Last week saw the yearly ski and snowboard show at Olympia in London. Once again I joined the masses of eager punters and blundered my way through a series of tube misconnections before finally arriving at Olympia via Shepherds Bush in time for the UK FreeSki Awards, ‘FreeSki Awards?’ well at least they were presented by Ed Leigh.
All in all the Ski and Snowboard Show is a pretty tight event, aimed at the holiday-making skier and snowboarder, the show caters to their one and many needs whilst providing a fantastic forum for industry folk to drink, drink, drink, talk, talk, talk and hustle, hustle, hustle. From buying the latest equipment (having the opportunity to check all the hottest product in one massive winter sports shopping mall) to sampling local schnapps and Weiner schnitzel or testing your skills on a mini mini snowflex slope to watching the freshest UK talent showing you how to do it better.
This year the show had reorganized its space to a more user friendly layout, setting up with ‘real’ ice tunnels and bar on entry. Appealing to a keen snowboard crowd they had added many interesting features including the premiere of Chunky Knit productions ‘Last Winter’, board art and artist exhibits, winter photography displays and workshops, a live fashion show and Bboy show and even an ice climbing wall.
The spirit of UK freestyle competition was kept alive with the AIM Series British Quarter Pipe Championship, with winners Sam Cullum and Jamie Nicholls taking away tickets to the 6-star TTR World Snowboard Tour O’Neill Evolution event. Held on the snowflex quarter pipe (check the earlier news entry for an in depth report on this), riders take note Jamie Nichols may be small but he hits big taking all the lads for a ride with his 900’s, and jumping as many feet as his years from the scissor lift to snowflex transition.
UK tradition held fast this year, in true roast beef style, the rain came, the roof leaked and the industry folk got wet, leaving no choice but to seek refuge at the local boozer and wait of the rain to turn to snow.
Images by James Bryant