Ski & Snow

A Brit among gate poles: Portrait of Dave Ryding

From English plastic slopes straight to the slalom podium: Dave “The Rocket“ Ryding is the perfect proof that not all ski stars are grown up in the mountains! Already in the 2016/2017 winter, the 31-year old British guy finished second in the slalom on Kitzbühel’s Ganslernhang. From this winter season onwards, Dave Ryding is supported by Obergurgl-Hochgurgl where he can take full advantage of professional training conditions for the upcoming Olympic Season. Therefore we proudly present the British Empire’s major medal contender.

Skiing career started on plastic mats

His full name is David Ryding, born on 05 December 1986 in Chorley north of Liverpool and Manchester. Dave was all enthusiastic about skiing already when he was a very young boy.

At home it was quite difficult – or almost impossible – to find a mountain covered with natural snow. So Dave made all his training units on plastic slopes until the age of twelve. When he was eight, he took part in the first ski races on dry slopes. When he was 12, he started racing on natural snow and laid the foundation of his international skiing career (The video on the left shows Dave Ryding at the “Dry Ski Slope Championships” in 2005).

His father always supported Dave, and was also his coach right at the beginning. Why does a Brit sportsman chooses ski racing? “I have always loved ski sports, and I was fascinated right from start,” Dave explains.

The “Rocket“ is ready to take off

Dave Ryding und Kippstange - Dave Ryding Obergurgl-Hochgurgl
© Erich Spiess

Countless years of hard training units were followed by the first successful FIS European Cup Races. In 2008 and 2009 Dave won the British Slalom Championship. On 21 Dezember 2009, he took part in his very first World Cup Slalom held in Italy’s Alta Badia. Then he won the first Slalom World Cup Points on 11 November 2012 in Levi (26th place). In the same year Dave also was first in the Slalom Ranking of the European Cup.

The podium in Kitzbühel in the 2016/2017 World Cup Season was the undisputed highlight of his young career. On the legendary Ganslernhang, an extremely challenging slalom slope from a technical point of view, he finished second behind Austria’s super star Marcel Hirscher. Dave is the second Brit, after Konrad Bartelski (downhill in Gröden, 1981), who made a podium in the international Ski World Cup. In the last season he finished eighth in the overall Slalom World Cup.

New (head)sponsor for the Olympic Season

The speed towards the Olympic Winter Season is all right! Dave had the best first-run time at the slalom in Levi, unfortunately he didn’t finish the second run. Despite a very busy World Cup Calendar, the passionate Liverpool FC football fan visited Obergurgl-Hochgurgl to sign the sponsorship contract with the top ski destination officially.

Lukas Scheiber, head of Ötztal Tourismus Marketing, is very proud of this new cooperation: “We have been welcoming British guests for more than 100 years. Therefore we are very proud to support the British Empire’s strongest medal contender in skiing sports.“

Dave Ryding Vertragsunterzeichnung - Dave Ryding Obergurgl-Hochgurgl
© Benedikt Steiner / Ötztal Tourismus

The very likeable British skier himself is enchanted by the Diamond of the Alps. He couldn’t wait to hit the powder slopes covered with freshly fallen snow in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl (see video below). Later, Dave also visited the Regulars’ Gondola together with Hubertus von Hohenlohe – watch the video HERE. Dear Dave, we wish you a successful and injury-free Olympic Winter Season. Obergurgl-Hochgurgl and we all cross our fingers for you!

Dave Ryding Porträt - Dave Ryding Obergurgl-Hochgurgl
© Benedikt Steiner / Ötztal Tourismus

Personal details:

  • Name: David Ryding
  • Date of birth: 05 December 1986
  • Place of birth: Chorley
  • Height: 180 cm
  • Weight: 74 kg
  • Disciplines: slalom, giant slalom

HERE you can take a look at the official Dave Ryding website. Stay tuned and always up-to-date thanks to his social media channels: check Dave’s facebook page HERE, visit his Instagram account HERE.

(Cover image: © Benedikt Steiner / Ötztal Tourismus)


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Author Benni

When it comes to activity and motion, Benni pricks up his ears! He is a passionate snowboarder, mountain biker, climber & hiker and he knows no better playground for outdoor sports than the Ötztal. He is not the type to sit still - therefore Benni can be often found on the valley's most exciting bike trails and pristine powder snow slopes.

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