Steezy Threesies, Wednesday 22nd July

27 Jul
Emmet Strachan ticks the nosegrab off the list as Nicol looks on. photo: Buloo Elmslie.

Emmet Strachan ticks the nosegrab off the list as Nicol Paton looks on. photo: Buloo Elmslie.

Following on from the weekend’s hugely successful DC/Boarderline jam, the slope ran its own in-house contest last Wednesday, ‘Steezy Threesies’. As always, the groms were first up to the plate, keen to walk away with some of the Granite Reef goodies.

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junior ski champion Angus Jacobs

The format was simple: land all six grabs on the list with a 360 spin before the session ends. For some, this meant uncharted territory, and being pushed out of their comfort zone. At 5pm the clock started ticking, and the comp began. Findlay Bremner, in what was only his second time on a board since getting back from a three-week trip away, pulled out a jaw-dropping backside 3 nosegrab, but struggled to work his way down the rest of the list. Sticking with the frontside spins, Emmet Strachan set about ticking off the grabs until, incredibly, he’d landed each and every one on his first attempt. With Fin and Nathan Sim left in his wake, Emmet was declared the runaway winner. There was a tighter finish over in the skier’s event, with Angus Jacobs and Ross Cruickshank matching each other grab for grab. Even after the first round of their two-run final, there was nothing separating the two young rippers. Finally, in the last run of the contest, Ross slipped out and handed Angus the win. Prizes were dished out to the two winners, as well as to Nathan and Angus’ brother Finlay, whose determination to land new tricks seemed to know no bounds.

Andy "Zoolander" WIlson gives it some Blue Steel. Or is it Magnum?

Andy "Zoolander" WIlson gives it some Blue Steel. Or is it Magnum?

At 8pm the adults stepped up, and the rules changed. Now riders had only three attempts at each grab. Andy Wilson ran into trouble early on as his binding ripped out, but Eugene Mackie was on hand to share his planks and soon both skiers had got all the grabs. They were to be joined in the final by Mike Hewson and a top-of-his-game Roddy Hamilton. Amongst the boarders, Nicol Paton not only managed all grabs first time, but ticked them off on consecutive runs with no practices. The rest of the pack were left to catch up as he effortlessly mixed up backside and cab spins. After a while, though, it was a healthy number of boarders who had filled their card and reached the final.

With prizes to be claimed, all the finalists stepped up their steeziness for the rider-judged final. Mike Hewson opted for his trademark huge, slow spin, which gave him the edge over a tight final where all the skiers had brought their A-game. For the boarders, Euan Linn had been getting better with every run, and stuck a perfect backside 3 tailgrab on his final effort. However, the spoils went to Nicol, whose stalled backside 3 deservedly came out on top with the voters.

The jam had been a huge success, with everyone learning at least one new grab with their 360 spin. The riders and their knackered knees then headed down to Mal’s box to finish the night off with a mellow rail session. Ben Venn stood out, seemingly stomping every railslide with clean style, while Steve Gunn’s switch-ups (including a mind-boggling backside noseslide to backside tailslide to frontside noseslide) showed everyone how quickly a rider can progress down at the drymat if he’s got the heart.

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Benn Venn, backside tailslide

That’s all for the contests for now, but there’ll no doubt be a few more before the winter season rolls around and, with it, the Lowlander and Own It comps. Until that happens though, there’s always a warm and welcoming atmosphere for all levels of freestyler to be found on the Wednesday night sessions, so be sure to come on down!n49882218171_4969

Thanks to Gordon and Pez at Granite Reef for the prize swag, as well as Matt Gibson for officiating. Click on any of Buloo Elmslie’s photos below to enlarge, and be sure to head over to the Gallery page to see some of his awesome sequence shots.

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