Here at Extreme Element we love chatting to pros from all sports, today we caught up with James Woods, nick named Woodsy, a pro skier, to see what he’s been up to!
Hey Woodsy, I hear you’ve had a busy winter, so what have you been up to?
Hi, yeah my whole winter and year actually is really busy now, not really sure how that happened to be honest! During the winter, the majority of my time is taken up by competing. There are always so many competitions happening all over the world and the hard part is to choose the right ones to do, because I obviously want to do everything. Although X Games, Dew Tour, World Cups and the other Platinum AFP ranked events take up almost every single week of the winter. When I’m not competing it’s a good bet that I’ll be skiing and practising somewhere, normally either Breckenridge, Mammoth, Whistler or Saas- Fee.
So, how did you first get into skiing?
Well, I was the first in my family to try out skiing at the age of 10, which is pretty late compared to most people that compete like me. I was going through a phase of wanting to try out every sport under the sun, and I’d seemed to settle on field hockey, and some skating for fun after school. I’m from Sheffield, UK and the skate park was right next to the dry ski slope (artificial plastic bristles – either called snowflex or dendex) in Sheffield Ski Village, I always knew it was there and one day my curiosity got the better of me. I tried skiing and snowboarding and loved them both and was pretty good too, but the easiest and cheapest way to carry on was to join the ski club. After joining I started going every Saturday to Sharks Ski Club and well, it just seemed to (artificial) snowball from there… I raced, did moguls and then started jumping and doing rails, and honestly since then I’m not quite sure how all of this happened! I know I’ve always tried and practised really hard to be the best skier I can be – but this is crazy, my dreams are coming true!
Ok, perhaps a pretty tricky question…but what’s your favourite jump or rail to ride?
That is a tough question because each different feature is so specific. I love doing this sport because there’s never two things the same. Every jump, rail, feature and course is different, always. I simply love finding a line of working out a hit that feels good and then try and learn some new tricks using it.
Would you say there’s anything or anyone that truly inspires you whilst on the slopes?
Skiing wise, I’m from a pretty deprived area and I try to go to small ski resorts all over the world that are trying to make freeskiing happen, and every time I do, it amazes me at how stoked all of the people are. So, I’d have to say these people inspire me the most, from both extremes kids building their own rails and sliding down carpet to hit it in the summer to the huge, most perfect parks around the world where the best of the best are inventing and learning new tricks all the time. I’m constantly inspired by this sport – that’s why I’m still here.
Talking of slopes, what’s your all-time favourite place to ride?
They would have to be either Breckenridge, Whistler or Mammoth.
What has been your best memory or most memorable experience so far?
I have been lucky enough to experience some incredible things already in my life and for everyone that has helped me I am so grateful, but I have to say stepping out onto the X Games podium in Tignes for the first time, in my first X Games was my dream come true. I can honestly say that for a split second there I felt on top of the World.
I know you’re away in Whistler at the moment, could not be more jealous but do you have any other plans for the summer?
Oh yes, there’s so much going on it’s really exciting! I have just got back to Europe now after an amazing month in Whistler, and now I’m in Saas- Fee, Switzerland. After here, I get to go and watch some of the Olympics in London, which is amazing. Then I have a little more training time somewhere, not too sure where yet. I’ll be training for the first Slopestyle World Cup of the ‘12/’13 season in Argentina, which means… it is the first qualification event to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games!! Then my best friend is getting married and all the city big air events start and then it’s the winter again, so it’s all pretty full on!
Sounds non-stop, do you ever get any days off, if so, how do you spend it?
I love taking days off, but even just after one day I start getting antsy! Usually I’ll sleep in as long as I can and then try and sort out all my E-mails and ‘real life’ things that get totally neglected for months! I do really enjoy doing other sports too, so whenever I can, I’ll try and get outdoors doing something even if it’s not skiing.
Now, what we would all like to know…any exciting plans for the next winter season?
Well, like I said, the Olympic Qualification has opened up, so I’m focussing on that and hoping to do well in it. Other than that, I aim to carry on as I am, trying my best at the X Games, Dew Tour etc. I do have some new tricks that I’m currently working on that I’m really excited to bring into contests next winter as well. I’m also going to try and get a couple more edits out as my last one went down well I think.
Cheers for that Woodsy and good luck for the future! Definitely got a lot to look forward to! Here’s a tiny insight into what Woodsy does: