Teen snow­boarder mak­ing his mark world­wide Buck­ing the trend to take to the boards

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE - By JUSTIN JENVEY

CARTER Mills is luck­ier than most young Aus­tralian snow­board­ers look­ing to make it to the top level of the sport.

The 15-year-old who spends his Aus­tralian win­ters at Mt Hotham also en­joys the north­ern hemi­sphere win­ter in the United States where his fam­ily lives for nine months of the year.

Hail­ing from a fam­ily of skiers Mills made the switch to snow­board­ing when he was nine years old and hasn’t looked back.

For the past three years his fo­cus has been on board­er­cross and that’s where he is also luck­ier than most, be­ing men­tored by Aus­tralian board­er­cross cham­pion Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullen.

It’s a re­la­tion­ship Mills says has been great for his de­vel­op­ment.

“For the last cou­ple of years we have rid­den to­gether and hung out, he has done the coach­ing for the SSA Fu­tures Camps so that’s where we first hooked up,” Mills said.

“He is an awe­some guy, an awe­some guy to ride with and good coach, he has helped me out a fair bit.

“He is com­ing up in a cou­ple of weeks, he comes up just be­fore the race sea­son and does some train­ing.

“Hotham’s a great place to train be­cause we have a pretty good course that goes up here.”

Train­ing has be­come a big part of Mills’ life, at Hotham he rides with Hotham Snow­board­ers Inc and in the US with Tran­si­tion Snow­board­ing, a Ski and Snow­board Aus­tralia path­way pro­gram.

“My train­ing in­volves gym work and on-snow stuff and just get­ting as much time on the track as I can,” Mills said.

“That means prac­tic­ing ev­ery­thing that goes into rac­ing like carv­ing, jump­ing, pump­ing, any sort of snow­board­ing helps, it’s just about feel­ing com­fort­able on your board.

“Over here I train with HSI which is mainly up and com­ing groms get­ting a feel for it but in the US it’s a bit dif­fer­ent.

“I train with TSC on week­ends and dur­ing hol­i­days but I’m prob­a­bly the only Aus­tralian that lives over there the rest come over for train­ing camps dur­ing the sea­son.”

While Mills has achieved some im­pres­sive re­sults both here and in the US in re­cent sea­sons, his aim is to make the jump from promis­ing ju­nior to one of the best in the sport.

“The Olympics is def­i­nitely the ul­ti­mate but I just want to con­tinue to ride and en­joy do­ing it for a long time,” Mills said.

“At the mo­ment I’m lucky enough to have the sup­port of Quik­sil­ver and Oyuki.

“World Cup tours and that is def­i­nitely a goal for me, that would be awe­some, but I know I just have to keep train­ing and putting in the time and we’ll see what hap­pens.”

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