All About Synthetic Slopes Part II: The U.K. Dry Slope Scene

On Saturday, January 28th 2017 in Aspen, Colorado at the Winter X Games Big Air competition James “Woodsy” Woods dropped in for his 4th and final run. He was in second place behind four-time champion Henrik Harlaut and needed to put up a big score.

This wasn’t Woodsy’s first big event. He started competing in the U.K. at the national level in 2007 and had placed well at a number of international events, including capturing the FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup in 2012-2013 and a fifth place finish in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

But there is something special about the X Games stage and if he could manage to take gold it would be the first ever skiing event to be won by a Brit in X Games history. Indeed, how was it that a kid from a country not known for its skiing could possibly produce a skier at this level?

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All About Synthetic (a.k.a "Dry") Slopes

How do you live in a city far from the mountains, work a demanding job, and still ski or snowboard more than 100 times a year? No, you don’t need a private jet. Or a lax in-office work policy. Or a summer home in Chile. The answer is much simpler than that, and I’m going to tell you all about it. 

What follows is a story about synthetic ski surfaces and how they will impact the future of the sport. We are going to share with you the details of how you can ski and snowboard year round without the need to travel to the mountains. This will be a three part series.

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Photos by Jack Tompkins
and Harrison Atwood