It’s no surprise to me that snowboarding has become one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S. The rapid progression of this sport and the many youngsters pushing it to new heights inspired me to look into how young these icons were when they entered the world of snowboarding.
Sierra’s professional snowboarder, Hannah Teter, found her love for snowboarding after strapping in at age 8. Teter, now 25 years old, has already earned an impressive medal collection including her Olympic gold (2006) and silver (2010), in addition to her X Games medals, one gold, one silver, and a pair of bronzes and counting!
One of Sierra’s top skiiers, Maddie Bowman, first put on a pair of skis at the age of 4 and quickly climbed to the top of countless podiums. At the young age of 17, Bowman has already earned first at Dew Tour, scored a Winter X Games silver medal in Women’s Ski Superpipe, and she continues to pursue her 2012 dominating campaign!
Three time X Games gold medalist, Jamie Anderson, started snowboarding at the age of 9 as a part of the Sierra-at-Tahoe Team. She quickly made a big mark in the snowboarding world as she became the youngest X Games gold medalist at the age of 15. After dominating yet again at the 2012 Roxy Snow Pro, Anderson jumped up into the World No. 1 position in the TTR Slopestyle Tour Rankings and is now tied with Kelly Clark for the 8th TTR Overall Tour Rankings!
All of these riders have one important thing in common – they started the sport young giving each of them years of experience as a competitive edge. On average, it only took these athletes 6-10 years to go from first tracks to top of the podium.
Up to this point the industry has taught kids as young as 5 or 6 to ride. However, Sierra is changing the game with its commitment to learning, by teaching 3-6 year olds the fun and art of snowboarding in Yoda’s Riglet Park! Younglings and Padawans will learn using the ways of the Force through interactive drop-in nodes showcasing custom-made wood carvings of R2-D2, C-3P0, Chewbacca and more!
With kids now able to start out as young as 3 years old, many of them could reach podium status before they hit double digits or even become teenagers. There’s no telling where this sport can go, but one thing is clear – the force is strong at Sierra as more younglings and padawans enter the mountain each day!