Here is another brilliant write up from Ed Leigh with his take on all the Round 2 snowboard matches!
Hemel vs Warmwell
I believe that you should get the bad news out of the way first, so lets start with Hemel vs Warmwell where I have to bollock Warmwell. You signed up for the Championship so you better have a bloody good excuse for not getting your footage in because you’re not just letting your slope down, but the Championship as well. There is no shortage of other slopes who would have jumped at the chance to take that spot so please don’t waste it. Make amends and come back with a strong part for Round 3 otherwise you will have besmirched the name of Warmwell for ever more!
Hemel – great work! If you had faced a challenge from a slope you would have been more than worthy competition, Cerys Allen is the stand out for me from the Hemel team at the moment. Her rails are the strongest of all the slopes female riders and if you look at the overall rail scores for the slopes Hemel are in second and I think that Cerys can take a lot of credit for that. Also worthy of note is Liam Tynan, he usually fills the Young Gun role and is currently second on that leaderboard. But with Max Jorge stepping into the Young Gun role and Liam has been promoted to the big leagues and he really doesn’t look out of place filling in for the big names like Jamie Nicholls and Andy Nudds. Well done fella.
Aberdeen vs Tamworth
A great match up this one and really difficult for the judges because the slopes lend themselves to very different styles of riding. Tamworth seem to have taken note of feedback from the first round and built a double kicker and rail set up that is a massive improvement on the old metal kicker, but in comparison to the other slopes it is still quite small so it’s no surprise to see everyone making the rails do the heavy lifting (no one uses the kicker for their EX tricks). Mia Brookes is as stylish and creative as ever, Ross Needham has a really clean crisp style that always makes you sit up and Koby Cook has a lovely transfer for his rail trick.
But Aberdeen come away winners for a couple of reasons, first and foremost is Stu Innes. The 20 year old has that rare gift of creativity combined with an almost obsessive attention to detail, not believing he’s truly learned a trick until he has learned it switch is just one example. This fastidiousness is starting to pay real dividends, known for a while for having magic hands there are some big tricks in here that he keeps very, very tidy. The Cab 7 tail opener is a proper statement. But the rail BS 180 50/50 to switch BS 3 out and the one footed boardslide to fakie EX trick are no less impressive and this would have made the judges take notice from the off. 13 year old Emma Swanson follows up with a nod to Stu with a front 3 lien and a cab 3 that I think would have got the better of Mia who by her own ridiculously high standards wasn’t at her very best in this round. Logan King and Cam Smith aren’t quite as finessed but they both know their way around that big kicker and may have been the difference.
I really enjoyed this match up though because both teams are starting to stretch their repertoires on terrain they know really well and as any one who knows snowboarding will tell you that is when the magic happens!
Braehead vs Bearsden
And so to the Glasgow derby, Angus Malloch the rail king of Braehead is so strong on the metal, but his back 5 with no grab is the weak link in his part. Rio Peterson has a cab 3 on the kicker, but it’s the nose press and the cab boardslide 270 out that are magic. But it is Leon Drynan who is fast becoming Braehead’s most solid point scorer. Back 7 stale, cab 270 boardslide and frontflip nose showcase the three elements of snowboarding: Techers, style and balls. Those three alone are a great line up, but Jacob Robertson is the icing on the cake. Front 7 double tail, Switch front board 270 out and one footed backflip take those same three elements and turbo charge them. But if you’re up against Bearsden then all the slopes know that’s the kind of riding it’s going to take.
Unbeknown to Braehead though Bearsden were a changed side for Round 2, Ciaran Tucker was swapped out for Danny McCormick and Hollie Smith stepped aside for Bradie Zimmer. McCormick, as is traditional opens for Bearsden and again puts the switch back 9 truck to good use, but then mixes it up with a boardslide on the cannon to corked 650 out… go back and read that last trick again and think about it being on snowflex, the last time I saw a trick like that it was at the US Open and if you go and check his insta you can see how hard he worked for it. The caveman 50/50 on the quarter is the creative last piece of the puzzle that sees Matt again put domestic slope riding up to an elite level. No matter who he’s up against from Braehead this is one up for Bearsden. Bradie Zimmer puts in a good shift for the Bear, but can’t match Rio Peterson, so it’s one a piece. The young guns are a proper toe to toe battle, Lewis Moore has measure of the Bearsden kicker and uses every inch of the landing with a back 7, then he uses a repeat of his first round trick the cab boardslide to backflip mute out. It’s a banging trick but the judges will be looking at the law of diminishing returns… The layback transfer to close is mint, Danny McCormack closes with back 9, boardslide 450 out and a crazy butter to nollie frontflip backside 3. It’s a super strong run and it ensures the judges earned their money this round. For finesse I had Bearsden slightly ahead on my card, but it is so tight to call.
All up though a really, really good second round congratulations to all the teams, can’t wait for round 3.