Yep, you read that headline right – we broke the world record! Or rather Calum Paton did, and for that, he is now officially our new hero. In the most dramatic of circumstances the 16-year-old stepped up and rode an incredible 78 metres along the specially constructed down bar in Milton Keynes, smashing the previous record by more than 10 metres!
As he sailed past the previous point a massive cheer (or was it more of a primal scream?) went up from the assembled watchers, who bundled Calum, picked him up and paraded him around on their shoulders. Meanwhile, the official observers from the Guinness Book of World Records presented him with his certificate, and he also received a cheque for a cool £1,000 from the event’s sponsors – Whitelines, EA Sports’ new snowboard game SSX and the Sno!Zone. A happy-looking Calum couldn’t quite believe it, saying: “I’m so stoked, I wasn’t expecting to do it at all!”
The achievement was all the more special because for much of the night, it had looked like it wouldn’t end so happily. Riders had flocked from all over the country to tackle the 90-metre long beast that Sno!Zone’s Damian Doyle had built, but over the course of a five-hour session, very few had got any kind of distance along it. There were moments of excitement for sure – not least when young Jake Terry got as far as the 55-metre mark – but spirits were definitely starting to flag as it got closer to midnight. MC’s Lucas Bramall, Scott Penman and Mikee Chen had been hyping the spectators and the riders all night, alongside DJs Hungryman, Luke Fitzgerald and Touchstone, who’d been pumping out tunes on a monster soundsystem. A large crowd had also gathered in the slopeside bar to watch the action, but the time was ticking away and still people weren’t getting close to the 67 metre mark set by Alejandro Benito in the Madrid snowdome in 2009.
Then, just as even yours truly had begun to accept that it might not happen, Col Mytton set off down the rail followed by James Hull and Calum in a train formation. Col and James dropped off at around 40-metres, but Calum kept going, sailing past the previous marker and into the record books. Just a few moments before before, Lucas Bramall had announced that the Guinness observers, who’d been patiently watching the action all night, would have to leave in ten minutes to catch the last train back to London – so when it happened, the place erupted! As Calum was mobbed by enthusiastic shredders and borne aloft, someone asked him what he’d spend his money on. Perhaps appropriately, given that SSX were the event’s major sponsor, he said: “Oh, probably just some computer games.”
As people packed up and headed home, the grins couldn’t have been wider – from the Guinness people glad to have watched someone succeed, to fellow riders stoked that Calum had made it, the organisers and Calum’s folks. No-one was more chuffed than Damian Doyle, who’d not only overseen the design and installation of the rail, but had actually held the record himself for several years before Benito broke it in 2009. It somehow seemed appropriate that the man who’d lost the record to the Spaniard should play such a big role in bringing it back to the UK.
Massive thanks is obviously due to Calum, Damo and Sno!Zone, as well as EA Sports and SSX. But also a massive shout out is due to the UK scene as a whole – the riders, shapers, spectators, MCs, DJs, photographers and filmers who came together to prove that Britain officially has record-breaking jib talent. We did it!
Keep your eyes peeled for the video edit from the boys at Gonzilla.tv dropping soon, and for the World Record Photo Special, coming in Issue 101 of Whitelines.