What does a champion-level British snowboarder do during the dog days of summer in a year with no Winter Olympics to train for? Well, for one thing, Jamie Nicholls does what the rest of the world is doing: playing Pokémon Go on his smartphone. Only, Nicholls adds his own totally extreme twist to the insanely popular mobile game. In a new video uploaded to his official YouTube channel, Nicholls is first seen innocently playing Pokémon Go on a bright, sunny day when he is suddenly and unexpectedly confronted by a grinning, 6-foot-tall Pikachu in a nondescript parking lot. The costumed creature runs off, as these beasts are wont to do, and the athlete gives chase. Amazingly, Nicholls actually manages to look more foolish here than the guy in the giant yellow mascot suit. The chase does not get far, alas, before the oblivious-to-all-else Nicholls runs into a passing vehicle. He has unwisely ignored the first law of Pokémon Go: “Remember to be alert at all times. Stay aware of your surroundings.”
Does Nicholl’s insane, Ahab-esque pursuit of Pikachu end there, an important safety lesson having been learned? It does not. After all, the slogan is very clear: “Gotta catch ’em all.” Not much room to argue with that. So Nicholls pursues the monster to an indoor snowboarding facility. And that is where the real fun begins.
At this point, Nicholls himself apparently takes over the role of Pikachu. Though, really, who can tell who it is underneath that bulky costume? The final 45 seconds or so of the video are devoted to watching Nicholls do snowboarding tricks while dressed as the character. It is both absurd and glorious. A giant Pikachu is anything but aerodynamic, and it’s doubtful that the athlete inside the costume has any kind of peripheral vision whatsoever. But Nicholls manages to perform impressively anyway, at least for a few seconds at a time. He even lets other snowboarders jump over him, their boards grazing his pointy ears along the way. Many will click on a video like this hoping to see the snowboarder wipe out at least once. Spoiler: Those viewers will not be disappointed.