Air Canada enRoute
The champion snowboarder on learning to ride in Saskatchewan and the magic of compression socks.
HOW DOES A GUY FROM THE PRAIRIES BECOME ONE OF THE BEST SNOWBOARDERS IN THE WORLD?
It’s mostly to do with passion. Pro snowboarders don’t usually hail from Vail or Whistler. There’s a super mini-resort near where I grew up called Mission Ridge Winter Park – it’s like 97 metres of vertical. But they have a small terrain park, and it was enough to learn the basics. And having an older brother helped – we’d push each other to progress.
HOW MUCH HAS SNOWBOARDING EVOLVED DURING YOUR CAREER?
It’s night and day. When I started out, a 900 or a 1080 spin was the craziest trick around. When I went pro, we brought in double corks, but now that’s chump change. Today we’re into three revolutions, 1260s, 1440s, triple corks, quadruple corks.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE SPORT GO?
I’d like to see it move in an exploratory direction, as opposed to going further into gymnastics. There used to be a lot more snowboarding in slopestyle, more than just flip after flip. I love competing, but I’m trying to ride more backcountry for fun.
UNBROKEN DOCUMENTS YOUR RECOVERY AFTER A 2017 BACKCOUNTRY ACCIDENT LEFT YOU WITH A BROKEN JAW, RUPTURED SPLEEN, COLLAPSED LUNG AND MORE. WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO WATCH IT?
I wasn’t looking forward to it, and I was pretty emotional, since I’ve sort of tried to erase it from my memory. A crazy amount of work has gone into my recovery, but I think about it less and less every day.
COMPRESSION SOCKS: YAY OR NAY?
Frick yeah! I just wore my Burton pair on a flight from Europe and my ankles weren’t blown up at all. I need a compression suit.