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Ashley LaBounty, Snow/Wakeboard/Wakesurfer (NH)

by Joanna Brashear on May 26, 2017

Ashley LaBounty - Snow/Wakeboard/Wakesurfer - New Hampshire, USA



 Your Age: 22

Your Location (where do you ride mostly): I snowboard mostly in Vermont, usually Mt. Snow. I wakeboard mostly on lakes in New Hampshire or wherever I can find friends to ride with in the New England area.

Weapon(s) of choice: My favorite weapons of choice are my snowboards and wakeboards, but I switch it up. I have a wakeskate and wakesurf too. I just learned how to ski this past winter. If i cant be on the water or snow I'll longboard, sometimes with my dog, and I'm currently trying learn how to skateboard.

What’s an average day for you like? Wake up, drink coffee and cuddle with my dog for a bit, then go outside and do something. What I do depends on the season. In the summer I'm always at the lake kayaking or finding people to wakeboard with. In the winter I just wake up and snowboard or ski. If i'm not doing that I'll go hiking or something.

What is the most difficult part of your activity/sports for a beginner? The easiest? The most difficult part of wakeboarding for people in the New England area I think is finding people to ride with, and trying to teach yourself. When I first started wakeboarding, it took me years to find other people to wakeboard with, so I was just kind of teaching myself.

The other difficult part about wakeboarding is finding that perfect consistent cut and pop off the wake to do tricks when riding behind the boat. I think riding cable is easier because you just have to ride up to the kicker and hit it to throw a trick.

Snowboarding has been a lot easier for me than wakeboarding and I've progressed more quickly. Its also a lot easier to find friends to ride with because you're at a mountain with hundreds of other people. The other great thing about snowboarding that makes it easy is you can go ride by yourself if you cant find anyone else to go with! You don't need to find a boat, and driver and spotter before you can ride like wakboarding. That's one of the reasons I love snowboarding.

What is the best and worst thing about being female in your sport? I've found that the best thing about being one of the few females snowboarding is that I kind of had no choice but to keep up with all the guys I ride with, I couldn't ever find many girls to ride with so riding with the guys forced me to progress quickly by following them wherever they went, through the woods, in the park, and just on the slopes.

I think the worst thing is learning to ride park, because you're trying to learn and are going at a much slower rate then the typical park kids and sometimes they can be mean and act like they don't want you in the park, but everyone has to start somewhere!

What would you like to see change in your sport to make it better for you and other female athletes? MORE CABLE PARKS IN NEW ENGLAND!!! I think if there were more cable parks in the New England area, we'd get more people involved in wakeboarding and wakeskating. We would also be able to ride more. It's hard relying on friends with boats to be able to wakeboard, and not everyone can afford their own boat.

I'd also like to see more beginner features in some of the snow parks. Some mountains only have huge features, which makes it intimidating to people just learning how to ride park.

Besides your ability and style factor as an athlete, how would you describe your personal style? My personal style definitely depends on my mood. Sometimes I'm super girly and wear dresses and high heels, and other days I just throw on jeans and a flannel and sneakers.

Let’s hear your thoughts on how important looking good is to feeling good. “Being” your personal best? Looking good is important to me, I've also been self conscious about my complexion, so I never go anywhere without mascara and a good BB cream. I think looking good should never be based on someone else's opinion. Confidence is key to anything. If you look good, you feel good, and if you feel good, you have conquer the world.

How dangerous do you really think it is compared to what people do in their regular activities? Wakeboarding is hard. It always makes me laugh a little when I'm teaching people how to wakeboard and they automatically want to jump and hit kickers because "it's just water." People don't realized how hard water is when you hit it, and the whiplash effect you get when you catch an edge or anything. Some people don't even believe you can concussions from hitting the water, but I assure you, you definitely can.

I bet in your experience you have seen some crazy crashes. Describe one. One day when I was coaching on the boat, a girl caught her front edge of the wakeboard and smacked her face into the water hard and then her legs came up behind her like a scorpion and the heel side edge of the board slammed into her head and cut her head open. We had to get her back into the boat and clean out the cut and try to patch it up as best as we could before she went to the hospital. It was gnarly and the girl was so brave, she didn't even cry!

What usually gets people hooked on your activity/sport? For me, it was just the feeling of being on a board. I started out wakeboarding and fell in love, then I wanted to snowboard, and then I started longboarding, and now I'm learning to skateboard. Surfing in the ocean still has yet to be crossed of the list.
I think part of what gets people hooked is riding with other people and feeding off each other's energy, pushing each other to do new tricks, and competing with your friends for who can land a new trick first.

What is your favorite trick? I just started doing handle passes for 360s on my wakeboard, so that has been my new favorite. I don't really have any snowboard tricks down yet, I'm just doing small jumps and learning to hit rails.

Do you own any other toys? I have a bike, and I have a bike seat that goes on the back of it for my dog. So in the spring and summer I always ride around town with my dog. I also have a kayak and my dog and I go kayaking a lot on all the local ponds and lakes.

What gets you pumped up for the day? The sun shining, and warm weather, or....SNOW!! and coffee.

What are three things you could not live without? Definitely my phone, food (I'm constantly eating), and my dog.

Who have been your biggest supporters in getting you to where you are now? My friend Tyson has definitely supported me a lot through wakeboarding, and he's actually the person who taught me how to snowboard. He's helped me progress a lot in wakeboarding, and he's let me help out in his board shop, and I've gotten to go to a lot of events with him and met some of the pros in the industry and other people. I definitely wouldn't have gotten this far without him.
My friend Stephanie also has helped me, she got me a job at Mt.Snow so I was able to meet so many people there and ride a lot more.
Noelle Sanders has been a HUGE supporter this past year. I met her and we automatically became friends. She taught me a lot about cable riding and she is the one who got me involved with and all of the amazing girls in our company. She has always been super supportive of me in board sports and just life in general. She has also inspired me to learn how to skateboard. And now that she got me involved in I have so many other girls that support me.

Who’s your favorite rider/shooter (photo/video)? Favorite Wake riders: Bob Soven, Shaun Murray, Rusty Malinoski, Melissa Marquardt, Piper Harris, Parks Bonifay
Favorite Shooter: Joey Meddock, Trever Maur always has some good edits. Tim McGee puts out some good stuff.

>What do you do in your spare time when you’re not riding/shooting/competing? Spend time hanging with my dog Sailor, hang out with friends, and NETFLIX.

How about in the off season to stay in shape? I always try to stay active. Balance boards are fun, slack lining, and running and hitting the gym.

What is your biggest goal to accomplish this/next season? I just love riding and want to spread the stoke of it to other people, and coaching has really let me do that. So I guess my goal is to just continue coaching somewhere, and keep meeting new people and networking. I also want to keep working on 180s and handle passes for 360s
For snowboarding, my goal is to get better in every aspect. I want to get more comfortable riding switch, I want to hit more rails, and I want to start going bigger on jumps and hit bigger jumps.

What do you do to prep for a competition? I don't do any competitions really. I just free ride, if anything I'll just compete with my friends for a day of who can land a trick better.

What’s your favorite “way” to ride? My favorite way to wakeboard is cable riding, I just started riding cable more this past summer and I fell in love. I've always struggled having a good cut into the wake, and I feel like when you ride cable you don't have to worry about that. At the park you just have to cut over to the feature and hit it to throw your trick.

My favorite way to snowboard is finding the mini parks and hitting all the small jumps and boxes and rails. The mini parks are less intimidating that the big parks where everyone is hitting monster features and throwing insane tricks.

Favorite conditions? Favorite wake conditions, the evening just before sunset. The water is usually pretty smooth and the lake is quite if we're lucky.

Favorite snow conditions. fresh fluffy snow in the woods or I'll settle for some peaceful early morning corduroy.

Where would be your biggest dream place to ride and why? I've never been snowboarding out west, so anywhere in CO or Utah.

What song(s) do you listen to while riding that puts you in the zone? Pandora is my bestfriend. Top stations are A Day to Remember or Pvris. Beastie boys is a good station. Dirty Heads. and Fidlar.

What turned you on to your sport? I saw some guys wakeboarding on the lake one day, and then my brother started wakeboarding, so then I got my own board and started to ride and fell in love with wakeboarding and then that lead to a passion for all boardsports.

Any new tricks you’re working on? Currently learning how to ollie on a skateboard while I wait for snow.

Once it snows I want to work on riding switch so I can then start doing 180s off things.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done in your sport? Last year I was riding over a bridge in the woods and caught the nose of my board on a post of the bridge and then did a cartwheel off the bridge kind of. The landing was not clean but...still kind of looked cool my friend said.

If extreme/action sports didn’t exist, what would you be doing with all the free time you’d have? Arts and sewing clothes and quilting, knitting, and I'd probably get into making other things too. I'm fascinated with making my own things.

What’s your favorite board/bike/sled to ride and why?  My snowboard. I have a Rossignol Tesla board. It's my favorite board to ride because I can just ride it whenever I want. Wakeboarding is hard because i have to travel hours to a cable park or find other people to ride with. Snowboarding I just need my board and I can go ride. I'm also more fearless on my snowboard than my wakeboard, so I progress more quickly.

Favorite drink of choice to refresh yourself after a long day of riding/shooting? You can never go wrong with chocolate milk.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Besides being a wakeboard coach...I haven't quite figured that out yet.

Any of your own web pages or social media buttons you want links to?

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