I went to the SNO!storm freestyle night last Friday at Castleford. Again, I was impressed with the effort that they put in the park setup – most noticably this time the kicker, which was easily the biggest I’ve seen there yet.

It’s a shame that they don’t put these special freestyle nights on more often as the quality of the park is high (the next one isn’t until August). I understand that it no doubt takes a large amount of effort to set it all up; but when they build kickers like this one it can be really progressive. It certainly helped me to push my own limit…

I was pretty nervous the first time I hit it, and throughout the night I didn’t try anything more adventurous than straight-air variations. I probably only hit the kicker a dozen times – but I was pleased that towards the end I was feeling more comfortable, more confident. I was ready to start trying some things. Once again, i think the jib board certainly helped. If you’re considered whether you need one, definitely do a demo if you can.

These freestyle nights definitely attract some of the good riders from around the UK – there were some sick riding on display, putting the kicker to good use.

I learned some new stuff on the rails and boxes too, which felt pretty good: boardslide to 50-50, coming in regular and switch, and also a little frontside bone on a 5-0, which probably has a name that I don’t know. I’m still nothing near to comfortable with frontside boardslides – something I definitely want to fix. Now I’m just looking forward to the next one in August…

We took a little bit of video over the last handful of runs – but unfortunately I’ve left my camera in Huddersfield! In the meantime I’ll post some pictures of the park setup and then I’ll sort the video out when I get the camera back.

I did notice that my knees are starting to ache a little (hitting 30 all too soon!). I’m going to experiment with canted footbeds and see how they help. Stay tuned for the results.

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