Southampton’s snowboarding whizz-kid Ethan Smith looks to be on the way to greatness.
He has continued his incredible season by winning the Scottish Freestyle Championships men’s under-12s competition.
Smith, from Chandler’s Ford, started the year claiming silver at the Scottish Ski and Snowboard Cross Championships.
The ten-year-old, one of the brightest talents on snow in the UK, had previously never ridden in the boarder cross format of the sport, usually specialising in freestyle, before the competition.
But he managed to lead for long periods of the race against former champions and a GB Junior team member, eventually clinching second place.
The competition sees four boarders race head-to-head on the same track over jumps and banked turns in knockout rounds before a grand final.
The Scantabout School pupil came through the qualification stages, finishing runner-up.
Over the first kicker, and on entering the three rollers, he was in first position.
A kicker is a steep jump and a roller is a series of mounds or bumps along the course.
The proceeding stretch was flatter, meaning the heavier GB rider could power past the lighter Smith.
“I am still smiling,” he said about his achievement.
“Considering I was the youngest in my age group, and the fact I have never ridden boarder-cross before, I’ve done well.
“I may have to train for next year’s event and bring gold to Hampshire.”
Smith came off the back of a great end to 2013, winning the Perma Series freestyle competition and finishing the year ranked 17th in the British Snow Tour.
His dedication to snowboarding, which sees him train at least four times a week at Snowtrax in Christchurch and also travel to Hemel Hempstead’s Snow Centre to link up with a children’s development team, has certainly paid off.
He also travelled to out to Italy last month, where he was a part of a development camp aimed at the elite freestyle juniors.
In the Italian Alps he took on his highest jump to date, a ‘black’ grade one of 14 metres.
Known as one of the most difficult and technically complicated jumps, it was the same elevation as the first jump at the Olympic Slopestyle competition at the Sochi Winter Olympics recently.
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