Sponsors: Roxy, Snozone, TSA
Home Mountain: Castleford Snozone
You come from a solid gymnastics background, how much has that helped your riding?
My Gymnastics background has definitely helped me to become the snowboarder I am today. I’ve been balancing the two sports from the age of 5 and that helped me to gain the spatial awareness and strength I needed in snowboarding without even realising. Gymnastics has similar qualities that I can carry across to use in my snowboarding.
You unfortunately had some time out due to knee injuries, how are you recovering and will we see you competing next season?
I’ve been really unlucky with knee injuries, firstly my Meniscus and then my ACL in August last year. That was by far the most annoying injury I’ve had as I had to miss the whole winter to do rehab, but on the plus side I could focus on getting my whole body stronger than ever. I made a full recover in just 6 and a half months with the help of Harris & Ross, I could ride in Europe for the end of the season, which I was really stoked about. I’m definitely going to be competing next season as I’ve got all my tricks back and rearing to go!
You were the first woman to land the back 10 double, have you got any other tricks like that you have planned for the near future?
I was stoked to be the first girl to land a backside double cork 1080 and now I’m keen to learn frontside double 10s, I’ve been prepping them on trampolines with Hamish (McKnight, Team Gb coach) and working on my frontside spins, so hopefully with a bit more work and preparation, I’ll be putting them on snow at some point.
Flying high down under. Photo: Alex Roberts
A lot of people have stated that you have the ability to win a lot of contests; do you ever feel extra pressure because of that?
It’s really nice to know that people believe in me enough to win contests and I do try to not let that put pressure on me. I’m just concentrating on snowboarding to the best of my ability, training super hard so that I can learn bigger and better tricks and put down my best run. If that’s enough to win on the day then I will be more than stoked!
You’ve been travelling as a rider for a few years now, how was your school situation? Were your friends jealous of how many trips you got to make?
My school has always been supportive of me and let me go away whenever I wanted which was really cool. Although I always knew I wanted to be a Snowboarder, I still wanted to do well at school so I had to take work away with me on trips, which was pretty tough at times but I pushed through and it was worth it. My friends have always been pretty jealous whenever I went away but they’re used to it now.
The back 10 double put your name more in the spotlight, but you also can ride rails and pipe. Is there anything you like to ride more than the others?
Growing up in the domes, I was definitely more of a rail rider as pipes are pretty hard to come by in the UK; but as I got a bit older and started going abroad to take what I learnt on dry slope jumps to real snow, I really started to love flying over kickers in the mountains, so I really enjoy being a Slopestyle rider more than anything else. I’ve had a taste of backcountry on a Roxy shoot and that was also pretty fun.
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Jamie Nicholls is your cousin, has he helped you develop your riding? Do you ride together much now?
It’s really cool to have Jamie as a cousin. We grew up riding together and I’ve always looked up to his riding as he’s been killing it for years. I don’t get to ride with him as much now but it’s nice when we do get to go on a GB Park and Pipe trip together.
Jenny Jones brought a lot of outside attention to snowboarding with her Sochi bronze, has that since opened up more doors for you and Team GB?
I was so happy for Jenny when she got the bronze. It has brought so much to the sport in the UK as more people are interested in snowboarding now and GB Park and Pipe have got more funding for PY 2018 which is so great!
What are your goals within snowboarding?
My main goal is to win an Olympic medal and keep progressing women’s snowboarding by pushing myself to try bigger and better tricks.
What would make your life easier?
Invites to comps would be awesome, a car big enough to fit a board bag in and a good camera to film.