Does it ever rain in Chatham?

Chatham dry slope did it again…not only did it provide the venue for this weekend’s second leg of the Southern Freestyle Series but it proved it has its own special micro-climate! Every time I’ve visited Chatham for a snowboarding comp it’s turned into the hottest weekend of the year meaning we’ve all melted in the heat and all our kit (in fact in some cases even the kit has melted). I had hoped that as it was only May as opposed to July/August that we might have got away with a cooler day but no, baking hot was the order of the day, great for those watching but not so great for the riders.

The Chatham crew had filled their large slope with almost all of the toys they own, although luckily they’d only put half of their long box out meaning they were able to do a quick swap for the other half when someone fell on it and went through the top. It was the usual chaotic mix of kickers and rails with a good mix of lines, some feeling quite natural to ride, others requiring a more random approach line but everyone was having a great time. The day saw an improved turnout amongst the snowboarders with 27 hitting the slope, and the day saw a good mix of seasoned locals used to the Permasnow surface and those who were new to dryslope or who were used to the (IMHO) more ride-able Snowflex surface of Warmwell. Some stuck it out and got the hang of it while others decided to enjoy spectating rather than struggling to ride but the day was fun for everyone.

Once again the competition ran as a jam session, fun throw-down hour and a 2 run final and it kept to time as well (something that’s a bit weird for a snowboarding comp) . There were too many good boys hitting the toys for any girls to make the overall final this time round but we put in a good showing nonetheless. I finished 4th in the over 14 women and 11th overall in the snowboarders so I was pretty pleased.

Unfortunately for me the edge was taken off my enjoyment by having to ride Permasnow in the hot weather, having had 1 board ruined by the stuff and seen friend’s boards and skis also die in a session I wasn’t really able to get into the flow. Thankfully Ryan at Humanity’s special base construction that he’s used on my board held up and my Plastictastic has survived and is now raring to get down to Warmwell for the series final on 12th June. I can’t wait to get back on their Snowflex kicker and if the final is half as organised as the first 2 legs then it’ll be a great day.

Once again a massive shout of thanks has to go to the Southern Freestyle Club for trying to spur on a dryslope revival….long may it continue. I had a great day and it was even better to see some new people getting hooked on plastic!


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