I have never needed much of an excuse to throw my board in the back of the car and head straight round the M25 to Hemel Hempstead for a few hours on the snow at Mount Hemel, so with the opportunity of joining slopestyle heavyweights Jamie Nicholls and Aimee Fuller on the slope, it was daft not to!
Aimee and Jamie were at the Hemel Hempstead Snow Centre for the release of the much anticipated Slopetracker Report by Snowsport England. Being a study of the domestic slope and snow centre scene, the report makes for interesting reading and a much needed positive boost for the domestic snow sports industry.
With a reported year on year 12% increase for the period of February to April, and a 11% increase for the period of May to August in participation at domestic slopes and centres, it proves that the ‘Sochi Effect’ had an immediate and sustained effect. When you throw into the mix that the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead reported their best ever October half term figures, the future looks good.
Both Aimee Fuller and Jamie Nicholls stated in a previous interview for Snow.Guide that they had both noticed a substantial difference at the snow centres and the that the freestyle nights were often to capacity, so these figures in the Slopetracker Report are not surprising.
Both Aimee and Jamie spent some time out on the snow at Hemel warming up for the new season by hitting the kickers and rails, effortlessly styling it out for the cameras. The future looks bright for British snowboarding and hopefully the ‘Sochi Effect’ will inspire the next generation to hit the slopes – long may it continue!
Mark is also the manager of Jamie Barrow (Britain’s fastest snowboarder)