Natural skier Summerhayes to use ‘unnatural spinning’ in bid for freestyle glory

Katie Summerhayes is hoping improved unnatural spinning will help her claim a first tour win during this year’s freestyle skiing season.

The 20-year-old British freestyle skier came second in slopestyle in two major competitions last year, after an impressive performance at Sochi 2014.

But said she was looking to increase her consistency and to pick up her first place on the podium in the season ahead. 

“I don’t want to be like ‘I want to win everything’ because I don’t want to not live up to it, but I would love to win a competition and I’ve been working really hard this summer,” she told MM.

“Last season was fun. It was the year after the Olympics so, it was a bit of a weird season, but I had a great time, great fun and got a couple of good results.

“I came second at the World Championship, so I was super stoked. There was the ranking World Finals in April too, I came second in that and I was really happy with that.

“But you have to approach every competition the same, you don’t know what the course is going to be until you get there.”

Summerhayes became the first British female skier to claim a Freestyle World Championships medal at the slopestyle final in Kreischberg.

She said she had used the off-season to improve her unnatural spinning, which she sees as a key part of her development as a skier.

“I’ve learnt loads of unnatural spinning,” she said.

“The way I’d describe it is like being able to write with my right hand and then having to do everything with my left.

“My natural way to go is right, so I’ve learnt loads of spinning left, which hopefully is going to help me.

“I’ve been working super hard on that for the past year, so hopefully I’m going to be able to put it into my competitions this year.

“I’ve had to practise it over a long period of time, but once you’ve got it, you’ve got it.”

Katie’s sister Molly will be joining the British team for her first full senior season, and Katie said there was a strong team spirit in the Team GB camp.

“I love having Molly with me, when she first [joined the team] she was a bit annoying, but we’re best mates now.

“Us girls [in the team] are the best of friends, there’s five of us and we get on so well.

“We probably annoy everyone else because we’re just so loud, but it’s amazing because we literally get to travel the world with our best friends, doing what we love – it is like a dream.”

Image courtesy of GB Park and Pipe via YouTube with thanks.

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