'lho froofor'm spirit of boarding rs rnfoctrous. \i‘Vhore once boardors were fr‘()'.'.’lt(3(l upon for madcap rrwontron. thorr spirit has boon embraced to give birth to a new. freestyle type of skrrng. Tricks and terrains can be rust as important as shayrng milliseconds off tho loader. As a professional slaloir‘ skier. r’acrng at {Stlmph against the clock. has

Noel liaxtor cri‘braced the new school? "l'hey'ro 'l‘:<)l(; .(;."f;::7. .r; than snov-xl)oardsz' he says. “there's a lot 'rioro 'l'tll do on skrs.'

At only ’22. the Awemoro-born skier has plenty of into to follox'.’ in tho footsteps of hrs brother. Alain (ho ':‘ bron/r; ()iyrtprc medal and drug allegations fame). Ural. has been made of tho cornpotrtron bott'roon tho .12le Baxter iunror out- skrrng hrs brother twice last soaso". ‘Alarn rs eight years older than mo.' he exparrts. ‘liut ncx'.’ its coming to tho point where more rrzall‘. cornpetrrrg.'

l rkr; "is; ’,frilf;lll l esloy McKonna. Baxter rs in tho rinrltilt; of pro season training in Lofer. Austria. and hrs l uropa (Eur, touring begins in earnest in NOVUIHDCF. But if there's il't:(; illl‘t}. he hopes to come homo to sa'r‘plr; the Scottish snowfall. 'l was in Carrngorm last .ear for txxo days srtoy-rhoardrng and we had some

“f I; list conditions I've over soon on a hill'

{wt 'roos Baxter still got kicks from hrs slalom ’lrf;(;lt;llllf,~f37 ‘I would never rrnagrno being; sWrmmer. for r;xa"rplo. All they ever set,- rs tho bottom of a pool. Skiing rs different every trrne. l very day there's

so'r‘ethrng new to focus onf



While fvchonna and Baxter make tho slopes beyond Britain their base. Marty Hughos' lrfostylo lies closest to homo. Hailing from Glasgow. he got rnto snowboarding on hrs first skiing trip abroad in 1989. ‘I saw these Arnerrcan snowboarders and I had a shot.’ he says. 'Whon I got back I went into Boardwrse in Glasgow and they had rust got snowboards in I bought one and gave up skiing.‘

Now rnanagor of the " Boardwrso. and

responsible for buying rn all the winter kit from the annual trade fair in Manchester. Hughes likes ‘tho odgo' involved in dealing with surfing. snowboarding and skateboarding. ‘Poople from a skateboarding background are getting into snowboarding. And surfers and wrndsurfors are starting to try the sarno

Edinburgh branch of

tricks on a snowboard.’

In tho last year. Hughes has ridden the hills of Lake Tahoe. Franco. Austria. Canada and Spain's Sierra Nevada region. But Glencoe. his school skrrng destination. is still a favourite. Would he consrdor opening hrs own venturo rn ono of the resorts? ‘God. no. I could never afford it. I spend too much on snowboarding.’

And it's this atrnosphoro of onlhusrasrn which porrnoates Boardwrso. ‘lt's not as if we're rn the business just to make money. We do it because we love it. If we're not down the beach and in the waves then we're in the mountains. srrowboardrng.'


Our ten step guide to snowboarding fundamentals

1. Find snow

Fairly important. but not essential. Glasgow and Edinburgh both have dry ski slopes. although even experienced boarders can find the surface unforgiving. Snow is better.

2. Check the weather

Conditions in the Scottish resorts can vary hugely. Check in the media http://ski.visitscotland.com details conditions and operational lifts in each ski area.

3. Equip yourself I

A woolly hat. gloves. goggles. thick socks and several layers are vital. A ski jacket and salopettes are preferable. but a fleece topped with an anorak and a cheap pair of waterproof trousers pulled over some tracksuit bottoms will do the trick.

4. Equip yourself II

If you don‘t have boots and a board. you’ll want to hire them from the resorts you‘ll see signs on roads heading north. Tight boots are important: your heel should be held firmly en0ugh not to move independently.

5. First foot

Most boarders are regular: they board left foot first. If you board right foot first. you're goofy. If you're not sure. try launching yourself across your kitchen floor in socks. The foot you lead with in your kitchen should be the foot you lead with on the slopes.

6. Seek tuition

Lessons are very useful. although if you're with a bunch of patient, experienced boarders. their tuition may actually be more beneficial.

7. Practise technique

Falling Leaf is the most important technique you can learn. allowing you to inch down steep slopes on one edge. Type ‘falling leaf‘ and 'snowboarding‘ into any search engine for a detailed guide.

8. Edge control

The edges of your board are essential. Dig one of them into the snow and you will turn. Without an edge. you've no control.

9. Fall over

This will happen a lot. Do it if you’re going too fast and you don‘t know what else to do. Try to land on your arse or shoulder rather than breaking your fall with your hand. Pick yourself up and remember: stay low. stay loose and. if you catch an edge. lean into it.

10. Congratulate yourself

Snowboarding is wonderful. You will ache after your first day. and ache more after your second. It gets better. Before long you’ll be pulling jumps. heading off precipitous stretches of off—piste. sneering at skiers and using words like ‘crazy shit‘. ‘rad‘ and ‘big air' with no discernable irony. Well. maybe a little bit. (James Smart)

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