Nestled comfortably on the backbone of England, Halifax has often been described as a proper fuckin’ dive. Filled with far more fight inducing boozers than is strictly necessary, there seems little reason to visit this pimple on the beautiful face of the Pennines. Well, there is one reason, and it’s a biggie. A short drive up a massive cobbled hill lies a mythological place that is one of the most renowned dryslopes in Blighty: this is Halifax Ski and Snowboard centre, or ‘Fax’ to those in the know.
Freestyle Sessions Tuesday night. Kicker is permanent
How much £15 per hour max
Number of rails/jibs 3+
Number of kickers/QP’s/hips 4
Postcode HX3 6UG
Phone 01422 347111
The Halifax slope is a strictly no nonsense affair. As one of the earliest Snowflex slopes it is quite a surprise that there are very few problems with it. Firstly, it is nice and steep, with some massive (especially if it’s your first visit) drop in ramps for the kicker line.
The Halifax kicker itself is the stuff of legend, widely regarded as the best Snowflex kicker in the country – perhaps the world. Dryslope addicts travel from miles around to get some sizable airtime over the green and pleasant land of West Yorkshire. It is true that there are now bigger kickers, which on paper have an extra metre on the table, but it is debatable whether any have come close to this beauty. But wait, there’s more. Halifax also boasts two rookie kickers, both of which are great fun, as well as a rather large quarterpipe (unusually side on) and an assortment of movable rails which provide endless knobbling opportunities. Two draglifts return you whence you began for the fun to begin all over again. After the amazing session will you will undoubtedly have, Fax has even got its own pub for a well earned pint. Bang on!
Hall of fame
Having been around for many years now, it is par for the course that some of our finest shred heads have negotiated the cobbled mountain approach to the ‘finest kicker in Britain’. Here are just a few of the local luminaries:
Wayne Taylor – Boss of AKA Snow/Skate Shop
Andy Nudds – Pro Snowboarder
Jamie Nicholls – International wonder kid
The Boys family – Legendary dryslope royalty
Little Will Smith – Soon to be big Will Smith
Colum Mytton – Whitelines coverstar last month
David Benedek – Snowboarding super pro
Many classic events have taken place over the years, including the ‘AIM Series’ ‘Cock of the North’ and – way back in the distant past – the ‘Halifax Air and Style’. This June sees the arrival of the third annual ‘Westbeach Snowflex Tour’ which takes place across the country and even takes a little jaunt into France. As the spiritual home of Snowflex, Halifax always hosts the first leg.
Word on the street is that this summer is going to see an absolute stack of US super pros descending on the slope for one hell of a session. Not strictly a competition but definitely an event worth attending. Believe it or not JP’s name has been mentioned!
The scene according to Wayne Taylor
I have been part of Halifax since the day it was built, and it has seen some amazing sessions and competitions. When the slope opened it was probably only the third one with any freestyle facilities so the first thing we thought to do was hold a competition, the first of which was called the Halifax Air and Style. It was a great success with about 70 people coming from all over the UK. The vibe it created was amazing and just made us want to do it again and again..
Back in the day we would regularly get 30 to 40 people at a freestyle session, but the birth and growth of the indoor scene has definitely seen that taper off. These days the local scene consists of about 15 people who regularly ride on a Tuesday, including Ben Wall, Boo, Lloyd, Andy Nudds, Jamie Nicholls and Will Smith. There are never many girls riding, although I don’t know where they have gone?
The best session had to be 8 or 9 years ago when Terje and Reto Lamm visited the slope, and we had an amazing time when David Benedek came over to ride with Jamie and Col. Although he spent most of the time filming it really stoked you out to know that these guys were here to ride and film our slope. Basically anygiven freestyle night is a good time to visit – you can be sure there will be some great riding and a fun session happening.