After watching this year’s Winter Olympics (and the corresponding behind the scenes look into athletes’ lives) you find yourself in awe of just how aggressively these people are pushing the limits of the human body. Snowboarding - and snowboarders - are training harder than ever before.
Kids who want to become professional snowboarders need to find their start somewhere, which is where USASA comes into play. The United States of America Snowboarding Association, an established organization that fosters the stoke of kids across the States and Canada, provides an opportunity for young riders to compete in different events and advance to the national competition in Copper Mountain, Colorado.
In the business for over 30 years, USASA allows regional talent to showcase what they’ve got and continue to chase the dream of going pro. As many of you probably saw during the Olympics, snowboarding has progressed to a breakneck point in terms of physics; the Holy Crail that Sage Kotsenburg threw down transcends what was normally thought impossible. But without things like USASA, riders wouldn’t have a chance to even get to that point.
Holiday Valley and HoliMont host multiple events throughout the season, from slopestyle to slalom to rail jams. Winners garnering top points standings get a bid to nationals. SNOWED-IN caught up with Katie Selhorst, a HoliMont Snowboard Team rider who’s been to nationals an unprecedented six years in a row.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
My name is Katie Selhorst, and I’m a high school senior hailing from Cleveland, Ohio.
When did you get your start on a snowboard, and when did you join HoliMont’s team?
I started skiing when I was 3. I made the switch (writer’s note: she made the switch from the dark side) to snowboarding when I was 6. I never looked back! When I was 10, I joined the team.
What drives you? As in, what pushes you to progress as a rider?
I think I’m most motivated by the fun of it. I think it’s more fun to have something to work on, so I’m always looking for ways to get better and faster. I love flying down a course knowing it was a good run even without a time. My coaches have also had a big part in keeping me motivated ... making sure I’m always working on something and trying new things. They wouldn’t let me get bored.
Tell us about your experience at Nationals?
I’ve been to Nationals the past six years. It’s an awesome experience! The competition is amazing, and everyone there wants to do their best. For me, it’s two runs per event to give it your all so you’ve got to give it everything you’ve got. Once the competitions are done, you get to spend time with family and friends and everyone gets really close.
What kind of board do you ride?
I have three boards. For GS I have a 168cm custom Donek with F2 bindings (stance: 55 degrees in the front and 47 degrees in the back). For slalom, I have a 152cm Donek rev4 with F2 bindings (same stance) and for boardercross I have a 149cm Jones Twin Sister (stance: 15 degrees / -5 degrees).
Most importantly ... why do you love snowboarding?
Well, first off - I love to go fast! There’s no feeling like flying down the runs with my only concern is possibly forgetting to stop. I also love snowboarding because it’s something I can do on my own ... or with friends. It never gets boring. There’s always something new to work on or try out or perfect. Once I’ve figured something out I always have something else to work on. It makes it interesting.
What keeps you busy during the offseason?
I am a big show jumper! So during the offseason, and pretty much whenever I'm not snowboarding, I am at the barn working with my horse.
1) Favorite 80s movie? Hmmm probably Back to the Future
2) What do you listen to when you ride? When I am training or riding on my own I'm usually listening to a weird playlist with some pop songs, some contemporary christian songs, and a lot of country. But for race day I have a playlist with mostly rock and rap songs.
3) Chicken wings or fingers? Definitely Chicken fingers ... ask anyone on the team; they are my favorite food.
4) Favorite sports team? My favorite sports team is the Ohio state Buckeyes, because most of the Cleveland teams are terrible.
5) Time Travel or Flight? Time travel, so I could go to school, ride my horse, and snowboard and I would actually have time for everything I want to do.