Going down...in a blaze of glory! - Ski Union

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Going down…in a blaze of glory!

What is it about watching someone eat it that can bring so much pleasure to others? At the Orage European Open this year, I overheard a middle aged couple talking about watching the pipe. They had no idea what tricks were being pulled, and the various levels of difficulty between them, in short they couldn’t really relate to what was going on, but they were transfixed nonetheless. When pushed they conceded that part of the appeal of the whole thing was the constant potential for imminent disaster. Like drivers on the opposite side of the motorway slowing to look at a crash on the other carriageway, these people couldn’t turn away from the action for fear of missing a wreck! And to be honest they are not the only ones, all of us enjoy a good crash segment, hell, I even enjoy a good crash every now and again (as long as I’m not permanently damaged). Does this make us all morbid masochists? Probably!

pleasing the crowds and trying to win competitions often involves taking a beating. A rider at the European freeski open finds little comfort in the base of the halpipe.

The point here (I feel I should attempt to make some kind of point) is that crashing is as much a part of skiing as turning. There are some who are the masters of avoidance, like the nutter that is Hugo Harrison, there are others who seem to do it with style, like Kaj Zackrisson.

http://mpora.com/videos/k7EK6A6sA
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There are some like my good friend, and Brit freeski legend, slavemonkey who are really bad at it, making no effort to avoid disaster. He just tends to just go limp in the air, and inevitably tries to land on his head first to protect his…er… feet? It looks like this technique may be rubbing off on some others?

Nick southwell trying desperately to land on his head...you've got to protect those feet!

As an integral part of our sport we thought we should display images and videos that showcase some of the best crashes we’ve witnessed and demonstrating the skill required fo… Oh Bollox who are we kidding – these are just plain funny.

Andy Bennett demonstrates the 'head in snow' part of the tomahawk roll, a long standing favorite!
Nick southwell, this time demonsting the 'wash out' on a pillow line...blamed on the back rocker of his skis apparently...whatever...
The 'pencil' manouvre is often pulled out as a last ditch effort to prevent the inevitable and to try and land facing forward. This move has amazing comedy value.

A picture may speak a thousand word, but crashes are soooo much better on video. Here’s a selection of our favourite clips from the web.

Always be sure you have someone standing by to offer running commentary on your wipeout!
http://mpora.com/videos/T9LolAwQj
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Box’s and rails are a sure fire source of amusement to the avid crash watcher. Hang out by one of these things, and your day is going to be made!

http://mpora.com/videos/9qGXLiL0W
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http://mpora.com/videos/ds596GYXb
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This is a classic…punters in the park, what more can i say?

http://mpora.com/videos/wj73cRDDU
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And remember it’s the piste (or your own friends) that is the most dangerous place on the mountain…

http://mpora.com/videos/NulGsTo4P
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So,  if you are going to crash, be sure to do it with style!

Words:Jamie Cameron and Pally Learmond

Photos: Pally Learmond

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