Staff blog: Who needs a mountain?

O'Neill Shoreditch ShowdownSki+board Deputy Editor Rosie Barcroft headed to Shoreditch for the O’Neill Shoreditch Showdown – a freestyle event in the heart of the capital. 


I’ve decided that’s my new favourite word. Well, that and ‘funkage’…

Where did I pick up these words (I hear you ask)? Three words. O’Neill Shoreditch Showdown.

O’Neill Shoreditch Showdown (Photo: Sam Mellish)

O’Neill Shoreditch Showdown (Photo: Sam Mellish)

A 50 tonne snowfall (courtesy of The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead) turned Old Street’s graffiti-clad Red Market into an iconic London street scene. Providing the ultimate backdrop for the top rail riders to show off their skills to a crowd of 500.

Complete with steps, a bus stop, kickers, a postbox, a phone box and of course rails – 24 skiers and boarders pushed themselves throughout the evening, culminating in a dramatic final.

Sparrow Knox (snowboard) and Taylor J Harding (freeski) took the crowns. With a clean frontside 270 to switch boardslide on the rail, styled out with a tap on the red post box, Knox was pretty humble about his win: “I just like to ride, we were all here as mates, I totally didn’t expect to win. It was a great format and a mad set-up.” TJ Harding was on form throughout the night, culminating with a 270 on revert 270 off the rail. Harding said: “It’s something special to win in a place like this, completely unexpected. A great way to set up for the winter.”

O'Neill Shoreditch Snowdown - London 2013 - Sam MellishThe night finished in The Bar Music Hall just around the corner. Where, Live Lazy Habits and Demo Mode entertained the masses.

O’Neill Shoreditch Showdown  (Photo: Sam Mellish)

O’Neill Shoreditch Showdown (Photo: Sam Mellish)

It was a wonderful evening. Wearing my ski jacket, sipping mulled cider and enjoying the gourmet street food – you could almost kid yourself that you were in a snow park, a long way from the country’s capital indeed.

Rosie Barcroft

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