The search for Britain’s top ski talent is on; choose your favourite overall and up-and-coming British skiers
For an island with limited topographical landmarks and mild winters, we’ve got some seriously talented skiers. And we thought it was high time we celebrated them, which is why we’re introducing a brand new award showcasing Britain’s cream of the skiing crop.
The hunt began over the summer, when we asked the UK ski industry to nominate the best British skiers from across every discipline, from freeride to telemark. From there, we were able to whittle it down to a shortlist of just 16 super-talented skiers: eight up-and-coming skiers and eight overall skiers.
Now it’s over to you dear Fall-Line readers to vote for the very best. Have a gander at this inspiring list of skiers and choose your favourites.
Britain’s best overall skiers
James Woods – Freeskier
King of British freestyle 24-year-old James ‘Woodsy’ Woods had a corker of a 2015-16 season with a World Cup win in New Zealand, beating Olympic champ Joss Christensen in the process. At the X-Games in Aspen he landed just out of the medals in fourth place. We can’t wait to see what 2017 brings. Read our interview with him on p34.
Dave Ryding – Alpine
2016 was Dave’s best slalom season to date, kicking it off with a new personal best. He also became the fourth British skier ever to qualify for the World Cup Finals, and finished the season in an impressive 22nd place.
David Ryding in action. 2016 was his best year to date
Paddy Graham – Freeride
Paddy and his crew of skiers, Legs of Steel, proved they were up their with the best in the world with their ski flick Passenger winning numerous awards last season. And with his winning mix of talent, creativity and media-savvyness he’s now one of the biggest names in the business.
Aaron McLean – Freeride
One of Scotland’s big ski talents, Aaron was a freeskier, ski instructor and co-founder of the group British Freeride. He also starred in the 2015 ski flick Late, which showcased the best of the Scottish backcountry. Sadly, Aaron died while coaching a group of budding freeriders in the French Alps earlier this year, but his legacy lives on.
Madi Rowlands – Freeski
Back in 2013, Madi Rowlands became the youngest-ever Youngest British Slopestyle Champion and now, aged 16, she’s making waves internationally. During the Youth Olympic Winter Games in Norway this year she scored both a bronze medal in the Slopestyle and a gold in the Halfpipe. Amazing work!
Katie Summerhayes – Freeski
A well-established name on the Slopestyle circuit, despite being just 20 years old. 2016 saw Katie crowned British Slopestyle Champion, representing the country at Nine Queens in Austria’s Tirol, and she came in 6th at the Olympic test event in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Katie Summerhayes – already a well-established name on the Freeski circuit|Richard Bord / Red Bull Content Pool
Alex Tilley – Alpine
2016 was Alex’s first season of racing a full World Cup programme and she made her mark early on, finishing 19th in the Giant Slalom in Lienz, Austria. Alex also holds the British titles in Downhill and Super G, and is focussing her sights on the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Millie Knight – Alpine/Parasnowsports
Visually-impaired skier Mille followed on from her medal-winning performances at the Sochi Paralympics with more racing brilliance. The British Championships saw her take gold in the Giant Slalom and silver in the Slalom and she scored a whole haul of medals at the World Cup Finals in Aspen. Oh, and she’s only 17.
Britain’s best up-and-coming skiers
Andy Pelton, Freeskier
Back in 2014 the internet went wild for Andy’s ski trick first: a piggyback on skis. Since then he’s been working hard on his portfolio of the truly ridiculous – think ‘the running man’ and double back flips on one ski. Expect more ludicrously great things from this 25-year-old.
Justin Taylor-Tipton, Freeskier
Justin first popped onto our radar last winter, when we spent one very painful afternoon trying to keep up with him and a crowd of equally talented teenagers as they backflipped their way around Kühtai, Austria. This year, the 15-year-old scored a haul of podium places in the U16 categories at The Brits in Laax, proving he is one to watch.
That time we went skiing with Justin Tipton-Taylor and he completely showed us up | Callum Jelley
Charlie Raposo Alpine
Aged 20, Charlie is already the best-ranked Giant Slalom skier in Britain, and he is ranked eighth in the World Junior standings. He is currently working his way up to the World Circuit with the goal of competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Go for gold, Charlie!
Sam Allen Freeride
A talented young skier cross athlete, Sam made the switch to freeride last year, entering his first Freeride World Qualifiers and working on slick ski edit after slick ski edit. Just flick through his Facebook feed and you’ll see why we’re expecting big things from this 22-year-old.
Kirsty Muir Freeski
Remember this name. Kirsty turned heads at this year’s Brits championships in Laax, as she came in second overall in the Women’s halfpipe. Her age? 11! We’re predicting total world domination by age 14.
Jasmin Taylor Telemark
This year saw Jasmin claim the British Championship title for a third year in a row before scoring a second place in a World Cup event in Mürren, Switzerland. The 23-year-old’s efforts landed her an overall world-ranking of 5th at the end of the season. Very impressive indeed.
Jasmin Taylor: A big name in Telemark
Cara Brown Alpine
British Alpine Ski Champion for the past three years, last winter saw the 22-year-old skier score some of her best results, including three GS wins and three sub-20 scores, despite numerous injuries (including a torn ACL). We can’t wait to see what she’ll do when fighting at full fitness.
Menna Fitzpatrick Alpine/ Parasnowsports
Menna won the 2015-16 overall skiing World Cup Visually Impaired title at the World Cup finals in Aspen, USA, along with being crowned the Giant Slalom World Champion. We’re expecting great things from the 18-year-old and her guide Jennifer Kehoe at the 2018 Winter Paralympics.
Entries close on 15 October. We will announce the winners in issue 147 of Fall-Line (out mid-November)