The Metro Ski and Snowboard Show played host to the British Snow Tour Invitational Champs last weekend at the Olympia in Hammersmith. A 40ft indoor dry kicker was the stage to Britain's 24 best snowboarders and freeskier's alike, who went off their tits in order to claim first place, the title and of course, tickets to next years Brits in Switzerland.
For the first time in the event's history, two girls were invited to compete against the guys. Sam Rodgers joined the other 11 invited guys in the Snowboarding event on Friday, while Katie Summerhayes hold her own against the 11 invited freeskiers in the Freeski event on the Thursday. While neither girls made it to the finals, both performed out of their boots in their respective disciplines, raising the bar for women's riding in general, and gaining due respect for female riders world wide.
Although I didn't manage to catch the Freeski Champs on the Thursday night, I was impressed when Sam Rodgers bust a front flip on her first run on Friday evening. The stoked and riled crowd, thanks to the epic riding on display - and of course the candid commentary from James Thorne, MC for the evening - showed their support with mad cheering and applause, and I think were equally as surprised by Sam's busting out. It's good to see girls stepping up to the plate and pushing boundaries, especially in competitive, difficult conditions like an indoor 40ft dry kicker, male only competition and a large crowd. Big up to Sam and Katie.
The Freeskier title went to James Woods from Sheffield who landed a huge switch rodeo 720. Jamie Nicholls of Halifax went massive with a 900 securing him the Snowboarding title. Both riders walked away with fully paid return tickets to the Brit's 09 in Switzerland next year.
Words: Bryony Mccormick