some serious sparks fly. When the dust cleared at the end of the night young gun Tom Hunt was left as the last man standing, having slayed his opponents with killer combos like his backside 180 switch-up 270 and front 270 to front board on the flat-down. In the women's comp it was Lynsey Ashdown's switch boardslides and 180s on and off the rainbow rail that took the title.
Castleford's shaping team had done themselves proud with the course, which offered riders a whole series of lines down the dome flat-down rails, two gas-pipes, a down bar, a rainbow rail and two kinked boxes were just a few of the obstacles laid out for the occasion. The shredding started with a judged jam session, which saw Katie Blundell and Tom Hunt declared as winners, before all the riders knuckled down to the serious business of the Championship runs.
Competition was fierce, with local rider Si Foster throwing down 270s on and off the flat bar. The flame-haired Scot Danny McCormick took his trademark tartan trousers for an incredibly tech run through the course, rinsing out a back one on cab 450 off the gas pipe! In the end though, neither of these two could top Tom Hunt's run, and they finished in third and second places respectively.
Lynsey Ashdown faced serious challenges in the women's competition as well, with Katie Ormerod unpacking some of her best tricks from her bag for the occasion - like her backside 180 to 50-50 switch up on the box - and showing once again that she's a girl who's seriously going places. Sophie Nicholls claimed third with some sweet tech moves including a back one to 50-50 switch up of her own.
While the gunslingers were tearing the main slope apart, the schools tour team were helping kids from local secondary schools with their first ever snowboarding lessons, getting them stoked on the sport. The Schools Tour, which aims to spread the snowboarding love alongside the competition circuit, has reached around 4,000 kids this year, and got 500 of them on snow for the first time, a seriously impressive achievement and adds a massive amount to the future of the UK scene.
1st – Tom Hunt - Halifax
2nd – Danny McCormick - Glasgow
3rd – Simon Foster – Castleford
1st – Lynsey Ashdown - Manchester
2nd – Katie Ormerod – Halifax
3rd – Sophie Nicholls – Bradford