Next time you're in the mountains or at C.O.P. and you see snowboarders going huge, take a closer look, you might be taking a class with them.
Last year when the U of C Snowboard Club reached over 600 members, Vice President Colin Hill saw the potential to expand with a competitive team. New executive James Costello took up the challenge with Hill to bring competitive snowboarding to the U of C campus, with the idea that members of the club would have the chance to improve their skills alongside other riders interested in progression.
"We originally needed a minimum of 25 people to get the team off the ground, we now have 45 riders and we're super stoked on how everything is going so far," says Costello.
The team members get coaching from halfpipe instructor Allistar Clark and U of C Grad student Jon Pendlebury and are encouraged to enter competitions no matter what their skill level.
"We have two riders sponsored by K2 Snowboards: Pendlebury and women's rider Liz Westberg," continued Costello. "Other riders like Cam Dales and Mission Snowboard's Mike T also both have their own board sponsors, Allian and Rossignol."
Costello adds that riders like these will definitely help the U of C Team get the props they deserve in competition.
On the topic of competition, Hill adds that "people don't understand how fun competitions are until they enter one. Most people think it's really serious and competitive, but it's what you make of it. If you go out to have fun you'll have a fun day riding whether you finish first or dead last."
Naturally the team would like to have riders placing high in nearby competitions but the emphasis is always on progression and fun.
"It's sick to see someone get just as stoked on hitting their first jump as seeing someone throw their first 900 mute stiffy," says Hill.