Last Friday I went to the Xscapeology session at Castleford – it was the first one that I’ve been to. I’ve got to say that I was impressed with the extra effort that had gone into the park. This is what they had:

  • Left Top: Rookie Kicker
  • Left Bottom: Gap Kicker
  • Middle Top: 3m metal rail / 3m metal rail / C-Box
  • Middle Bottom: C-Box / Picnic Bench / Double Picnic Bench
  • Right Top: Raised Magic Rail / 4m down rail (side kickers) / Down-Flat-Down Box (side kickers)
  • Right Bottom: Slide Box / Wall Ride
  • Nursery Slope: SNO!academy and snowskate park. x4 rookie boxes and rails / x2 rookie kickers

I spent the majority of the night riding the gap kicker, which was by far the biggest and best-shaped kicker I’ve seen at Castleford. It also made me remember just how hard snowboarding truly is!

I figured that they always have a good selection of rails so I should session the kicker while they’ve got a good one… Man, that thing must have taken some shaping!

It’s not the biggest kicker that I’ve hit, but the gap always makes things interesting. In fact, I’m keeping an eye out on the web to see if anyone posts any photos of the park because it was pretty impressive given that it was indoors.

The best I managed was a frontside 3, and I only landed one of them. As it happens I was trying to hold a decent grab on a frontside 180, and the more I tried the faster I rotated. On one air I was like “man, I’m going all the way round here” and then skidded out on my ass. So on the next one I just let it float all the way round and landed the 3… Very pleased.

As the night went on it kinda got a little sketchy. After taking a break to go and play on the snowskates and boxes I came back to the kicker to try and improve on things. I made something like two nice frontside 180s: one was kinda slow and smooth, the other had a half-decent grab. I then tried to repeat the 360 from earlier but by this time I had convinced myself that the kicker was much slower (actually, I think it really was)… I starting trying to spin harder – hucking it round. I just kept slamming.

At first I was dissapointed because I was sucking, but then I started thinking “hey, at least I feel comfortable trying this trick” – which is progression for me, and that felt good. Note to self though – there were some really sweet backside 180s on display. I’ve got to work on backside 180s and 360s.

Snowskates… I’ve thought about buying one of these many times now before but always thought that I’d never use it. I couldn’t have been more wrong. They are so much fun! There were like 4 or 5 of them left out for people to play on on the nursery slope – so James and I got to work. Tricky at first, but it takes little time before you’re sliding your way down the slope. We even managed to land some tiny airs over the kickers. I’m definitely going to get one before my next winter trip.

All in all the Xscapeology session was a great night – despite the blue stuff leaking all over the place (you’ll know what I mean if you were there). Nice one!

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