For the fourth stop of the Planks Grassroots Tour, we hit one of the most notorious dry-slopes in the UK, Stoke Ski Centre. Home to the infamous Stoke Massive crew, some of the craziest rail set-ups the UK has ever seen and also the original home of Planks Clothing, Stoke-on-Trent.
We rolled up to the slope with the crew, as per Will Wesson, Kevin and Lupe were keen to build something creative to play with. They laced a few laps on a super long waterfall rail, then it was time to get going with the full set-up ready for the event.
Stoke is home to Row Emery, one of our grassroots athletes who was on the tour with us. Row grew up at skiing at Stoke Ski Centre, for years he built some of the most extensive and creative full slope set-ups in the UK. So we were privileged to have let him loose on the slope build, where he planned out a way of using every feature and filling every inch of available space on the slope. With features for beginners and pros such as Line Traveling Circus veteran Will Wesson.
At the slope, there is also a ghetto looking dry-slope jump that was constructed with recycled scaffolding about a decade ago now. Then the rails are made up of various gas pipes and lamp posts that have been acquired and turned into features over the years. One legendary blue gas pipe that was on the slope has been there from the beginning of freeskiing in the 90s.
As we got into the main progression session, for what most people would not consider as a UK ski destination, the talent and vibes were seriously flexed. There were plenty of first try tricks being thrown off the jump, then people were spoilt for choice what trick and what rail to attack on in the dry-slope rail garden.
We had young guns and OGs of the UK scene all battling for the top spots. As we neared the end off the session everyone was squeezing out their final stunts, highlighting the true dry-slope warriors in the game.
Here are all the winners from the 4th stop of the #PlanksGrassroots Tour:
Best U16: Paulie Loupis
Best Style: Luke Watts
Best Trick: Joe Ward
Best Bail: Dara McMonagle
Most Stoked: Max Hammond
Best Snowboard: Jack Lennon
3rd Ski Women: Genny Howart
2nd Ski Women: Ella Tayor-Tipton
1st Ski Women: Lara Shaw
3rd Ski Men: James Cartlidge
2nd Ski Men: Harry Hancock
1st Ski Men: Ollie Powell
Telegraph Ski & Snowboard Festival Invite: Ollie Powell
Next up we headed over to The Snow Centre…
📸: Callum Clowes