I read in one of your interviews with Snowboarder Magazine that taking time off school after graduation to go pro was never really in the plan, what happened that made you want to change your mind?
I am a huge advocate for continuing my education, and I was accepted to the University of Denver and the University of California in San Diego this year. But I also believe that when opportunity lands on your doorstep you’ve got to run with it. I think I really saw snowboarding as a potential future for me when I came home from my first international contest in Italy. That’s when I realized I wanted to take snowboarding to the next level.
Snowboarding is what I love to do, so in ten years I’ll still be riding
How does your family feel about you passing up college to ride professionally?
Whether I was in college or riding professionally, my family would back me 100%. They have always told me to follow what makes me happiest, and I’m on that path right now.
Any plan of continuing school in the coming years?
It’s possible! If I do go to college it would be when I have the time to really devote myself to classes and take in that whole college experience. If I were to add school on top of everything that is going on right now I’d be cheating myself out of some of that fun.
How did you get into snowboarding?
More or less, my stubbornness got me into snowboarding. My two older brothers would tease me, saying that I’d quit because of what a beating it would give me, but I was set on proving them wrong. It’s funny because after they saw that I wasn’t going to give up, my brother Jeb was actually the one who convinced my mom I should start going to the mountain more often.
Who influenced you to get where you are today?
There are so many amazing athletes I either really looked up to as a kid or admire today that I can’t name them all! But if I had to narrow it down I’d say that Danny Davis and Kevin Pearce have the best style, and Craig Kelly has always been a huge inspiration. As for girls I respect, I’ve got to hand it to Gretchen, Torah, and Kelly for being great riders.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Snowboarding is what I love to do, so in ten years I’ll still be riding, possibly competing and probably spending a bit more time on the water surfing.
We know you are the youngest member of the US Snowboard team and a top contender for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Congratulations! You must be excited. What are you doing mentally and physically to prepare for such a prestigious event?
I’ve been logging a lot of gym hours recently, meeting with my trainer and getting my body in top shape. I also just spent some time at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute where I worked with scientists and a dietitian on my body’s hydration and nutrition needs. Connecting the science of what my body needs to perform with the sport has made me look at how I ride in a whole new way and in perfect time for the Winter Olympics.
We know you can do cab 1080s in the pipe consistently; what exactly is a cab 1080?
In the pipe, a cab 1080 is a switch front-side spin where you spin three full rotations and land regular.
What tricks are you working on including in your run and are you practicing a certain trick for the 2010 Olympics?
You’ll have to watch and see!
Who do you like to ride with when you are not competing?
When you’re traveling as much as I have been lately, you start to see how snowboarding can qualify as a job. It’s important to keep it fun and fresh by spending a day at the mountain with friends who love it as much as you do. I’m excited to ride with anyone who is down for a good time and knows how to have fun out there!
What do you enjoy doing in your free time away from the snow?
It depends on where I am at the time. If I’m home I just relax, cook with my mom, sleep, and chill with friends. While traveling I’m taking advantage of the location, either skateboarding or surfing.