Paddy Graham from Sheffield is already the UK's best Freeskier at the tender age of 21. We asked him about his experience, favourite places to ski and thought on Barcelona before he competed at the International Freeski Big Air Competition at the Barcelona Snow Show, held in November 2009.
When did you start skiing?
I started skiing at age 13 in my second year of high school. I learnt on a plastic slope in my home city, Sheffield.
Have you ever thought of changing to snowboarding? Are the two interchangeable or once a skier, always a skier?
I occasionally go snowboarding but I'm not very good, I spend most the day on my ass! It'd be amazing to be able to do both, I have a couple of friends who are as good at one than the other and it seems like fun!
Do you think that skiers have a 'less cool' image than snowboarders or is that an outdated opinion?
Recently skiing has become way more popular on the slopes. Freestyle skiing seems to be a kind of, rebirth of skiing, you know skiing backwards is freestyle and everyone wants to try it!
Where is your favourite place to ski?
I really like skiing in Austria all around Innsbruck and there's a great park in LAAX, Switzerland with an amazing halfpipe.
Have you ever skied in Girona or Andorra, if so, how did you find it?
I've skied in Andorra before and loved it! Great people, great food and awesome skiing, especially in Grandvalira I seem to remember...
You are just 21 years old and are already the UK's Best Freeskier - what next?
Well I'm just trying to keep fit and on top of my game! I'd love to up my profile on the international scene and host my own invitational! Possible bring some of the world's best skiers to the UK!
What's the worst injury you've done to yourself?
One injury that stands out over the years is knocking my teeth out! Not as bad as it sounds but I looked like a pirate for a few months!
How far do you push yourself - do you still get scared?
I push my self and lots of things are scary but once you're outside your boundaries and not comfortable, that's when you can hurt yourself... So I practise as much as I can till I know I can do it!
What is the last thing in your mind before you launch yourself off a jump?
I try to visualise my tricks before I do them, so I'm focused on that, sometimes it feels like you're flying but when you're coming back to earth, you have to concentrate on your landing!
Have you got any other tricks to learn or have you perfected them all?
There's always a trick to learn! For me now it's probably learning some double flips... and just when you think you can do everything there is, you can take your tricks to the backcountry and land all of them into powder!
Which one do you bust out to impress?
The BACKFLIP! Everyone loves a backflip and I love to do them!
How many seasons have you done now?
I started when I was 16, so I'm coming into my sixth and I've also done two winters down in New Zealand... And I wouldn't have changed a day of it!
What do you do when you are not on the slopes?
When I'm not skiing I'm trying to stay fit for skiing, it's not always that easy but I try to keep fit. Going to the gym and I love to trampoline, it's really good to learn new tricks! I also like to spend lots of time with my friends and end up travelling and driving to a lot of places...
I read that you rate TJ Schiller as one of the best - who else do you admire?
I love people with lots of style. Candide Thovex and Tanner Hall are pioneers of the sport and I grew up watching them in movies and they're still my favourite skiers to watch!
In the Snow Show competition - what competitors are you going to be looking out for?
All the top skiers from around the world will be at the Snow Show and I'm really looking forward to skiing with them and lots of my friends from around Europe. Comps are some of the only time we get to ride together so it's always fun... But I'll be keeping a look out for Henrik Harlaut and the Spanish boys, Jaime and Paco!!!
What countries tend to produce the best skiers/snow boarders? How did you find learning in the UK compared to the others who presumably had countless snowy mountains to practice on?
Well all the skiers from the Alps started skiing as soon as they could walk... Scandinavia seems to churn out endless amounts of talent, as they ski real hard and push each other all year round.
Where do you live?
I live in Innsbruck, Austria now... right in the mountains!
What other sports do you do, surfing etc?
I occasionally skateboard, play football, general gymnastics, nothing serious just for fun... although I'd like to get an FMX motorbike and start doing some jumps!
Have you been to Barcelona before - if so, did you like it?
Never been to Barcelona, never been mainland Spain! I can't wait!
If you get lucky and get some spare time in Barcelona, what is the first thing you want to do?
Go see the sights, I've seen some great culture and architecture on TV so I'd be up for some tourist stuff and a cold beer in the sun!