British snowboarding talent blows everyone away with their magic this December
December has turned out to be a pretty memorable month for two of Britain’s young snowboarders this month. While the beginning of the month saw the 14-year-old Calum Paton perform the longest rail grind on a snowboard to officially set a new Guinness World
Record, another young British sensation Billy Morgan left the entire snowboarding community in awe in the third week of the month by landing snowboarding’s first triple back-side rodeo.
The first of these two historical feats was pulled off on the British soil, or more appropriately artificial snow, on December 2. Whitelines Snowboard Magazine, Sno!Zone and EA Sports’ snowboard game SSX had organised a rail jam session at the Sno!Zone Indoor
Slope in Milton Keynes, UK, for the purpose of providing the snowboarders a platform for attempting to break the existing record for the longest grind on a snowboard of 69.9 metres that was set by Spain’s Alejandro Benito in 2009.
With a custom-built 91.5 metre rail in place at the event site, riders from all around the country flew in to try and break the existing record. Official observers from the Guinness Book of World Records were also in attendance at Sno!Zone Milton Keynes
For hours, rider after rider got on the rail, sliding smoothly for a while before falling off it. While there were some really promising attempts by a handful of riders who came close to the 50-metre mark, nobody seemed to be posing a serious threat to Benito’s
record of 69.9 metres. Apparently, everyone was struggling with speed and balance.
After five hours of determined effort and impressive attempts by the riders, the event entered its final five minutes. While almost everyone had pretty much given up hope of breaking the record, there was one rider who did not intend to go home disappointed.
It was at this moment when the 14-year-old Paton stepped up to begin a grind that the whole event had been set up for. The young rider slid a complete 78 metres down the rail before breaking the grind. The previous record of 69.9 metres had just been beaten
Paton had been left as much stunned by the monumental feat as the rest of the people in attendance at the event site. When asked how he felt about setting the new official world record for the longest rail grind, the British rider could only say, “I’m so
stoked, I wasn’t expecting to do it at all! It feels so surreal that I actually hold a world record.”
Earning a Guinness World Record certificate, along with a cheque of $1,000, Paton sure had a lot to celebrate after December 2. Who could have expected that instead of the likes Shaun White, Sebastien Toutant, Louie Vito and Seppe Smits, it would be a young
unknown rider from Britain who would claim the record for pulling off the longest rail grind in the universe?
If the honours for the longest rail grind going to an unknown British rider was not a big enough news for the snowboarding community, then the feat by another relatively unknown British rider would have definitely left the entire community breathless.
The 22-year-old Morgan managed to accomplish something that had never been accomplished before, a triple back-side rodeo on a snowboard, at the Keystone Resort in Colorado, America, on December 16.
There was hardly anyone who argued with the fact that only a rider with phenomenal skills could have pulled off a triple back-side rodeo and recognised Morgan as a gifted rider.
Even though many, including Morgan himself, believe that the young British sensation is not ready to face the big guns of snowboarding yet, they all agree that he has a promising future if he continues to practice. It would not be long before he begins to
make waves in competitions. With something as deadly as a triple back-side rodeo in his arsenal, Morgan surely has a chance to become a formidable force to be reckoned with.
While Paton and Morgan have already earned some major respect for the British snowboarding talent this season, one cannot help but feel that the American riders would be cooking up something as well. To find out if there