Snowboarder Jamie Nicholls is ready for the competitions to start coming thick and fast after blowing the cobwebs away with his first outing of the season in Japan.
The 21-year-old travelled to Tokyo last weekend for the fourth annual Burton Rail Days event looking to add another title to the one he won in the event's maiden year.
He was in a strong position heading into the finals but unfortunately couldn’t stick his last run, leaving him fourth overall with Canada’s Zach Aller taking victory in the 40-minute jam session.
While disappointed with the outcome Nicholls, who finished sixth in the men’s slopestyle final at the Sochi Winter Olympics, knows not to dwell too long on the result.
Next up is a get away to the mountains of Austria before the Dew Tour Mountain Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado, from December 11-14.
And Nicholls is ready to get stuck into things after all the pre-season build up.
“I can’t wait for the new season to properly take off. There’s always a big build up to the season and there’s been loads of attention this year,” he said.
“It’s really exciting when all the resorts start properly opening up at Christmas and New Year.
“Some people will see fourth as a good result in Japan but I was going out there to try and win it.
“It all came down to that last run, I wished I could have done better but that’s just the way it goes.
“I was in third going into the last run and I just thought I have to go for it. That’s the way you have to ride. But after a 40-minute jam, it’s very physically tiring and your legs are burning.
“We’ve got the Dew Tour in December so I’m going to take a bit of a different approach and head out to Austria before then just to chill and get some time on the snow before flying straight there.”
Back in Britain this week though, Nicholls headed to The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead where he was on hand to offer tips and advice.
And with the latest research from Snowsport England showing a sustained effect on participation at domestic slopes and centres since Sochi, Nicholls admits he is proud to help fly the flag for winter sports.
“It’s really good, just to see the increase of people wanting to get into snowboard and ski and using the facilities that we have,” he added.
“It’s a good feeling to know that I and the other athletes have played a part in helping to inspire people to get into the sport. There are all sorts of ages, the other day I was even helping a 70-year-old guy on the slopes.”
© Sportsbeat 2014