Olympian snowboarder Ben Kilner slides into Snow Factor Braehead

JUST days before the Winter Olympics open in South Korea, snowboarder Ben Kilner slid into Snow Factor Braehead to give an insight to the Olympic experience and to offer ski and snowboarding fitness tips.

The two-time Olympian, who started snowboarding at the age of nine in Glenshee, also explained why preparing to launch down and perform jaw-dropping aerial manoeuvres on an icy U-shaped half-pipe course is every bit as much about preparing the mind as the body. A half-pipe can be up to 196 yards long and up to 7.6 yards high, with athletes jumping up to 16 yards in the air to impress the judges.

The 29 year-old athlete, a 4 x British Half-Pipe Champion and who among his 4 x top- ten World Cup finishes secured a bronze medal in a 2010 FIS World Cup Half-Pipe in Calgary, Canada has since applied over 13 years of fitness training to establish The Unit Gym & Fitness in Banchory, Aberdeenshire.  A finalist in the 2017 Elevator Awards, Kilner’s business already supports a number of leading Scottish athletes with their training, including Murray Buchan (freestyle skier) and Alex Tilley (alpine skier) who will compete at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

Jamie Smith, owner of Snow Factor Braehead was among those who welcomed Kilner back to the UK’s biggest indoor real-snow facility. Commented Smith: “Ben has inspired many budding young snowboarders with his performances at the top of the sport. As snow-sport enthusiasts look forward to watching the Winter Olympic action unfold, it’s terrific to hear his own tips to maximise the enjoyment of snowboarding and skiing – and to hear how it feels to launch down a half-pipe!”