Home mountain: Alyeska Resort
Sponsors: Bolle, U.S Snowboarding
You were brought up in Anchorage Alaska, shouldn’t you be riding steep lines instead of hitting park jumps?
Haha ya, probably. Funny thing is I learned the majority of my tricks from hitting wind lips and sending it off cat tracks on the mountain. It was actually how anybody learned if you grew up in Alaska. We didn’t have any park jumps back then. Well the resort would try, but they were just some rollers with a mound for a lip.
How did you get into riding park then?
I just started doing some regional events with my friends and from there I got an invite to compete in a National event out side of Alaska. Thats where I was actual able to ride a park. So from the age 11 on, I competed in all the regional events just to make sure I got an invite to travel and compete so I could ride a real park. By the time I was 13, I won a National slopestyle event. It was only the 12/ 13 year old age bracket but that was enough to get some coaches interested and my parents willing to let me try and become a professional athlete.
How is the snowboard scene over in Anchorage?
Surprisingly enough, it’s pretty big, even though its always dark in the winter, some how people get really excited to go shred. It’s pretty cool like that. Both the resorts near Anchorage have night riding which is the most fun thing to do when it is snowing out. Theres nothing like riding powder in the dark.
You are part of the US snowboarding team, what exactly does that entail? Do they fund your trips?
One of the things I think is really beneficial is the training facility they have in Park City, UT. We have access to personal trainers, physical therapists, sport doctors, wax rooms ..ect You name it, they probably have it. As for funding our trips, they don’t really do that but the team will cover any on snow camps, some event lodging, registration fee’s and stuff like that.
You spent more than a month in Stubai, how did you find it? And what tricks did you get on lock?
You know, for early season riding, you just cant beat the set up that Stubai has. When the crowds are down, you can get some quick laps and quality jump time like no other place. Also the views of the Alps from the top of the mountain are just unreal! They make for some cool looking photos. Trick wise.. I worked on all my 1260 and tried a few triples.
How does European snowboarding compare with the US?
Besides the resorts that I have been too being high in the mountains on glaciers and the insane view of the Alps… I’d say it pretty similar. It really all depends where you go in the U.S
I heard that you run salmon fishing tours in the summer, is that true?
No and yes. I don’t run any tours but I do work as a commercial fisherman. Kinda like the deadliest catch but for salmon and to a much smaller degree. My grandfather got the site back in the 70’s so my dad grew up fishing and eventually took over. So I’ve technically been fishing for my whole life but have been operating a boat since I was 15. Now I run and manage a two boat operation with a crew of 5.
Is that something you can see yourself doing when you quit riding?
I sure hope so. If it wasn’t for commercial fishing, I would of never been able to fund my travels which gave me the opportunities I had to becoming a professional snowboarder. It has defined me as a person and because of that, I hope to be fishing as long as I’m able too.
A lot of people in Europe are struggling to get deals at the moment, is that the same in the states?
Ya, it might even be worse. I think a lot of it is due to the lack of snow the past 4 years over in the States. No one’s been needing to buy any new gear because they have only used it a few times. It’s just tough for a company to be handing out money and gear to athletes when people aren’t buying it.
What are your goals for the upcoming winter?
Like anyone, I would say win but I don’t like to set the bar to high. As long as I am able to land the runs I want and end the season unhurt, I’ll be pretty happy.
Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
Haha well probably still fishing. I’m starting to get more into mountaineering and long distance backpacking so I’d like to start mixing the two and do some big backcountry trips like Jeremy Jones.
You can follow Ryan on his instagram here.