Amateur snowboarders battle for chance to turn pro

Winter is only just beginning in Russia and amateur jibbers gathered at the all-season alpine skiing venue in the Moscow Region to fight for a set of snowboarding gear for the whole year and a chance to become professional.

­A relatively small amount of snow is required for a jib competition as snowboarders just gain speed on a slope and – like in all skateboarding-influenced sports – jump and slide over different barriers and perform complicated tricks.

“Almost every amateur dreams of becoming a pro,” judge Yury Gavrilov told RT. “The prize of snowboarding equipment for the whole year is up for grabs here. And, after that year, if a snowboarder is good enough, he'll sign a professional contract."

Around a hundred amateur boarders gathered to battle for that top prize and showed off their breathtaking and jaw-dropping tricks on the rail to impress the judges.

“I didn't expect to win but I'm happy I did,” Nikita Sekh stressed. “Hopefully, during this year I'll produce my best to sign a pro contract. It's hard to earn money in snowboarding in this country. But if you perform on a solid level you can get a contract elsewhere.”

There are only a few professional snowboarders in Russia, but such events could help inspire youngsters to turn a hobby into a living.