Pro Snowboard Tips

Jamie Nicholls - Park

Jamie Nicholls - Park

British snowboarding’s answer to Shaun White, Jamie isn’t the next big thing to hit the world snowboarding scene, he’s already dominating every competition he enters. Jamie’s only 15 but with a lifetime of park riding under his belt he has knowledge well beyond his years. Snowboard Review was obviously curious to know what Jamie will be using to throw down on in 2010, and why his board makes such a good slopestyle snowboard.

Jamie Nicholls is the next big thing in snowboarding…period.  It’s crazy to think that Jamie is still only 15 years old because he’s been at the forefront of the British Snowboarding scene for almost 7 years. Without spending a single season on snow Jamie is already the British Slopestyle Champion, for all ages, and has more trophies in his cabinet than practically every other British snowboarder out there…combined!

Jamie started riding at Halifax dry ski slope where the local riders and Snowflex jump helped him develop into one of the smoothest and most stylish riders around. To put it into context; Jamie was throwing 900’s before his mum had stopped holding his hand to cross the road. At 13 David Benedek and the Blank Paper crew were so impressed by Jamie’s talents that they decided to feature him in their 2007 production ‘In Short’ and at a recent indoor competition the wee man even laid waste to a couple of well-known international uber-pro’s.

Jamie has been sponsored by Salomon Snowboards since the very beginning of his career and as a valued member of the team has a great deal of input into the development of the product; only a few weeks ago we watched in awe as he ‘ripped it up’ at the UK board test. It’s more than likely that Jamie is going to be at the top of the world rankings within the next couple of years so we thought we’d ask him about what qualities he looks for in a slopestyle board before we have to start contacting him through a PA; did I mention he’s got the same management company as Danny Kass and swimmer Michael Phelps!

“The majority of the time I ride slopestyle so I need a board with a lot of pop that isn’t too stiff; you need lots of pop when it comes to hitting bigger jumps so you can get enough height to clear the knuckle. To help with presses and rail riding it helps if the board has a medium level of stiffness (which doesn’t mean you have to compromise pop) as you don’t want the board to be too soft because it won’t hold as well on icy take-off’s and landings. Finally, it also helps if your board has a really fast sintered base, especially if you’re really light like me. I normally ride either the 152 Official or the 151 Grip; because I’m an all-round snowboarder and I need a board that is good for everything; both boards are ideal for all types of riding on the mountain; jumps, halfpipe, rails, powder and piste.

I rode the Salomon Grip for majority of last season, which is Salomon’s park shredder for next (2009/2010) season, and it’s been great fun. The Grip has the fastest base that Salomon make, a Sintered 4000 EG base, which helps me to clear jumps more easily and means I don’t need to worry about hitting the knuckle on bigger jumps. It also has an Equalizer sidecut which means that pressure applied by the feet through the binding is distributed evenly along the sidecut; this is a big help as it’s really forgiving. The Equalizer helps me when riding off jumps, holding an edge in the halfpipe, applying an edge in powder and carving on the piste, it even works really well on rails. It’s also great when it comes to carving up a jump and initiating a spin; it holds really well even in slushy and ice. The Salomon Official has similar features to the Grip so I like to ride that too.”