Following the announcement of the Delancey Ones to Watch in October, we catch up with 13-year old snowboarder, Leon Drynan, who tells us what’s been happening this month as a member of the GB Park and Pipe National Academy.
What have you been up to since you last spoke to us?
I’ve been concentrating on getting my fitness back in my knee, which is feeling really good now.
I was away for a few weeks with the GB Team in October – had a mega 3 day session in Bratislava on the airbag. Then we drove on to Stubai Glacier for the remaining 10 days.
We were there for the Stubai Premiere/ Stubai Zoo Season opener on 22nd October which was awesome. Here’s a link to me in the Stubai Zoo park:
The whole trip was amazing (I didn’t want to come home!). Got to ride some pretty sick lines and the jump sizes were ideal for practicing some more technically challenging jumps. The guys who work the park take such good care of it. Also had some pretty sick trampoline sessions, learning to do doubles and all other sorts of skills to take to the jumps. Landed a lovely nose plant too – thought I’d broken it…
As always, had some really good coaching and feedback from the GB coaches (Dan, Ben and Joe). All in all a really productive trip – made a little sweeter when Arbor sent out a new board for me to Stubai (thanks Adam)!
You’ve recently been signed up to Freeze Pro Shop? What does it mean to be part of their team? What support do they offer and what difference does that make to you?
I was approached by Ross at Freeze Pro back in August who was looking to add some young guns to Freeze Pro’s team. I didn’t even need to think about saying yes. These guys sponsor some of the best riders, and I was stoked to be asked to join them.
In such a short space of time they’ve been so supportive and helpful with anything I’ve needed. They’ve already sorted me out with a better quality and fit back brace which is an important bit of kit for anyone that spends a lot of time upside down. I know I just need to let Ross know what I need and he’ll sort it (Good man Ross).
How do you learn new tricks and get over the fear of trying something for the first time? Do you just take it straight to the slope or have you got some inventive ways to try and get it dialled before hitting the snow? What tricks are you working on at the moment?
I don’t normally have ‘the fear’ as such, maybe a little nervous that first time you try something bigger and more technical than you’re used to. I’ll either watch someone’s edit or trick online who’s doing what I want to do, and study their technique etc.
I’ll either just take it straight to the slope and practice, or if I’m with any of the coaches I’ll talk it over with them first. Then we can ‘tweak’ what’s good or what’s not.
Tricks I’d like to achieve are a double cork 1080. Some others I’ve been practising are SWB9’s. I landed a B7 truck driver the other night which I was pretty pleased about. The kicker at Bearsden is good for that extra height that’s needed.
What are your plans for the coming winter?
The next few months sees the second competition of the Triple Crown on Saturday 12th November which is at Bearsden – the final part being at Cairngorm on 11th March next year.
I’m training at Bearsden on a Wednesday and a Sunday. It’s been really good to get back into it as I missed a good few sessions because of my knee.
Still riding at the Snow Dome too on a Thursday and a Friday night, getting some good rail practice in, and honing new tricks.
There’s been a little flurry of snow lately up the mountains in Scotland, so I’m really hoping that’s the beginning of our winter.
Looking forward to getting up there as often as possible over the next few months.
Had some epic days up there last winter with Richy McIntosh who I ride with at the Dome each week. Richy’s also sponsored by Arbor, and it’s awesome to be able to take what we do at the Dome and do it bigger and faster up Glenshee or Cairngorm. #teamarbor
I’ve been shredding with Richy for a while now and he’s taught me a lot, including some really good rail tricks (amongst other things). He also seems to be my designated camera man (Cheers for everything bro!). Can’t wait for our trips up north to slay it over the winter.
Also you need to check out his edits on Instagram: @_richymac_
As always I‘d really like to thank my sponsors:
*Arbor – their boards are just awesome, currently I’m riding the Arbor Helix
*Bern Helmets – for all the times the tricks don’t go to plan #noseplants
Follow my Instagram: @leondrynan
Delancey Ones to Watch
Delancey:“As our aim is to support the development of Britain’s young and upcoming talent, we are delighted to name two young people who we believe have great potential in their future snowsports careers. Big congratulations to Kirsty Muir (skier) and Leon Drynan (snowboarder) who have been picked as our Delancey Ones to Watch, we wish you all the best!”
Over the upcoming winter, we will be following Kirsty and Leon in a series of interviews and blogs throughout their season of competition and training with the GB Park and Pipe National Academy.
Look out next week for 12-year-old freestyle skier Kirsty Muir’s second blog.