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