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New airbag for UK
Wednesday May 8, 2013 - Email this article to a friend

The giant airbag will help GB freestyle athletes train ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics and will boost grassroots involvement in the sport. It will be based at the Chill Factor in Manchester and be taken to other indoor and dry slopes.

The airbag is designed to simulate a real jump, providing a shaped landing surface with a "knuckle" to aim past.

This will help athletes judge landing trajectories and their speed of approach.

It is manufactured by the Canadian company, Katal. 

The project has been funded by Sport England.

Team GB athletes have welcomed the new training tool.

"If you can't visualise a trick before you try it, it can be quite dangerous, so being able to try a trick before taking it onto the snow is super helpful. Using airbags is definitely becoming essential as tricks are progressing," 
said the snowboarder, Billy Morgan.

Team GB has some realistic medal chances for Sochi 2014 among the freestyle skiers and snowboarders as we have reported within this earlier PlanetSKI story.

"The hope is that kids can learn tricks earlier and practice them more often, meaning that the next generation are supported before they even reach national team level. Inspiring the next generation through grassroots is so important for us. It's the building blocks for our vision of growing the sport across the country, establishing Britain as competitive in the global arena and sustaining international podium success" commented the snowboard freestyle head coach, Hamish McKnight.

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"Having our own air bag in the UK will be hugely productive as this is the perfect way to safely help develop our young up and coming skiers and snowboarders hone their techniques and continue to drive the journey from homegrown grassroots sport to the top of the international podium. This is a massive step forward for our grassroots programs and UK based training camps," added the GB Freeski head coach, Pat Sharples.

Without natural snowy high-altitude training environments, such airbags are fundamental to the unique training conditions of British elite freeskiers and freestyle snowboarders.

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For the spirit of the mountains

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