I first met Billy, just a few hours before the featured shot, introduced to me by Luke Paull, Billy is the ultimate Maverick, he didn’t get good the conventional way, he got spectacular his own way. Working hard all Spring Summer and Autumn on building sites, part of the UK South Coast Ill Eagles Crew <> crew, when not working hard he was riding hard on local artificial slopes Warmwell, Southampton, Plymouth, Avonmouth all the time being encouraged by Luke to adopt a Professional Snowboarder’s attitude. His first winter season under his belt I caught up with Billy at the start of his second season.
In the 2008/2009 Winter season in Morzine/Avoriaz there were Green eyed monsters everywhere, this young gun who had no Reputation in the sport killed it every single time, to make matter worse he didn’t have a seaonal job, for those that do have to support their season by washing dishes, cleaning toilets and generally doing stuff to be on the slopes that they would never have contemplated doing back in the UK, this is a cardinal sin, however I think deep inside Billy’s mind, he knew that if he was to become what he really wanted be, he would need to ride mountains fulltime and so he did, hard, sometimes way too hard.
Tearing through Avoriaz it became painfully clear that I was riding with a freak, an insanely taleted freak and I had better reign myself
in if I wasn’t going to do myself some real permanent damage and so I did what I did best I started shooting. Loved Billy’s approach it was considered, his execution and this is what a photographer loves was Take 1, pretty much every single time.
As Billy sessioned the Featured Cliff Jump, the fox hole I had dug out in the waist deep snow was the best place on earth to be. In the presence of the world’s besk kept secret I was being treated to an impromptu masterclass of snowboarding. The week that I spent riding and shooting with Billy presented the most exciting photography I had been in a position to take.
After our week long shoot, relaxing with Billy and Luke at Jimmy’s with a well earned beer, the topic of conversation, (once Billy stopped doing standing backflips at the bar) turned to sponsorship, I understood at once Billy’s frustration at being an unrecognized unsponsored rider, I proffered the best advice I could, made a promise to myself that I would do all I could to highlight Billy’s Talent, I drove back to the UK next day emailled all of the UK’s Top Snowboarding Industry contacts and alerted them to the new kid on the block.
Fast forward to 2012, Billy is now well on the journey to being not just an established pro, but maybe just maybe, is on the way to becoming one of the most iconic snowboarders of our generation, his Triple Rodeo and World Cup form are off the scale, snowboarding is a dream, it’s all a crazy beautiful dream, my dream is to provide the world with more iconic snowboarding images of Billy, by you clicking “Like” on the image, my dream of heli- boarding (The Mission) with Billy in the Alaskan Outback might just come true. Keep the Dream Alive- Go Like !! click the link below