This year the Planks Grassroots competition toured for a second year, bringing together talented freestyle skiers from all over the country and encouraging riders to share their best pictures and videos.
After stopping in Glasgow, Manchester and London, the finals took place The Telegraph Ski and Snowboard Show in Battersea Park, London. Among the winners was freestyle skier and Line-S blogger Row Emery, who won a pair of Line skis for best UK edit. We asked him some questions about his experience in the competition.
How does it feel to have won best UK edit?
I couldn’t be more stoked! UK skiing has always been such a huge part of my life, so it’s always super-duper sick to get some recognition for shredding the UK scene that I love so much. For those people who know me, especially those who film me, it takes a lot for me to be 100% happy with my skiing and I was 80% happy with this edit. It took me a good while to decide on my final trick selection. Originally, I didn’t think that I’d filmed enough to put together a solid 90 seconds, so I surprised myself. Here is the edit…
What are the biggest challenges about freestyle on dry mat?
Falling is definitely up there with the biggest setbacks. When you have a bad crash, it’s not gonna tickle. I’ve been lapping the dry slope in a t-shirt in summer and lost a few layers of skin in the past. However, as a born and bred dendix warrior, I’ve learned to bounce and roll on what most people see as a deadly grid of stainless steel and plastic.
I’ve also learned to know my limits and progress to new tricks step by step, instead of hurling myself around like a sack of potatoes. Apart from that, dry slope is nothing but a creative opportunity that’s available all year round. It’s all about making the most of what you’ve got and making it fun. I’ve built the setup at my dry slope for five years or so now and I’m still coming up with new ideas with the same features.
What would you say to people who are thinking about trying freestyle?
What are you waiting for? Freestyle skiing is one of the most rewarding sports. It’s so much fun, with a wide variety of tricks to challenge yourself with. Not only that, it will make you a strong and resilient person in all walks of life. Some UK facilities haven’t been supporting freestyle as much as they probably should, as a result pushing passionate individuals and their followers away. If you want to get into freestyle, get down to your local slope and tell them you want to do freestyle. Scenes depend upon passionate individuals, so start a movement and be one of those individuals.
Also, don’t overlook coaching. Many people go for the ‘huck it and hope’ attitude when it comes to freestyle. That approach can work some for some, but you won’t progress with style, ease or speed. Simple adjustments can make a world of difference, especially when you’re starting out.
How do you make a decent edit on a dry slope?
Firstly, do not stand in the car park filming someone at the top of the slope with a wide angle Go-Pro. Get up close and personal with the action, for a more dynamic and exciting style of filming. Also, if a trick’s not perfect, do it again and again until it is.
Secondly, song choice is important. If you choose to use music in your edit, it needs represent your style and speed of your skiing and filming. Attempt to match the edit to your track as much as possible, using key beats to key cuts, initiate visual changes or speed manipulation to flow with the music. Don’t be scared to get creative, there’s no right or wrong way of editing, as long as it looks and feels good.
What is next on the horizon for you in terms of competitive freestyle events?
I’d like to focus on filming as much as possible this season, as I’m currently planning a film project over the next year. The last legitimate competition I entered was the English Slopestyle Championships, where I placed 2nd. Competitions motivate me to try new stuff under pressure, but I find it much more rewarding to put my energy into filming. I’d love to do some more urban skiing this season, UK urban would be interesting.