Welcome to our new bi-weekly column called 'Gossip from the Good Life.' Every other week Jon Weaver will give you the lowdown on what's been going on in the European shred scene. Here's some background on Jon for those who don't know him: According to the British food blog Lost in the Larder Jonathan Weaver "is a name synonymous with the European snowboard industry." Well, the blog also claims he brings together broccoli, mushrooms, leek and pesto like no other, but that's not the point, folks. Back in the days Jon was killing it as a rider from the UK, and has since taken the industry by storm. He used to be Forum's European team manager, and now is some kind of big shot at Nike 6.0. He criss-crosses our continent in constant search of new shred talents and a good lager. Is there anyone more fitting to talk shop about our industry? Exactly! Read on for his thoughts on the current upswing in UK snowboarding...
On British Snowboarding
“Yeah, Gary has a good part in Isenseven, got some good tricks, and couple of bangers, and then Pleasure ran a bunch of him this month, Tyler's in Pirates is cool too, with a pretty funny nollie backflip attempt, did you see his interviews last year? and yeah have a look at this of Jamie Nicholls we filmed in Norway, cab 10s, back 10s, he had a pretty good year especially getting top 10 at NZ open, he just mailed me to say he has a checkout in snowboarder mag US."
So these words came out of my mouth, and I thought “how blase can I sound?" I mean here we are, with British riders, part of the furniture in many of the world's best print and video titles. A few years back, having a British rider in anything European let alone world wide was amazing. We had my own personal hero Danny Wheeler to look to for a long time, but no one really made a big push, until James Thorne came out and filmed with Yeahh, and took on Europe, but then had some bad injuries along the way. Apart from that though it was always fairly thin on the ground. Then all of a sudden, much like buses we have a whole grip of guys just on fire. Take Ben Kilner for example, making the Olympics, in an amazing field Ben stood to toe with everyone, and without doubt will continue this season where he left off last year.
Tyler Chorlton has been putting down amazing video parts with the Pirates - one of Europe's premier crews for the last few years, and getting more coverage than many top level pros, with interviews and pictures across Europe, English mags, French, Spanish and all the Germanic ones, too. Tyler has been taking it onwards, and seeing snowboarding in his own personal way. He also managed to pretty much nail frontflip shiftys as a signature trick. That's one of the signs of a great rider, if they can just find their route and follow it, which you see Tyler doing on a daily basis.
Then Mr Gary Greenshields. After a couple of years with the Yeahh crew, Gary was ready for a new challenge, so after last year's amazing interview with Whitelines it was time for Isenseven. So now we have two of Europe's big movies taken care of. And Gary straight away got in amongst it, filming, picking up riders, organising, killing it and just becoming one of the regulars. They have even given him a lockdown style intro to make him feel at home. The thing with Gary is you feel that he is only just getting started, too. His riding is progressing so much each year, and you really feel that when he gets into some proper pow he can unleash yet more.
Even the filmers. Tom Elliot, who came from his bread and butter roots, through some Hungerpain, into some Tearoom, and then finally onto the big stage with Isenseven, has his name on the box. Who knew three years back that he would be one of the main reasons 3000 german kids would come out, drink all night, fall in love with snowboarding all over again, and have a whole new crop of heroes. Yes the kids love Isenseven. Me too.
Of course that's all not forgetting Jamie Nicholls. He of the Bendek movie “In Short" a couple of years back. It's amazing, most people don't even realise it's the same kid, they just see someone who has come along, and within a year gone from UK based shredder, to European and global threat at any event. He went through qualies at BEO, to finals, same in NZ, and I would bet my house on it, that he will be podium at a big event this year. You see him ride and you can see why. If you have never entered an Open, you can't begin to imagine how hard even qualifying through to semis is. 140 guys to 40, then the best 10 go through. That is one of the hardest things to do, and to do it time and again takes a great deal of composure.
I dont think I have ever seen a British guy that consistent, damn there's not that many guys full stop as consistent as he is right now. Watch his edits from dryslope. Yes. He still rides dryslope, whilst you were in Bali, and he loves it still.
Jamie was on a couple of end of season shoots this season and really stood amongst the world's best, and showed what he is made of. Wait for the D pad video to see what I mean.
Enough of all this British love in stuff. These guys are flying the flag round the world, and the preconceived image of a dryslope is gone, it's just guys who can stand up and be counted wherever they are from. and it's my pleasure to get to try and kick out a method with them all once in a while. Winter's nearly back. The UK kids have been riding it all year though, and have probably already learnt half what most of the pros already have in their video parts. Get after it!
Jon will return in (roughly) two weeks time with more thoughts on European riding. In the meantime head over to his blog under www.the-goodlife.co.uk!