After a cracking season we caught up with the British snow queen.Interview by Sam Haddad Congratulations on a cracking season! Was the X Games your main focus from the start?
Thanks a lot. Woohooo. I had decided at the start of the year to pick and choose my contests so I wasn’t doing quite as many as last year. This meant I wasn’t aiming for any overall results, such as a TTR ranking or Burton Global Open Series. I thought I’d just focus on a few contests and have time for other trips and riding with mates. And in that list was the X games so it was a main focus but definitely not the only focus for the year.What was going through your mind before that amazing final run? Was the 720 always part of the plan?
I was thinking I’m in second whatever happens now. I have got a medal at the friggin X games and I was super happy! However I was also thinking, I should try something more as I know my previous run wasn’t enough to win. I figured my next step was trying the 720. I’d practiced it the day before and landed a few, and crashed on a few so I was kind of looking at a 50/50 chance. However I hadn’t tried one that day and the course was running slow because of fresh snow. This is why my run wasn’t as technical as I first planned.
So as I dropped in on the final run I tried to focus on each feature and land each trick before thinking too far ahead to the final jump. When I actually landed the 720 I really couldn’t believe it, I was so stunned and thinking “Noooo way !!!” I just landed a 720, stoked!! I just landed a 720 and might have just won the friggin x Games” Then I stood and waited because you never know until the score is up, I didn’t want to assume anything. 90.0 !!! I have won the X games, the contest I have always watched on TV and always wanted to go to. I have actually just won! Then I got all emotional, ha.Do you wish British people (I’m talking about the mainstream here) got the X Games, and how monumentally big it is, more?
I think those who are into snowboarding (even if they are not into the contest side of things) understand the X games. I think at the end of the day a lot of sports in Britain have the same issue. If it’s not football, tennis, racing cars, rugby etc then sports struggle to get mainstream coverage. I obviously would be stoked if it was shown more and people followed it and were not only interested in the Olympics but that’s life. It honestly doesn’t bother me that much. I was super-pleased to gain the recognition that I did, the Observer, Independent and Radio 2 all picked up the story which is rad. i was also surprised by the emails and facebook messages I got from people, that was super nice. thanks again.Where is your medal now, how often do you look at it?
It’s on my bedside table wrapped in the bib I was wearing. For a few weeks I looked at it every few days haha.What do you love the most about riding slopestyle?
I love jumping! If I could introduce a comp and call it triple line or something, just three nice big kickers I would, haha. There is just something so exciting about launching off a big jump and (as my punter brothers would say) getting some sweet airtime, hahaha. I love that saying, airtime.What advice do you have for young rippers wanting to get good at it?
Remember if you want to ride slope that’s rails and jumps, so you have to practice both. It’s easy to neglect the area you’re weaker in. I enjoy riding rails but it’s not my strong point so I have to remind myself to go ride boxes and rails more often. Once I do, I find I have a good time. Other things to remember if you want to ride slope are: it’s not one feature it can be three or more and so you may be really good at hitting one jump but can you hit three jumps in a row and still put your tricks down?! If not then practice this more, I definitely practice new tricks on one jump at a time but once you have your different tricks together even if it’s just straight airs and a 180 it’s good to practice them over a line of jumps. Trying them in a different order and on different shaped jumps too. Another thing to definitely remember is do things you like and in your style not always what other people tell you to do.
Sometimes it bugs me but other times I think it’s a blessing. I imagine it would be quite stressful with all the outside coverage, a lot of people watching who don’t know much about snowboarding and giving their judgment. At the same time it’s such a momentous event and it would be rad to feel like a true contender for an Olympic final or Olympic medal even. I imagine the mellow vibe around slopestyle contests would change though. The freedom of expression and the spontaneity might get a little lost. There would be a lot more coaches around, stricter rules and judging criteria etc. It’s something I notice more in the half pipe.You started snowboarding at 18. Could that happen now? Or to turn pro do you need to start a lot earlier?
I think it could for sure still happen now. Anything is possible.
There’s seems to have been a lot of injuries to the top female pros, including yourself, this winter. Is that an inevitable consequence of people going bigger and harder or just bad luck?
Actually this winter season I’ve had the least major injuries of a winter (which I am so friggin happy about!) However I know what you mean and yes there are injuries and sometimes I think it’s inevitable but who’s to say you can’t get through your whole career without any massive injuries. There are a ton of variables in riding each day, snow conditions aren’t consistent, park builders aren’t perfect, the weather changes and your concentration isn’t always 100 percent. There are so many chances for things to go a bit wrong and a lot of those times you get away with it, just bumps and bruises. At the end of the day it’s all part of snowboarding and that’s half the reason most people like it, the element of risk and challenge involved. Take that away and yeah you might never get hurt but would it be as fun?How scared do you get in comps? And does anything else in life scare you, like say surfing?
I get nervous more than scared. I get scared of injuries, scared of massive surf with shallow reef, monsters under the bed, getting sagging boobs when I’m older and being forced to eat half cooked eggs with that horrid whitish transparent bit on them, oh gross!Haha ok, which up and coming riders are you excited about?
Sarka Pancochova, the young ripper from the Czech Republic, (backside rodeos, 720s and great style). Aimee Fuller, the young British chick and some Scottish lasses I have been hearing about.Do you think snowdomes are helping British talent come through?
For sure, I think it’s great to have the domes.Who’ve you enjoyed riding with this season?
Lisa Filzmoser, Hana Beaman some funny days sleddin’ and riding and some funny nights out too.You’re in the new all-girls movie Stance, how was filming that?
I may have some small part but I didn’t film all year as I was competing a lot. I will be stoked if I get one or two shots in there, it was tough filming, great fun with the girls though. Just landing tricks in powder is a bastard sometimes and yes that is me jumping over the river and not making it and slamming. Yes that was the hardest slam of the season and yes I tried it twice and still didn’t make it and yes it bloody killed. You win some you lose some I suppose!Jenny Jones is sponsored by Oakley, Billabong, Salomon Snowboards and Les Ettes