"SOME of these kids are nuts - they've got no fear," beams Ed Drake, British Olympic Alpine skier and ski cross convert.
Not to be beaten, Confidential, having racked up a few ski holidays between us, threw ourselves into the fray and over a mid-sized jump. A few made... just. One ended up with a ski pole up the jacksie.
Drake was in Manchester to launch the Chill Factore's new-look freestyle night. "You've got a great set-up here in Manchester, said Drake, "One of the best in the country. There's such a big slope to play with here."
"Freestyle is really coming on in the UK. It used to be that you'd have to go abroad to practice or just do it for one week on holiday and then leave it until next year. Now with all the indoor slopes we've got the chance to have a real go and even compete."
Chill Factore's revamped freestyle nights offer skiiers, snowboarders and utter 'newbs' the opportunity to tackle a newly carved freestyle snow park every other week at the UK's largest indoor slope.
Confidential popped down to the launch to strap in and have a go.
"Watch out for the kids," Drake advised. "Some of these kids up here are nuts."
He wasn't telling porkies.
Getting dragged up the slope by the danglers, we watched as a bunch of little'uns threw themselves over jumps and onto rails with self-assured nonchalance and disregard for their noggins.
Not to be beaten, Confidential, having racked up a few ski holidays between us, threw ourselves into the fray and over a mid-sized jump. A few made it... just. One ended up with a ski pole up the jacksie. These regulars make it look too easy.
"Being young you tend not to think what can go wrong, you just do it," said Drake. "But if you're really interested in freestyle the best way is to grab a few lessons. That's what these night are all about, teaching people the right way to approach jumps and to get used to the hang-time." Rad.
Does Drake believe anyone can strap on the planks and have a pop at freestyle?
"Obviously you need to be a fairly competent skier first," Drake says. "I wouldn't recommend a first-timer coming along and throwing themselves off the jumps. I'm a ski-crosser so even I wouldn't attempt some of the stuff this lot are doing. You can do some serious damage."
A ski pole up the jacksie is no laughing matter. Funny, mind.
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