Happy New Year folks - hope you had a great Christmas.
I've recently had a great couple of weeks doing December early season training in Laax and Livigno with some of the other GB Park & Pipe Squad. Got my mountain ski legs back and had the chance to get my big jump tricks back on lock and start thinking about some new ones. The GB Squad have a great airbag out in Livigno with a sloped landing which lets you practice your new tricks in a safer setting than taking them straight to snow. The advantage of the sloped landing is that you can really get confident that you can take these tricks and land solidly as the landing lets you ski away, unlike the old fashioned air bags which are just a big cushion. Once you are happy you have your tricks dialled in on the airbag then it is easier taking them straight out onto the big jumps in Livigio or Laax. It was great catching up with some of the rest of the squad out in Italy - skiing with some of the more experienced members of the squad always pushes you on to try new and different tricks.
I was back home for Christmas with the family late December and then back to college to try to catch up with my BTEC work for a couple of weeks before heading out mid January for a few competitions in France. I had some good results overall - thought think I could score better - I was particularly pleased to get through to a final in my first Europa Cup of the season. I also got to visit Meribel and Vars which were both new resorts to me. I am looking this year at trying to get more competition experience, develop my comp runs over the season and build up my points scores so that I can look towards some of the bigger competitions. I have had some good comp results in the past but my experience of FIS competitions is fairly limited. In the UK the freestyle competitions often have a jam format - you get to ski the features over and over during a set time period - maybe an hour or two - with all the other riders - the judges watch everyone at once and score across the whole time. In these jam sessions it is good to do lots of different tricks on the features - show the full range of your skills, that you can rotate both ways, be imaginative on the features and get different stylish grabs in your tricks. When you move onto FIS and more senior competitions these are more often a two run format - you get a practice session to try out the features, get the measure of the jumps etc and then you have two runs on your own on the course. Sometimes there are qualifiers, often with the top 6 or 8 going through to the final.
There is way more pressure in these two run format competitions - if you don't land your runs you don't progress unlike a jam format which is much more relaxed - if you crash on a feature you just pick yourself up and have another go. If you don't land your first run in a two run comp then there is soooo much pressure before the next run if you want to get a good result as I learned at the Junior Worlds over the summer. I have been working, in the French competitions on making sure before my runs that I am calm and focussed - listening to music through my headphones helps me focus and not get distracted by all the other riders around me. I also through TASS can access some sports psychology sessions which I hope will also help me with this.
I'm heading out to Laax again in around a week for a month - I've already got plans with my coach Joe Tyler and in my GB Park and Pipe progress tracker of what I need to work on - there's loads of snow out in the Alps, so keep an eye on myInstagram @TomGreenway1 to see what I'm getting up to!
I had a very frustrating April to June following dislocating and fracturing my shoulder in Livigno and needing surgery. I have to say a big thank you to all the people at TASS as their physio and strength and conditioning sessions during this time helped me regain the flexibility in my shoulder and keep up my general strength and fitness when I was not able to ski. However from June onwards I've had a really busy time so have only just managed to get my blog updated and this one is a bit long!
I was finally given the all clear to ski in early June - I finally returned to snow on 5th June - and I had a session or two at the Tamworth Snowdome focussing on general ski technique with BASI Coach Andy Jerram to get my legs back and in preparation for my BASI Level 1 Coaching Course which I completed over the summer. It has been so good to finally get back on skis after my injury I but I'm pleased to be able to say that, thanks to the strength and conditioning since then I have come on leaps and bounds in my skiing. I got my freestyle legs back in the UK domes and dryslopes, particularly at Tamworth and Stoke and have done some filming with Fridgebangers over the Summer - more later!.
Not long after getting back on skis I was invited to compete at the Junior Worlds for my second year in a row - this year it was being held in Cardrona, New Zealand. I've wanted to ski in NZ for a long time so this was a fantastic opportunity. I was extremely nervous to go back to skiing on big jumps after being out injured for the end of last season, however I was also determined to make up for the time I had missed. I wanted to learn as many new tricks as possible and also do my best in both the Slopestyle and Big Air events that I was due to compete in.
I headed out to NZ from Heathrow on 12 August - loooooonnnnngggg flight! Had a short stop in Singapore and a change in Sydney before I landed in Queenstown on 14th! As soon as I got there I knew that I loved the place, Wanaka is genuinely my favourite place I have ever stayed. Staying by the lake is the best view I've ever had to wake up to. The skiing is unreal and it is definitely my favourite park I have been to so far.
As soon as I got there I was straight into preparation for the Big Air competition where the best run of two counts and the top 6 of each heat go through to the finals. Just the day before the comp I managed to perfect my dub 12 blunts as well as landing my first switch dub 12 so I felt like I had a good choice of tricks to do in the qualis. On my first qualifying run I went for my dub 12 blunt and landed it - unfortunately I only scored 70 which I can only put down to letting go of the grab too early. In my second run I went way too big on jump so 70 was my best score - I finished 9th in the heat the meaning I didn't qualify for the finals and my Big Air competition was over. My qualifying run meant that I came 17th overall in the Big Air.
I then had to focus on my slopestyle - in practice a few days later I was having a nightmare on the first feature of the course - I don't know why but I just couldn't nail it. I crashed on that exact feature during my first qualifying run so all the pressure was on for the second run which is not a great position to be in. I was very nervous going into the second run because I this was my last chance to put a run down! I'm really pleased to say I landed my top rail section the cleanest I had done all day but didn't quite nail my grabs in the jump section - I came 10th and didn't qualify for the finals, coming away with 22nd overall.
The whole experience at the Junior worlds was awesome. Althought I came away a bit disappointed with my results the field out there was a really strong one - to be competing against guys like Birk Ruud and Oliwer Magnusson really helped me develop my tricks and it was great competition experience. I was so excited to have a week competition skiing in the best park I have ever skied in and it pushed me to try some new and harder tricks. I went for a triple twice but ended up breaking my ski so I couldn't try it again for the rest of the time I was there!!!
As well as the skiing I met some great people and had a fantastic time. I tried tandem skydiving for the first time in my lift with some of the GB Park and Pipe team - that must be the most insane thing I've ever done. I found myself nearest to the door on the plane and ended up being the first to jump. I was terrified, but once you're out of the plane it is the most awesome experience ever. Unfortunately I didn't get around to the bungee jump - I'm saving that for the next time I go back.
I flew back into the UK on 6th September and it was straight back to Sixth Form the next day as term had already started! That weekend on the 9th September I was so pleased to see many of the UK Freestyle ski and snowboard crowd at Kidsgrove dry slope for"shred4cal". This was afreestyle comp organised to raise money for the Callum Wylie Foundation in memory of a young freestyle skier who took his own life earlier this year. Callum had Aspergers which affected how he perceived the world and interacted with others, the Foundation aims to raise awareness of the complexities faced by young people with Aspergers and to support these young people and their families. Unfortunately it was a rainy day, however everyone had a great time, there was a jam, lots of spot prizes and even a switch rely race, loads of people joined us, including Olympian half-pipe rider, Rowan Cheshire and GB Park & Pipe head coach Pat Sharples. In total we raised £1300 for the Foundation and I was really proud to be involved.
You can see Fridgebangers' edit from the dayhere. If you want to find out more about the Callum Wylie Foundation or donate to this great cause check out theirFacebook page.
On 15th September it was up to Chill Factore in Manchester for the British Indoor Champs. Had a great day with all the UK crowd and was pleased to podium 2nd Overall. It was great at this British Indoor Champs to see some really good riding from some of the younger freestylers
I've got quite a few things going on in October - there's the Planks Grassroots Tour
at several indoor snowdomes around the country.
On 23rd of October the first Fridgebangers movie - Always Alright - is being premiered
at Tamworth snowdome - I've been involved in the filming of this over the Summer.
It is also being shown on 26th October at the Telegraph Ski and Snowboard show,
so if you're there come and watch and say hello.
Make sure you check my Instagram at @tomgreenway1 to see all my clips from NZ
or check out my entry to the Planks Grassroots Competition over on the Planks
Facebook page or my Vimeo Account.
January - April
After Christmas I had a month back at Sixth Form before I set off in February to Laax for my season, I was planning to go away for almost two months with a break in the middle back in the UK to catch up on schoolwork and sit an exam for my PE BTEC. This would be my first long spell out in the mountains, I would be based in Switzerland training and then travel to some of my first Europa Cup competitions during the season.
When I got to Laax I was greeted by amazing weather for the first few days, I took advantage of these days and tried some of the new tricks I had tried on the airbag in Livigno back in December. One of these tricks was my tribute to a keen skier that me and a lot of my friends used to ride with in Tignes and on the dry slopes back in England called Callum Wylie. Callum was an avid outdoor character who quietly suffered in silence because of his Aspergers. Callum took his own life earlier this year and it has left everyone in the ski community very shaken and we all miss him terribly. I decided to send a Double Cork 10 Blunt for him and landed that on my first good weather day of the season.
In late February, shortly into my season, Joe, my coach drove me and a few others to Davos to compete in the Europa Cup Big Air. This was my first ever Europa Cup competition so nerves were high during both practise and competition day on a sketchy jump with a very short run in. On the competition day I managed to land my Dub 10 blunt on both runs and qualified 3rd going into finals. Qualifiers were in the afternoon, but the final was at night. My nerves grew to say the least as I got the lift to the top of the big air jump under the flood lights with Tom Heffernan and Felix Klein. After putting down my Dub 10 Blunt again on my first run of the finals I had to lay down a second trick in a different direction to score. I dropped in for my switch 9 mute but slipped out on the landing and reverted whilst skiing out. I'm still annoyed to this day by the revert - a solid switch trick could've put me on the podium, but we headed back to Laax empty handed. Looking back, for my first comp it was a great result - just might have been better!!
The weather in late Feb/March in Laax was not great for park skiing - there was loads of snow but the poor visibility that goes with it means we can't train on the big jumps. Great powder skiing though. My next competition was the Laax Open, however my schoolwork commitments meant I had to come home for a week mid March and my first day back in Laax was competition day. Whilst I was a way there were quite a few changes to the Laax park set up ready for the comp and this unfortunately meant I only had 4 runs practice and went into the competition with limited experience on the course. My first run every landing was perfect and I got to the bottom of the course but I managed to miss every grab, so didn't score as highly as I would have liked . Going into the second run I crashed on the dub 10 on the first jump so my comp was all over. Props to Justin Taylor Tipton for getting through to the finals.
Whilst out in Laax I was really pleased to link up with a new sponsor, so huge shout out to Black Magic Outerwear for their new gear - check out the link to them in my Instagram bio.
Only a couple of weeks after the Laax Open we drove out to Livigno for the second to last Europa Cup of the Season. We arrived a day before practice and managed to squeeze in a day of practice in Livigno before the competition schedule. Practice day went well and I put my run down for the competition, in all morale were high for the next day. I got my run down in practise and was excited yet extremely nervous going into my first run. The switch cork 9 on the first feature was landed perfectly however I managed to double eject on the landing on the right 7 and blew my first run. I was still keen to get a bit of practice in so I clipped on my skis and skipped the third jump ready to flair the quarter pipe and the down rail, little did I know I had completely misjudged the speed. I went way too big in the quarter pipe and landed directly on my shoulder crashing for a second time in one run. I immediately knew that something was wrong with my collarbone, I skied back to the top and got one of the Norwegian skiers to look at my shoulder on the lift on the way up - by his comment and it was quite clear there was something wrong with my collarbone. I was taken back to the hospital in an ambulance and in short was told I would not be skiing at all for the rest of the season. This had me devastated - I knew I would miss another Livignio competition the following day and a Silvaplana Europa Cup at the end of the season. I also had my hopes on going to Livigno following the Brits week to train on the airbag which is great for progressing and learning new tricks on the one of a kind facility.
Now I am back in England, I found out I have a fracture dislocation of the sterno-clavicular joint and with some great help from TASS and the NHS I've been pinned and plated back together. I have to keep my shoulder fairly immobile for the next few weeks and focus on healing and getting past the surgery. However I am looking forward to getting back on skis once I've recovered and am thankful that I have only lost the end of my season.
This month I had a very spur of the moment trip to Laax and Livigno to go to train on the jumps and the GB Team's brand new airbag. I was very excited after seeing this airbag all over social media so as soon as I found out about the trip I knew it was something I couldn't miss. I flew to Zurich on December 9th and caught the train to Laax where my coach, Joe Tyler was based. I was lucky to get there - the following day snow hit the UK and Birmingham airport struggled, if I'd booked to travel on the Sunday I'm sure my flight would have been cancelled.
If you're a keen skier you'll probably know there's been lots of snow in the Alps and Laax is no exception. The snow was sooooo deep it quickly ruled out any chance of skiing jumps, or the park for that matter, so we spent a couple of days blasting around the powder. Me, Justin, Ethan and Haydyn all went around exploring as much of Laax's powder as we could before me, Joe Tyler and a couple of other Park & Pipe skiers left early in the morning to ski two days on the airbag in Livigno.
Upon arrival to Livigno, we quickly gathered that setting up the airbag wasn't as easy I'd thought - it took over 2 hours to lay the whole thing out and inflate the bag. However once it was up and running the tricks quickly started flowing and I managed to learn dub 10 blunt and dub 12 blunt on the first day. Although we only got about 10 runs on the first day it was good to get these tricks learned to the point where I'm confident to take them to snow. That first day was a long day - it is quite a trip to Livigno, you go through 2 tunnels - one involves putting the car on a train, the other driving through a tiny single track tunnel originally built to service a massive dam - not really for tourist traffic! We finally got to our apartment about 8pm, having had great pizza (I love Italy!) and rested ready for an earlier start on the airbag allowing us to get more tricks in the next day. On day two I managed to send a couple of Triple cork 1440's, switch double cork 1260's and more repetition on the double cork 1080 blunts. Overall I was really happy with what I learned and I can't wait to go back to the bag more times this season to get more tricks dialled in. If you want to see more of the Livigno airbag then check out my Instagram @_greatnessonly, you can also see some of our GB athletes training on the airbag ready for the 2018 Olympics in February if you check out GB Park &Pipe's Instagram or Facebook pages.
I was looking forward to getting back to Laax just as the weather was forecast for some sun and hopefully good conditions for jumps. Unfortunately we got up ready to ski the next day and, although the weather was bluebird, because there had been so much fresh snow the jumps were not shaped so they were completely impossible to hit, we ended up skiing rails all day however I managed to get some good progression on new rail tricks like Lip 270's on and 450's on. The jumps were not shaped in time for us to hit them before we left but I'm excited for February when I go back to Laax and hopefully get some of my airbag tricks onto actual snow.
I came home ready to chill over Christmas and spend time with my family - so MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY 2018 and make sure to check out the footage I got from the airbag on my Instagram!
September - November
First of all, September started with me beginning my new sixth form. I am studying BTec PE and A Level History. It's going fairly smoothly so far, I had to be up front about my skiing commitments before I started and they have already supported me going on a two week training trip to Stubai with GB Park and Pipe. I also learned that I have been lucky enough to be accepted onto the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) - this provides me with a range of opportunities designed to help me develop my sport whilst studying and hopefully making sure I can do well in both. I have partnered with Nottingham University and I am really looking forward to working with them and TASS.
Stubai has a great park and it is nice to ride somewhere different from my usual training park in Laax. Working on different features helps me get more experience which I hope will be useful in future when I do more competition. I was lucky to be there when several of the pro skiers were training on the prime park. It is great to watch and learn from these guys. Although I was the only boy skier on the camp which meant I had nobody to ride with everyday, I made the most of the camp and got a few new tricks learned for my competition locker too. Make sure to watch my Stubai 2017 Edit on my YouTube Channel!
On the 18th of October I competed at the Indoor Brits in Manchester and managed to come out of the competition with one of my best results yet, 2nd Overall. I am so stoked with how I did in this competition and cant wait for the next one! Other than Stubai and the Brits, skiing has been really mellow this month, I have spent a couple of weekends down skiing at Halifax and Castleford trying to improve my un-natural rail and jump tricks.
July - August 2017
Over the last two months I've been lucky enough to spend most of the time away in other countries either on holiday or skiing. Which is great considering in June I didn't really have anything definite planned!
I finished school at the end of June when my GCSE's finished and at the beginning of July went with my family to France on our family holiday - my brother had just finished his A Levels so he was ready to chill like I was. I enjoyed some relaxing away from skiing doing paddle boarding, climbing and enjoying the sun. We spent a week camping in the Vosges area of France, then went down to the Jura but moved on after a couple of days of thunderstorms as the better weather was further South. We spent the rest of the week camping by the river Rhone, not far from Chambery.
Although I was looking forward to getting back into my own bed after two weeks on a camping mat in a tent, I only had six days to enjoy my bed as I was invited to do some filming for an Intersport advert and at the end of July flew to Tignes for some summer skiing. The weather was a bit variable so I could only ski for four of the seven days I spent there, but I think we got some good shots for the advert and enjoyed the few sunny skiing days I had. I even managed to bump into my coach JT whilst I was there and skied the last day chatting and having a good catch up, talking about plans for skiing for the rest of the year. I wasn't really sure what to expect from a filming trip and was a little nervous as I didn't know the people involved at the start, but overall Tignes was a really good week - I met some great people, everyone there was really friendly, I had a good laugh and it was an excellent experience for me in terms of ski filming. I'm really looking forward to seeing some of the footage we took.
After coming home again for only a week I flew out to Cervinia to ski on the Zermatt glacier with British Freeksi Camps for a fortnight. This trip was really thanks to SportsAid - I'm proud to say that I found out at the beginning of the summer that I was lucky enough to be chosen for some SportsAid support and this will really help towards my Summer training. Although the park didn't have the large jumps I most enjoy skiing and training on, there were still some medium sized jumps and relatively large rails which were good to get some tricks dialled on. I came away with switch cork 7 and some new grabs in all my cork 7s and 9s plus I added a few fun tricks to my book with cork 5 blunts and screaming seaman combinations. Rail laps in Zermatt are always the most fun because they make a really funky and creative set up. Poor weather the first week meant skiing days were limited but the upside of this was that this weather brought a large dump of snow which allowed us to have perfect skiing the second week when the weather was great and we certainly made the most of it. The pizza down in the town also gave us something to look forward to! Whilst I was in Cervinia I also met up with the guys from Summit and had some fun doing some photos with them - check out their website for some awesome shots of the Matterhorn - and their great goggles of course!
Now I'm back in England - got my GCSE's last week and was pleased with a really solid set of results - especially my Distinction in PE which has set me up for Sixth Form which starts in September. I'm now just settling back into getting ready for College in a couple of weeks and getting back into the routine of indoor and dry slope training - on a countdown for being back in the mountains later in the year....
MARCH - JUNE 2017
Well I've had quite a busy spring!
Having spent 3 weeks in February out in Laax having a great time with JT and the boys I was back in the UK getting down to some revision for my GCSE's - whoopee! We'd already made the decision that I wouldn't go out for the Brits this year as it falls at Easter - only a few weeks before the exams start - I'd decided that I'd have 3 solid weeks training earlier in the year and not do the competition.
However, just after my return home I got a call to say that I had been selected to represent the UK at the Junior World Championships in Valmalenco Italy in Slopestyle. So my dad had to go and talk to school to check they were ok with me going! Fortunately they were very supportive - the Junior Worlds were the same week as the Brits competition just before Easter. So, at the beginning of April I flew out to Geneva and took the train to Laax to meet up with JT and the boys. I spent a day getting back into mountain skiing before we set off for a trip to Valmalenco, Italy which is up to the north of Turin.
We had a good day's practice in Valmalenco, but immediately after skiing the first practice day we quickly realized that the course was much more unpredictable and tricky than we first thought. A combination of steep sections, a bend and jumps made it tough to judge your speed, making the incredible experience somewhat a nightmare. This was my first competition at international level and although I had put together a planned run in practice and landed it several times in row, the pressure of the qualifying made me panic and when it came to my two runs I fell off the wrong side of the corner feature twice in a row. At the time I was disappointed and angry at myself - particularly as I had landed my big tricks on the jumps - including my dub 10 and the feature I messed up was really quite easy - it was the speed I had just judged slightly wrong. Looking back though I realised I had gone and tried my best on the day. It wasn't Great Britain's day unfortunately as Kyle Jenkins and Justin Taylor-Tipton, also managed to crash their runs leaving the British riders at the bottom of the leader board.
Regardless of the result we had a hilarious and eventful time and have got next year to redeem ourselves. It was good to see what other countries were up to and noting that the British riders would have been well up in the competition if we'd managed to put our runs down as we had in practice. We stayed to watch the finals but did the long drive back to Laax that day so we could get back in time for the Brits Big Air competition. This was a bonus for me to look forward to, the final and best event of the Brits week as a few weeks earlier I had thought I wouldn't be there.
Brits Big Air was an extremely fun and well run event and I managed to grab the top spot in under 16's with a dub 10, despite crashing my second run in the finals when trying a dub 12. Annoyingly I went back to the top of the slope and stomped a dub 12 the next run after finals ended but overall it was a class day and a great end to the Winter season. Everyone I saw and hung around with enjoyed it just as much as me.
When I flew back to England after the eventful week at the Junior Worlds and Brits I knew I had to get my head down and start revising for my GCSE's which began mid-May. Throughout May and June I cut down on my skiing only really going once a week to the Snowdome, my local slope. However one weekend as an exception we drove up to Kendal for my third year at K-Jam where I placed 3rd. K-Jam is always a really fun event, the guys at the slope there really make sure it is a great day with a superb atmosphere, a great crowd of riders from all levels and some sick prizes. This year was no exception - it was great to catch up with everyone including the Ski the Kingdom guys - if you're starting up freestyle and want to try competing K-Jam is a great place to start.
June 17th brought the English Indoor Championships, which this year was up in Castleford at Snozone. Rather than a jam style comp like many of the UK competitions, the English Indoor Champs is the more traditional 2 run qualifier then finals format. I don't know whether it was my recent lack of snowtime catching up with me a bit or it just wasn't my day but I couldn't quite get comfortable with my tricks and managed to mess up both my runs in finals by repeating a trick in my second run. Despite this I placed 4th in Under 21's and Overall so I'm still happy with the result as some of the other guys put down some really solid tricks.
My GCSE's finished this week ;-) and I'm just chillin' this weekend whilst we work on whether I can get in some summer skiing - wherever I end up going I cant wait!
This month has been amazing - I have just come back from 3 weeks training in Laax, Switzerland with JT Freeski Camps and I'm really pleased that I managed to progress a lot while I was away (as well as having an awesome time!).
The trip got off to an exciting start when my flight was slightly delayed getting into Zurich - my skis came through baggage claim at 12.54pm and my transfer bus was supposed to leave at 1.00 ..... I ran through that airport so fast with my bags and skis....... but I made it!
In the first few days I was there, the wind was light and we had sunny blue skies. I went back to trying my Dub 10's at the beginning of my trip and am fairly confident with these now - no major crashes. As that had gone so well, I decided to try to take advantage of the good weather and tried my first switch Dub 9 a few days later. The first time I tried I panicked on the take off and got the set completely wrong, so Joe got me to go back to basics for a couple of days, practice at the freestyle centre getting the set - I then managed to land my second double on the 4th try. If you've been following me on Instagram you'll have seen my progress and me finally landing the Dub 9, having these two doubles means I have a really good run to use in future competitions.
For the later part of my trip, the weather wasn't so good - we had a lot of snowy days - I know that's usually a good thing when you're out skiing, but it limits the work you can do on the jumps - softer snow doesn't run so fast. So I spent time working on my right side spins over medium jumps and working on my rail tricks. I'm still working on my right side 9 so that I can put this into a run with a dub 10 and switch dub 9 - it's important to vary the tricks I do and rotate both ways - natural and unnatural - during a competition run.
When we weren't skiing, or we had a down day (usually when the weather is particularly bad) I would go to the Laax Freestyle Centre to work on new tricks either on the airbag or on the trampoline. This is such a great facility - it means I can keep my development going when I'm in Laax even when mountain conditions aren't great and it's a safer way to try out new tricks. Being able to do singles and sets for doubles on the airbag is a really big help for taking new tricks onto snow. I wish we had this sort of facility in the UK.
I learnt a few other lessons whilst I was out in Laax.
Lesson one is not to put your wallet into an open pocket and then go down the freestyle park - I did this in week one and guess what ..... my wallet wasn't there when I was going back down in the gondola! Me any my mates looked back at the footage we'd shot that day - and there was my wallet flying out of my pocket halfway down the park!
Lesson two is not to take all of your money up onto the mountain with you - because if you lose your wallet all your money is gone!!!!
Lesson three is that if you lose all of your money on the mountain your mom ain't going to be very happy........
Anyway - it was all good in the end because, thanks to the folks on the freestyle park who found my wallet and one of the coaches taking the time to track me down on Facebook I got my wallet - with all my money and Freestyle Centre pass - back a few days later. Cheers to everyone who got it back to me - I owe you one!
Laax is used by all levels of freestyle skiers as a great place to train - some of the GB team came out to train between World Cup events whilst I was there as did some of the professionals. Unfortunately I managed to mess up a jump completely one day - got the speed to the jump wrong in the fresh snow and was going way too slow, realised I wasn't going to make it halfway through the trick and after flapping around like a pigeon landed - Bang - straight on the knuckle before sliding down on my face! Not pretty and even worse - who was watching from the knuckle but Jossi Wells :-((
But... on the up side ... being able to watch such great freestylers out on the snow really pushes you to get better and the atmosphere is great - I have made friends from all over the world.
Unfortunately, now I am back in the UK and will have to really work hard to catch up on studying for my GCSE's which are this Summer. I will keep my training up by continuing with the trampolining at my local club and skiing at Halifax, Castleford and Tamworth Snowdome.
If you want to see some videos of my trip to Laax follow me on Instagram @_greatnessonly.
Skiing was really hectic this month. I went to a couple of sessions at Castleford, one being the Millie Jam at the start of the month. I came first in my age group and also came out with some good tricks like front 630 out. The atmosphere was great and it was good to see so many people brought together for one event.
The highlight of the month however was going away to Montgenevre with my family on holiday over Christmas. It was snowing as we arrived and that was the start of a great week - the snow was perfect, slopes nicely groomed and the park was open!!!
Me and my brother, Dan had some off-piste lessons with Ludo from A-peak ski school. This involved hiking up to some peaks and skiing down untouched powder right down to the bottom. I really enjoyed these lessons because the things we were doing are impossible to do in England. It was a fantastic experience and a big thanks to Seb and Victor at A-peak for putting their specialist instructor with us.
I also spent quite a bit of time in Montgenevre lapping the park and met some great new friends out there. One of the great things about Freestyle is that everyone is always friendly on the park, keen to see new tricks and meet new people.
Great news this month - after my trip away to Stubai I found out that I have been accepted into the Park and Pipe National Academy! After working really hard this year, but with limited weeks in the Alps and a broken arm I was stoked to hear the news! This will mean I get more opportunities to train with the National Academy which is great because skiing with some of the UK's best freestyle skiers really helps me develop. Big thanks to everyone who's supported me this year - my coaches, SASSOT, Atomic - oh and my mum and dad!
Became a bit of a film star this month!!
Ski the Kingdom's "God Save the Scene" film, which I worked on over the Summer with the StK guys premiered whilst I was in Stubai in October. Big shout out to Jack Tompkins because the film is awesome! It really captures the energy and feel of the UK freestyle ski scene.
I also made it into Josh Birch's edit of the Mad Dogs & Englishmen Tour I was so stoked about in September. I got to meet and ski with some of the world's best freestyle skiers when Woodsy took them on a tour of UK ski slopes. Look out for me doing a back flip on the quarterpipe at Tamworth snowdome!
I'd really recommend you have a look at both of these videos.
Otherwise this month skiing has mainly been standard training for me. The nights involved going to Halifax for some jump training where I got some new tricks down - like switch backflip and also worked on my corks and switch corks. Also Castleford for some more rail training which means I can mix it up from the usual Tamworth rails. I've also been making sure that I keep up with the regular trampoline sessions so I don't lose any doubles or singles that I want to try on skis this the winter.
This month has been really hectic for skiing - I have been away with the National Academy to Stubai and competed at the Indoor Brits in Manchester
As part of the Atomic Street Team I managed to get a pair of 2016/17 Atomic Punx which I really like! They are stiffer skis than I have had before, but when I got used to them I found them really responsive, especially on a mountain.
The first time I rode my new Punx was at the Indoor Brits at Chill Factore in Manchester. At the Indoor Brits I managed to crash in the knockout stage of the competition however I did well in the single runs and came away with 2nd in the under 16's category. I'm so happy with this result.
In mid-October I went to Bratislava then Stubai. My time in Stubai was amazing and I'm really thankful to be invited to ski with the GB Park and Pipe Academy. We spent a couple of days in Bratislava on the giant airbag there, practising ready to take our tricks onto snow. Then straight to Stubai and into the park. Over the week I managed to land a couple of double cork 10's and also switch rodeos both on the first pro line. Also stomped some right 7's over the second jump and some more fun tricks like underflip blunt. Over the last two days I was preparing to do switch dub 9 on the first jump however my switch rodeos still needed some work so I will have to work on throwing the double next time I go away to a resort with big enough jumps. After skiing we would go to trampolining or swimming and it was really fun to be able to go on my first super tramp - see my Instagram for some videos of what we got up to.
Stubai was awesome place to be, the atmosphere in the park was so supportive, everyone cheered you on and encouraged you to do new tricks. I also got to see some pro-skiers like Lisa Zimmerman and Dennis Ranalter from the Atomic team - it was really inspiring.
Big thanks this month to Joe Tyler who coached me on my trip away, SASSOT for help with funding, to my school who supported me going and to all the other dudes on the camp who made it such a good time!
This month for skiing has been very chilled because I have been making sure I do not injure myself before my trip to Stubai with the National Academy. I have been concentrating on getting back to where I was before I broke my arm and building my confidence.
At the end of the month I was lucky enough to be able to ride with some of the world's best skiers such as James Woodsy, Jossi Wells, Vincent Gagnier and Wacko Wells. They were touring the UK Slopes on Woodsy's Mad Dogs and Englishmen Tour over one week. I skied with them at Tamworth, my home slope and also in Castleford. It was such a good experience to be able to ski with these sick skiers that I have looked up to for a while, especially Jossi Wells - there was a fantastic atmosphere at the slopes and everyone had such a good laugh. Hope we see them again in the UK soon.
Whilst being in a cast I haven't had much in the way of exciting things to do other than play football to try and keep my fitness up - it's been really frustrating, on holiday with my family in the Lakes, there was no swimming, no via ferrata, no high ropes course - I did discover pitch and putt though and was nailing the long shots by the end of the week!
I have managed to do some skiing even with my cast! I started skiing again with about 3 weeks left in cast - just at my local slope, the Snowdome and I'm happy cos the small break off skiing hasn't affected my ability. I managed to put some good tricks down in the 4th round of CSS and when I get my cast off I should be back to normal very quickly.
I also got a good write up in my local paper, the Tamworth Herald, they were interested in the good results I have had this year so far with the Brits and the English Indoor Champs.
Cast comes off next Tuesday - can't wait!
I spent the first part of July training for the competitions I had planned for the summer such as Farmers Jam at Norwich and also getting ready to go to Slovakia and Saas Fee with JT Freeski Academy. I also had a few other events planned including some time meeting up with the Atomic crew. Unfortunately however these plans were wrecked when I broke my arm filming with Ski The Kingdom at Stoke.
I was having a great night - there was a bunch of people from STK at Stoke and everybody was getting ready to throw some sick tricks on a rail combination for the film. I landed an illusive (front swap, front swap, blind 2 out) twice and the next trick I was ready to try was just a B-Fed on the final kink of the rail. I managed to land the trick twice in a row before the camera was filming, then I had to try it one more time to get it on film. Unfortunately that time I awkwardly caught my ski underneath the rail and I fell, landing on my wrist - after taking my glove off, I saw my wrist was bent and I knew I had broken it. After a long night in hospital and an operation the next morning I .knew my Summer plans were wrecked. My mates went off to Slovakia and Saas Fee without me and I had the Summer holidays in a cast to look forward to!
This month was one of my most eventful months of skiing.
The first highlight of the month for me was placing 1st in the U16's and 4th overall at the English Indoor Championships at Chill Factore, Manchester. I put down a clean run in the qualifications and was stoked to be in 1st overall going through to the finals. I thought I improved upon my qualification run in the finals however I landed in 4th position but it was sick to see everybody step up their runs!
The second key moment in my skiing was that I won the competition run by Atomic who were looking for another rider and I have now signed for their UK Street Team. I'm really looking forward to working with them as a company in the future and I'm really thankful for the support they have given me.
I competed at two other recent competitions and overall I'm happy with how I performed. Air Attack in Dorset was a very fun event - all Ski The Kingdom's "Ones to Watch" were there and it was really great to see everybody throw down tricks for the film! Really happy to have placed 2nd in U16's in this competition too. Most recently I competed at Go Big Or Go Home in Bearsden, Scotland - unfortunately I was just shy of the podium however I'm happy with my overall performance and the tricks that I learned on the day.
This month I spent the whole time skiing indoors but I did a variety of things throughout.
First of all, This was the first month that i started filming for Ski The Kingdom's new film. The first time it was at K-Jam, Everybody from STK was there and it was such a good atmosphere to ski in and one of the most fun sessions of the year so far! And right just before the end of this month I went to Hemel to film and again it was such a fun session and some of the shots everyone got were so good!
Competition wise, this month I competed at K-Jam where I won U16's, got 2nd overall and also won best unsponsored rider and won a pair of White Dot Skis. Also I competed at Air Attack in Dorset and won 2nd in my age group U16's. Really happy with the results I got this month.
Finally I had a really good time skiing at Tamworth, we submitted our first bunch of clips for the CSS competition which I am riding for Tamworth in, also you can check my Instagram and watch all the new tricks I learned. Instagram: @tomski_greenway
This month was lucky enough to spend 3 weeks in Laax. The first week I was training with JT Freeski Academy, I learnt dub 10's and landed a couple of dub 12's whilst away with him, also I learned up to right 5 and switch 9 over the pro-line. The second week I spent training with Bex and Webbo and I practised my competition run for the Brits which was in the final week. I had a great time on the park during my training weeks - lots of the GB squad were out in Laax and it was great to ride with so many different people and watch everyone try out new tricks.
The 3rd to 10th April was the 2016 Brits. The first competition was Skiercross and I was really pleased to place 4th in the U16 final. I didn't get a great start in the final and coming up to the final rollers I was in 4th place - I knew I wouldn't get past over the rollers as the headwind was really strong so I decided to try a demon overtake on the last bank - I tried to cut inside but didn't make it and unfortunately missed a gate and skied out! However, I was pleased with the result because I haven't done much racing lately.
I was really looking forward to the Slopestyle competition - this is what I have been training for over the Winter. The weather was pretty terrible during the week - there was lots of low cloud giving poor visibility - the men's competition was postponed by one day and on the second day after lots of delays the judges decided slopestyle would only be judged on the top combination of rails - no kickers! I managed to land a clean K-Fed and was placed 3rd in my age group and 8th overall. I'm really happy with my result in slopestyle because that was the main event I wanted to do well in.
The final event I competed in was half-pipe - the half-pipe in Laax is massive, the longest in the world I think. Again, the weather wasn't great, the night before there had been a massive dump of snow, with about a foot of fresh powder which meant the skiing was fantastic but the pipe had to be regroomed. By lunchtime we had low cloud again which meant visibility during the competition kept changing. We had 2 runs, I was quite pleased with the tricks I landed but didn't really get the height out of the pipe that I needed for good scores and in the end came 6th in U16.
I really enjoyed competing at the Brits - many thanks and well done to the organisers for keeping the competitions going despite the bad weather - it was great to ski with so many great GB skiers - I had such a good time.
My last bit of news is that I was contacted by Sports Across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent (SASSOT) whilst I was in Laax. I had applied to their Talented Athlete Fund for a grant to support my skiing and they let me know I had been awarded one of their Silver Awards. I am so grateful for this support as it will go towards my summer training.
Finally, I've put a link to my latest season edit on my edits page - check it out and see some footage of me in Laax, including my first Dub 10!
Just back from Laax again where I spent the last week of February with JT Freeski Academy and progressed towards getting my Brits run on the pro-line which will be on later this month. I did some new tricks over the first pro-line like cork 7's and cork 9's, also I learnt some new tricks on the rails when the weather wasn't good enough to hit the kickers.
We went back to the Freestyle Centre during the week where I spent more time working towards the double cork 10 I want to put into my run in the Brits. Also I learnt switch rodeos which I think will be ready to take onto the jumps soon too.
I'm really looking forward to going away to Laax for two more weeks from the 19th March where I can hopefully stomp my full comp run which will consist of a double, a right side 9 and a switch 9.
The Brits start 3rd April so watch this space and I'll let you know
how I get on. I'll be posting an edit from my week in Laax soon.
Thanks to Joe Tyler for all the coaching.
Last week I went to one of the best snowparks in the world, Laax in Switzerland with JT Freeski Academy and I nailed my spin 7's all four ways. At the end of the week I began to prep for doubles on the pro line kickers. Laax has a great indoor Freestyle Centre, which has trampolines and airbags where you can try new tricks. I'm going back in a couple of weeks and I can't wait to start planning my run for the Brits at Easter and hitting the pro line.
Had a bit of a surprise whilst I was away, a clip from one of my edits featured on Ski Sunday - I'd been skiing in the snow on the dry slope at Halifax the previous weekend - I had lots of messages about this but I didn't even see it - had to get a film of the clip messaged to me!
Here is a link to the edit from the week I went away to Laax:
Had fantastic week over Christmas in Serre Chevalier. The snow cover wasn't great, there had been no fresh snow since November but the pistes that were open were in good condition, the weather was sunny every day and there was some great entertainment - an abseiling Santa, live music and a fire breathing dragon!
Me and my brother Dan had a fun time skiing with Gavin Crosby from NewGen - unfortunately we couldn't hit the off-piste because of the conditions but spent some time lapping the pistes and working on my technique.
There was a small park open with rails and managed to hit the airbag on a couple of days which was great fun.
Would you believe about a week after we got back it started to snow and there was loads of fresh powder!