Nike Chosen Series – The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead. Friday 16th 2011.

Posted on Monday 19th December, 2011 Times Viewed: 6202
Once upon a time there was a massive kicker. 13ft to be exact, and it appeared at The Snow Centre in Hemel. Twenty-five riders were invited to hit this mahusive feature, then those daring enough to challenge the invitees clambered over the last 25 spots. The reason? The first stop of the Nike Chosen Series.

Words- Kaz Willmer
The Nike Chosen Series visits 9 countries across Europe, collecting riders to compete in the finals in Austria in April, alongside the Nike Pro Team. Judges look for style and creativity as well as riding ability to award prizes – the top prize being a space in the Nike Chosen Series final, awarded to the Best Overall rider.

Friday night in Hemel saw this first spot awarded to Andy Nudds who showed immense steeze hitting the biggest kicker to be seen in the UK indoor freezers this season. He'll be joining the Nike Snowboard Team in Austria in April.

Click to view full image

Alongside Lucas Brammall giving his words of wisdom through the mic, the whole event was awesome, from the build-up, right through the evening.

Pictures of the kicker were progressively spread across Facebook in the preceding days, eliminating those non-invitees who realised they didn't actually have the balls to hit it. For those who did, massive props!

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For some it even took a few speed checks, and stops at the top to build up the balls in the qualifiers – but even those who hit the knuckle first time, causing the watching crowds to moan in a chorus of sympathy-pain, made it back to the top to hit it again.

As rider upon rider hit the kicker, we saw some immense riding thrown down, from crowd-pleasers through to technical tricks – rodeos, flips, fs and bs 7s, 9s. The qualifiers whittled the riders down to just 10 chosen ones; Rowan Coultas, Marc McClement, Jesse Smith, Andy Nudds, Lewis Sonvico, Will Radula-Scott, Sam Cullum, Scott Penman, Angus Leith and Jordy Gee. After a bar/buffet break, the finals kicked off in Hemel.

Jesse Smith
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Scott Penman
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Even Nike UK's prodigy Jamie Nicholls made an appearance, despite being in Stuttgart for the night, through a cardboard cutout to deliver the prizes! In the end, there could only be one winner, undoubtably claimed by Andy Nudds and his front 10, but the Most Creative award went to Angus Leith, Best Style went to Sam Cullum, and Best Girl went to Becky Menday – all who deserved the awards, hands down.

Sam Cullum
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It was awesome to witness such a level of riding at a UK indoor snow slope on a Friday night, and riders and spectators left stoked at what they'd seen. Best of luck to Nuddsy for the finals in April, and we hope more events like this fall on British soil, as it highlights how much our riders have achieved from just training in freezers and on dry slopes, to be able to compete amongst the world's best.

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Nike Chosen Series - 01 UK Hemel Hempstead from Nike Action on Vimeo.

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Comments (344)  
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