Radical Gains blends stunning imagery with detailed insight about prominent personalities in the British Park and Pipe scene.

The book maps out British freestyle from early beginnings to the past two Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and PyeongChang.

Great Britain’s Park and Pipe Head Coach, Pat Sharples, is the first voice in the book. His enthusiasm and pride for the sport really come across when he’s talking about the progression of freestyle in Britain. He is careful to mention the right people and to give a nod to the way the freestyle wintersports has risen from the early 90s. Sharples also explains how freeride has influenced the park and pipe movement, drawing parallels with each style of riding.

The choice of imagery really backs up the words of the four contributors to the book. You can see how styles, technology and techniques have changed over the years. What hasn’t changed is how epic these athletes are in each of their fields. The book showcases photography that many of us recreational snowsport enthusiasts could only dream of! 

 

Ski Sunday presenter and former professional snowboarder Ed Leigh champions how snowboarding in Britain continues to thrive compared to a lot of nations:  

“Snowboarding in Britain is like a bumblebee. It looks like it shouldn’t be able to fly, but for some reason, it can.”

This quote perfectly sums up what Leigh thinks of the snowboarding movement in the UK.

From freeride to the British Dryslope Championships in Sheffield, Leigh highlights different parts of the UK snowboard community and how it has built momentum for international events like the X Games and Winter Olympics.

A big moment, of course, was Jenny Jones’ triumphant bronze medal at the Sochi Winter Games competing in Slopestyle. Everybody remembers the moment Leigh and the rest of the BBC commentary team lost their minds when her score was announced. The Ski Sunday presenter describes the years of dedication Jones had been through just for that moment and how he connected with that journey in Sochi instantly.

Highly regarded snowsports journalist Matt Barr’s section of the book talks about how GB Park and Pipe was started. The details of the professional programmes and funding gives background to how success stories such as James Woods and Jenny Jones, can have a platform to perform at the highest level. 

Another chapter with Ed Leigh explores the 2018 Winter Olympics success stories and how it cemented Park and Pipe as one of the leading sports in the winter sports programme. The decision to have both snowboarding and skiing under one team in Park and Pipe was a new dynamic that paid off. The team built a positive atmosphere together that showed when the athletes competed in the main events. The success of Izzy Atkins and Billy Morgan with their bronze medals is evidence of that.

More than 180 images are included in the book with each carefully selected to emphasise a certain part of the GB Park and Pipe narrative. So many athletes and personalities are given their spotlight to promote their success over the years.

Lesley Mckenna, the Programme Manager of GB Park and Pipe, gives her insight of where she thinks the future of the team will be. She discusses the new crop of athletes and how some have already hit great heights on the World Cup circuit and other international competitions. “As long as the passion is high and the is there, we can keep the radical gains coming and keep mixing it at the top.”

Radical Gains is an easy read and beautifully presented. For the imagery alone the book is worth purchasing, but the insight by some of the biggest players in the sport is deeply intriguing. What a great way to celebrate British Park and Pipe’s success story!

Radical Gains is available for £30 with £10 from every book sold going towards GB Park and Pipe. Buy here.      

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