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THE NEXT BILLY MORGAN? - Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Monday June 18, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

He's 15 and already ranked just below the Olympic Big Air medallist in the UK snowboard rankings but who is Gabe Adams?




The teenager from Bridgnorth in Shropshire has been quietly picking up podium places in international junior competitions and has his sights set on the next Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022.

Before that is the small matter of the World Junior Championships in Cardrona in New Zealand at the end of August, if his family can find the money to get him there.

Adams is the only UK snowboarder to be selected for the Worlds and, if he goes, will compete in Slopestyle, Big Air.

He might also race in the Snowboard Cross.

Gabe AdamsGabe Adams












Here at PlanetSKI we like to keep our eye on young up-and-coming ski and snowboard talent.

We've featured some of the most promising athletes after following their progress at the BRITS:

But Gabe Adams, who it's clear has an abundance of talent, had passed us by until his dad, Joe, got in touch to point us in the direction of his son's impressive string of results this season alone.

They include:

  • 1st in World Rookie Tour rankings (Groms category for under-16s)  after a series of 1st and 2nd places at the various tour stops and finishing 2nd in the finals
  • 1st under-16 and 1st overall male in the slopestyle at the Austrian & German Masters, in Kühtai, Austria in March 2018. The competition was also part of a Europa Cup event at which Adams finished 11th.
Gabe Adams at the World Rookie Tour finalsGabe Adams at the World Rookie Tour finals













What's more, in Hintertux in April this year, just two months after his 15th birthday, Adams nailed "the triple", aka the triple cork 1440.

He's since done it half a dozen times.

Here it is... though, in this version, you can't see the landing:

And here's a short video teaser from last season which shows him landing the triple right at the end:

While very young snowboarders from other nations have pulled off the triple - including Norwegian Marcus Kleveland when he was 13 - no British snowboarder has achieved it at such a young age.

So why have we never heard of Gabe Adams?

For one, he no longer competes at Brits, where many future champions cut their teeth (and where he won titles in slopestyle, halfpipe and snowboard cross in 2015 and 2016).

Also, he doesn't train with the GB Park and Pipe development team at their camps in Laax, Switzerland or Mottolino Livigno in Italy.

Instead, he spends four months each winter based at the full-time private residential academy for 11 to 16-year-olds, Why Ain't You Jibbin? (WAYJ) at Kaltenbach in Austria.

Like many of the academy's students Adams has, until now, focused on competing at multiple international contests, most of them junior events.

World Rookie Tour finals podiumGabe Adams (left) on the World Rookie Tour finals podium




















There are some in the sport who believe these contests are of limited value and do little to prepare the athletes for the step up to senior events and potential Olympic standard.

Adams' dad Joe disagrees, pointing to the high quality of competition at many of the junior events.

Two winners of the World Rookie Tour finals in April, Takeru Otsuka and Kokomo Murase from Japan, went on to win Big Air gold at the prestigious X Games in Oslo in May.

At 13, Murase, who won the women's big air, is the youngest ever Winter X Games medallist.

Joe Adams is a firm supporter of the junior comps and says his super-ambitious son will return to the WAYJ academy to train next winter.

"Why change if it's not broken? It's not just not broken, it's working superbly well," he told us.

"I've always said to him 'what is it that you want to get out of it? What are you in snowboarding for?'

"He wants to win competitions, win the Olympics and be seen as the best in the world..... he's uber-competitive."

World Rookie Tour podium, PilaOn top of the World Rookie Tour podium in Pila, Italy
















Ask his son and you'll realise that dad is not wrong.

He doesn't want to be the next Billy Morgan.

He wants to be better than him.

"My hopes for next season and the coming years, are to keep progressing and developing as a professional snowboarder and athlete," he tells us.

"Also to win contest after contest, working up to the X-games and Olympics, to hopefully finish as an Olympic champion in slopestyle and big air and be eventually known as the greatest of all time so up and coming athletes look to me for inspiration."

Gabe AdamsGabe Adams is aiming high
















If Gabe Adams' profile has been low to date, it is certain to rise next winter.

PlanetSKI understands he is being considered for selection to the British team and is likely to make it into the GB Park and Pipe World Cup Squad to be announced later this summer.

He has already met the technical criteria required.

He will compete in at least a few of the World Cup competitions and some Europa Cups.

Then we'll see whether the teenager is capable of competing against the best on the senior stage on a regular basis.

He is currently at the top of the World Snowboard Tour rankings for under-16s and 84th in the overall rankings for all age groups.

Can he creep up the leaderboard and become not just the next Billy Morgan (Olympic big air bronze medallist) , but the next Mark McMorris (multiple X Games gold medallist), Seb Toots (Olympic big air champion and multiple X Games medallist), or Red Gerard (Olympic slopestyle champion at age 17)?

Gabe AdamsGabe Adams ready for the big time
















The global talent in freestyle snowboarding is phenomenal and making it even to the top 30 will be a task and a half.

But Gabe Adams has the potential and the determination.

"He is a very good snowboarder, he enjoys it, has worked hard and has had plenty of opportunity to practice," the GB Park and Pipe Head Snowboard Coach, Hamish McKnight, told us.

"Gabe is someone firmly on our radar for the very near future. He is the strongest 15 year old in the UK."

Hamish McKnight & Billy MorganHamish McKnight with GB's Olympic bronze medallist Billy Morgan















Adams' own coach, Steve Addicott from WAYJ, says he has true potential.

"He has the passion, motivation and natural ability to excel at the very top international level," he says.

"Along with coaching, his superb overall fitness and added riding experience, he is advancing along the pathway towards Olympic qualification and hopefully success".

Gabe Adams on the trampolineTraining on the trampoline




















Addicott is Gabe Adams' role model.  He's trained with the coach since he was seven.

"We both have always wanted the same thing for me, to be a professional athlete and to be the best in the world," he tells us.

"I will never stop pushing my limits, even when I am known as the greatest of all time I will keep pushing and pushing to entertain and live my life to the fullest."

So, watch this space. We expect to be reporting on Gabe Adams' results next winter and beyond.

The 2017/18 Gabe Adams season edit is not quite ready.  In the meantime, watch his 16/17 edit:

Coming up for Gabe Adams....

August 2018 - World Junior Championships, Cardrona, NZ (if the family can raise the money)

February 2019 - European Youth Olympics, Sarajevo, Bosnia

Winter 2018/19 - Europa and World Cup competitions

Winter Olympics Big Air podiumThe future for Gabe Adams? Pyeongchang Olympic Big Air podium













See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Noumber 1 for ski news

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