We spoke to the Ski & Snowboard Club president and captain

‘Once I woke up in Johannesburg after a Newcastle night out’

With over 1,000 members, Newcastle uni Ski & Snowboard Club (NUSSC) is the biggest society at Newcastle. Infamous for their socials and twice-yearly ski trips, it’s the society everyone is talking about. We sat down with the President Ali Dibden and Freestyle CaptainFreddie Rowan-Hamilton, both steaming with hangovers from their boat trip the night before, and asked them the questions everyone wanted to hear. 

What a power couple

Tell us about yourselves. 

Ali: I’m 20 and a third year Mechanical Engineering student from Portsmouth.
Freddie: I’m 22, in my third year of Mechanical Engineering. I’m from Stevanage.

How long have you both been skiing for?

Both: Since I was three years old.

Why did you get involved with NUSSC? And why did you stick with it?

Ali: I went to some events and absolutely loved it, I’ve been hooked ever since!
Freddie: It seemed like a lot of fun. There were lots of like minded people that made me feel really welcome. It was really easy to fit in.

Tell us about a normal week for the NUSSC Committee.

Ali: I have to make sure it’s running smoothly, with all the committee doing their jobs. Social secs running socials, Freddie with Freestyle practice and then there’s race training and more.
Freddie: We also have to make sure we have enough stash and that all the promotional work is being done.

Ali knows when to take things seriously

What’s the wildest thing that’s happened on a NUSSC night out?

Ali: [Laughs], Well at a NUSSC House Party last year above Mr V’s, someone managed to put their foot through the roof. It rained that night and Mr V had a lot of his stock ruined.
Freddie: On the last trip someone was swinging from a power cable and it snapped, killing the power to a French nightclub in the Alps.
Ali: Oh and there was also a few thousand in damages at the last NUSSC ball.
Freddie: And that guy who  did a shit on the kitchen floor on the last Christmas trip.

President Dibden poised to wow some freshers

What’s the biggest misconception people have about NUSSC and Snow Sports as a whole?

Ali: That you need to have done Snow Sports before to get involved, that you need loads of experience. We’re really open to everyone.
Freddie: Yeah, I only started Freestyle when I got to University. I had never done it before. Now I’m Freestyle Captain.
Ali: And that Skiing is seen as a middle class thing, but we’re really trying to offer a price that’s open to everyone. Also you can go skiing more than you think in the UK. That’s something we’re trying to explore.

What are you both most excited about for NUSSC this year?

Both: I’m excited for skiing.

..Anything else guys?

Ali: I’m really excited for our trips this year. I really think they’re going to be the best we’ve ever put on. We’re really trying hard to make sure everyone has as much fun as possible, with the best skiing, the best DJs and the best nights out.
Freddie: The Rail Jam was amazing. Everyone got so pumped, with people were landing new tricks they hadn’t pulled off before. I love watching everyone progress.
Ali: Our trip really is open everyone, so we really want everyone to feel they can get involved and get a warm welcome. Rise Festival should be amazing, with music spanning all genres. There’s gonna be balls pits, space hoppers, and an Oktoberfest style market.
Freddie: There’s also gonna be another Rail Jam at Easter Trip. I can’t wait.

Freddie knows how to party

Where do you both like going on nights out?

Ali: World Headquarters & Digi.
Freddie: World Headquarters.
The NUSSC committee also set a new precedent for the most impressive stunt that a freshers’ fair has ever seen, shipping over sixty tonnes of snow from SnowZone in Leeds. It took over two days in order to build a 30 foot long ski jump and have their own rail jam.
When potential society members weren’t too busy watching the tricks, flips and grinds, they were taking advantage of the thousands of free t-shirts, lighters and other goodies, as well as enough NUSSC Condoms to keep the Fresher’s free of NUSSC babies for another year.

What’s your favourite treble?

Ali: Blueberry from Soho Rooms.
Freddie: Blueberry from Soho Rooms.

What’s your preferred take away after a night out?

Ali: Chips with the works! Gravy, garlic sauce, mayonnaise and cheese. From Munchies.
Freddie: Two chicken kebabs, chips and garlic mayo. It’s so I can reach the card minimum.

What’s the weirdest place you’ve woken up after a night out?

Ali: I actually woke up in my ski bag once.
Freddie: I’ve woken up in Ali’s bed. Oh and I’ve also woken up on the streets of Johannesburg.
Ali: Surely the second one is more impressive?
Freddie: I guess?

There was plenty of time for relaxing between runs with NUSSC newcomers & veterans all helping out

Who would win in a fight between Batman and Spiderman?

Both: Unanimous batman.

What’s in your fridge right now?

Ali: It’s empty.
Freddie: Actually we have peppers, chicken, a variety of soft cheese, normal cheese, an empty box of beer, sweet chilli sauce, lots of condiments, Vodka, Gin, an empty bottle of tonic, and a worrying looking piece of lettuce.
Freddie then messaged me later to confirm that there was also salsa and milk in their inventory.

The Rail Jam brought huge numbers of spectators to see Freddie’s mad skills.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you want playing you?

Ali: Leonardo Dicaprio.
Freddie: I wanna play myself. Or Chris Pratt, but only if he can ski.

Clean up at the end of the day was an arduous task, with most of the committee staying hours after the fair was over

If you were shrunk down to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you escape?

Freddie: Well if you shrink then your strength to weight ratio would increase massively and you’d be able to jump out.

What three things would you bring to a desert island?

Ali: Dry slope, skis, and a bottle of rum.
Freddie: Speakers, iPod and a  large vat of gin & tonic.
An argument then ensues:
Freddie: Why would you bring skis?
Ali: I want rum because I’m a pirate. If you’re drinking rum before 10am you’re not an alcoholic. You’re a pirate!

Danny Crinnion hitting the rail

What’s your favourite sandwich?

Ali: Coronation chicken from Frankie and Tony’s.  It’s only £3! That’s mind blowingly good value.
Freddie: Pizza Toast.

What’s Pizza Toast?

Freddie: Well. You lightly toast the toast, then spread tomato puree,  add sliced mozzarella, maybe chili flakes if you’re feeling fancy and then Chorizo. Pop it in the grill. Bam. Mini pizza. The ultimate snack.
Ali: Definitely tickles my pickle that one.

Lastly. Is a Jaffa cake, a cake or a biscuit?

Freddie: It’s a sandwich.
Ali: It’s a fucking biscuit! Because if it was a cake then it would be classed as a luxury good. By classing it as a biscuit you don’t have to pay tax on it.

Committee Member Matt Goodman using the stereo to round up Freshers from near & far

Bookings for the NUSSC Winter Ski Trip are now open. You can book on their bookings website booking.wastelandski.com and check out their website nussc.org.uk.
All photos are courtesy of NUSSC & Ben Carver.