Snowboard editor Mark Barber caught up with Slopestyle snowboarding sensation Aimee Fuller at the Telegraph Ski and Snowboard show. Check out the full Aimee Fuller interview:
SG – Hi Aimee, you first got into snowboarding at the age of 8 when you were living with your family in Washington DC; why Snowboarding and not Skiing?
AF – I started out skiing at the age of 4 at my local dry slope and there was this one guy, a snowboarder, who used to launch himself from the top and jump over a long mogul at the bottom of the slope and just seeing him do that, I thought ‘Yep, that’s what I want to do!’ Then when we moved to the States, there was a little hill that I used to mess around with on a board and here I am now!
SG – You also have a passion for Motocross and surfing, do you think this has helped with your fearless but calculated approach to Slopestyle?
AF – Yes, definitely doing Motocross as a youngster. Motocross is all about reading transitions. I also did Gymnastics for a couple of years and I think those two sports combined are the perfect foundation, because with Motocross you have got the speed and with Gymnastics you have got the technicality. I still like motorbikes now and love messing around on my road bike.
“I am now ready to roll and looking forward to smashing it”
SG – It has been reported that since Sochi there has been a rise in attendance at the indoor snow centres, do you see this?
AF – For sure, after the Olympics myself and Jamie Nicholls went to Hemel Hempstead Snow Centre and I have never seen a snow dome so busy in my life. The queue was double backed and everyone was so stoked with snowboarding and it is really good to see that positive impact that Sochi has had. It is a really exciting time for snowsports.
SG – Do you think this is just a Honeymoon period from the success of the Olympics, or do you think the popularity can be sustained?
AF – I think the popularity, for sure, will be sustained. This was the first time that Slopestyle was in the Olympics, so it has given people a little insight. Bring around the next games and I think the effect is going to double. Not a lot of people knew about it and now that they have, they realise how fun it is. With schemes like ‘Go Ski, Go Board’, it is so easy for everyone to get involved.
SG – What do you think we can do in this country to attract more people to snowboarding?
AF – We’ve got the snow domes and the dry ski slopes. I think we now have 6 indoor snow centres in the country and Hemel is situated perfectly being a short distance from London. You also have all these schemes now like ‘Go Ski, Go Board’, as mentioned before, which Snowsports England have set up.
SG – You seem to be very comfortable in presenting and teamed up with Ed Leigh in the Olympics; is presenting something you enjoy and would you like to pursue this?
AF – Yeah, for sure. I definitely want to focus on my snowboarding for now and do another Olympics or two, but I do really enjoy talking about something I am passionate about. If the opportunity ever arose that I could get involved with it in some way, whether it is TV or radio, I would definitely do it.
SG – Do you ever get nervous in front of the camera?
AF – No! (giggles) I just block out the camera and focus on what I am talking about. The camera is just there, it is not a person, it is just like talking to a wall so you just need to talk through it and think about your audience.
SG – Do you have any plans to go down the feature film route?
AF – Right now I am just going to focus on my own snowboarding and what I want to achieve as I am very focused on my tricks. In a few years time, I would like to work on a TV project and really bring snowboarding into the limelight in the UK and show how fun snowsports is and how accessible it is.
SF – After the intense build up and training for the Olympics last season, what plans do you have for this season?
AF – I have had a little bit of a chill over the summer going to Bali for three and a half weeks. I am now ready to roll and looking forward to smashing it and getting a few results under my belt; that’s the plan!
Mark is also the manager of Jamie Barrow (Britain’s fastest snowboarder)