Erin Witherspoon - Longboard/Snowboarder - New Jersey, USA

Connect with Erin: Instagram & Twitter: @with_erin  Blog: erinwitherspoon.wordpress.com

Your Name (and Nickname): Erin

Your Age: 21

Your Location (where do you ride mostly): East Coast – home mountain is Mountain Creek in Vernon – Killington, Whiteface, Hunter

Weapon(s) of choice: 2015 K2 Bright Lite snowboard with Ride DVA bindings, GoPro Hero 4 Silver

What’s an average day for you like?  Wake up, down some coffee & head to class Tuesday/Thursday/Friday this semester. Monday/Wednesday I intern for an awesome social media company called Today’s Business! I try to workout 3-4 days a week, eat healthy, and I constantly have music playing when I’m in my room at the apartment. *Advice: do something every day that makes you happy!!

 

 

 

Your Age: 21

Your Location (where do you ride mostly): East Coast – home mountain is Mountain Creek in Vernon – Killington, Whiteface, Hunter

Weapon(s) of choice: 2015 K2 Bright Lite snowboard with Ride DVA bindings, GoPro Hero 4 Silver

What’s an average day for you like? Wake up, down some coffee & head to class Tuesday/Thursday/Friday this semester. Monday/Wednesday I intern for an awesome social media company called Today’s Business! I try to workout 3-4 days a week, eat healthy, and I constantly have music playing when I’m in my room at the apartment. *Advice: do something every day that makes you happy!!

What is the most difficult part of your activity/sports for a beginner? The easiest? To me, the most difficult part of snowboarding is standing up for the first time from sitting when you strap in. It takes another person to help you up for the first few times to get used to it, and it’s kind of a weird feeling at first having both feet strapped in to the board. The easiest part is learning about the snowboard, how to strap in, and learning how to walk with one foot strapped in. Getting on and off the ski lift can be difficult if you don’t take the time learning how to ride around with one foot in, otherwise it’s pretty easy to get the hang of!! It’s almost like walking with a skateboard with one foot on the board and using the other to push off the ground.

What is the best and worst thing about being female in your sport? The best thing about being a female snowboarder is the element of surprise it gives people – when other people see you nail a trick and then see your hair is flowing in the wind, and they’re like “ohhhhh, that’s a girl!!!!” Even in 2015, you see a majority of male snowboarders with a handful of female riders, and women are really stepping it up in the park. It’s incredible to see the evolution of snowboarding. The worst thing is probably the stereotypes about female snowboarders – that we don’t “know what we’re doing” or that we should “stick to skiing.” Do what you love and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!!

What would you like to see change in your sport to make it better for you and other female athletes? I’d like to see more female professional athletes encourage young women and girls to try winter sports. There are some young female riders invited to the Dew Tour this year so I’m stoked to see the attention that brings!! 

Besides your ability and style factor as an athlete, how would you describe your personal style? I’ve always been sort of a tom boy – I’d rather wear jeans and my Vans sneakers than heels and a mini skirt. I do love getting dressed up for certain occasions, but my style is pretty relaxed. I love Free People for the Bohemian style, wearing patterned “genie” pants (they’re so comfy), Pac Sun for their laid back, beachy style. 

What are your favorite brands/designers for your sports apparel and for stepping out? Snowboarding apparel – Thirty Two Sleepy Scott Stevens shell khaki jacket for warmer days, 686 black jacket for colder days, K2 snowboard boots, Volcom Battle Stretch 10K Black Snowboard Pants, Burton Indulgence Green Camo 10K Snowboard Pants

Let’s hear your thoughts on how important looking good is to feeling good. “Being” your personal best? Plain & simple: if you look good, you feel good. I believe strongly that your image, regardless of what other people say, contributes largely to your self esteem and self transcendence. What we wear is an extension of ourselves, you’re a reflection of what you wear and how you want people to see you. Thinking you look good leads to the confidence in knowing that you look good, causing you to feel good about who you are, what you wear, and what you’re trying to convey to others.

How dangerous do you really think it is compared to what people do in their regular activities? Snowboarding can be extremely dangerous if you’re not careful, regardless of how easy/fun it looks. Everyone needs to use the proper equipment, like a snowboard that’s the right height for you, boots that fit, and a helmet. While snowboarding (skiing too), you need to always be aware of your surroundings, the people around you, the features you’re riding near, your speed, and be more cognoscente of your riding. 

I bet in your experience you have seen some crazy crashes. Describe one. Up at Killington in December watching a ski park comp, a guy took a nasty fall landing landing with his back hitting the bottom post for the tube rail. He was down for a while, and ski patrol and tons of other people rushed up to him. It definitely goes to show that park is dangerous, despite how cool it is or how hard the trick is thrown down.

What usually gets people hooked on your activity/sport? Landing new tricks, learning new ways to ride, and honestly, talking with other people that have the same passion – getting advice from more experienced riders, watching competitions, and thinking, “man, I wish I could ride like that” is what pushes you to become a better rider.

What is your favorite trick? Backboards, 50-50

Do you own any other toys? Just bought a longboard for cruising around campus and at the beach! 

What gets you pumped up for the day? The right playlist and psyching myself out to get pumped about the day – It’s all about perspective! 

What are three things you could not live without? My music, my snowboard, and my experiences.

What are your expectations for this activity/sport? I definitely expect it to continue to evolve into a sport that literally anyone, anywhere can do. I think the most interesting part of snowboarding is seeing paraplegics compete – there’s a guy from a few towns over from me that used to ride Mountain Creek and competed in the Olympics as an amputee.

Who have been your biggest supporters in getting you to where you are now? My parents have always encouraged me to follow my passion, no matter the circumstances.

Who’s your favorite rider/shooter (photo/video)? I’m a huge Zak Hale & Danny Davis fan! (ooh Scott Stevens too!)

 


What do you do in your spare time when you’re not riding/shooting/competing? I like to hike especially to waterfalls like Bushkill Falls. I also have a huge passion for photography – I took advanced photo courses in high school. I spend a lot of time with my pup, Jesse, but I’m also pretty busy with schoolwork/internship!

How about in the off season to stay in shape? Do. Your. Squats. It’s so important to keep your legs conditioned to prevent injury when you ride because snowboarding is mostly in your legs. Of course you should workout other parts of your body too, but I try to bike (because I’m not a huge fan of running) for cardio, squat, and work legs. I also do balance exercises – follow Hannah Teter on Instgram to see what she does for workouts – she does some awesome core exercises to try!!

What is your biggest goal to accomplish this/next season? Master the frontboards, battleship rails, DFD’s.

What competitions and other awards have you won? Include your non sports accomplishments also. I’ve been too nervous to get hurt in the past as a collegiate athlete to compete in snowboard competitions. Winter conditioning started in January when NJ snowboard season really started and continued softball through May, so even riding through March I had to be careful. This winter, that will change. I’m a more confident rider, and any time I ride for a comp, I will tell everyone about it, even if I don’t place. It’s more important for me to gain the confidence to sign up for the comp, not that I’m not afraid of getting hurt, I’m now not scared to fall, at least it shows I went for it.

What’s your favorite “way” to ride( wake sport- specific, cable, boat, winch)(Snowsport specific- park, freeride/backcountry, urban)? Park/freeride. I like not having pressure from others with park/freeriding and just doing what I want.

Favorite conditions? When it snows overnight, waking up early to get to the mountain when it opens to have first runs on the untouched powder that mother nature blesses us with!

Where would be your biggest dream place to ride and why? I’d love to ride Park City, Utah’s Neff Land. I went Killington’s Neff Land this winter and it was awesome, and Whiteface’s Burton Stash was one of the sickest parks I’ve seen. But I need to to get to the West Coast like Utah and Breck/Keystone, Colorado.

What song(s) do you listen to while riding that puts you in the zone? I sometimes put the same song on repeat when I ride depending on how long the run is. Sometimes it’s Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Cudi, Sky is the Limit by Rebelution, No Good by Ballyhoo!, Flying Spaghetti Monster by Doctor P., Runaway (U&I) by Galantis. For some reason, even though I love country music, I can’t listen to it when I ride. I need either reggae or upbeat to mellow me out for cruising or upbeat to get me hyped to hit a feature.

What turned you on to your sport? My best friend growing up wanted to snowboard, so I wanted to snowboard. We were 6 and 7, with our birthdays exactly one year apart, so anything she did, I was too. She didn’t stay with it as much as I did, and now she’s getting back into it, but I was hooked ever since.

Any new tricks you’re working on? I’m getting more comfortable with backboards and frontboards, and landing switch.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done in your sport? To me, being able to teach my friends how to snowboard is awesome. If you have friends that are willing to learn, teach them! I worked at a small ski resort near my school and helped teach young kids by the magic carpet – so it was cool to see 3 year old “mini shredders.”

What other extreme/action sports are you into? I love watching the freeski slopestyle and superpipe, surfing competitions (like the US Open of Surfing)

If extreme/action sports didn’t exist, what would you be doing with all the free time you’d have? I’d take more time to explore around me, up and down the East Coast and go backpacking.

What’s your favorite board/bike/sled to ride and why? My favorite board is definitely my K2 Bright Lite. I’ve had both Burton and Step Child boards and another K2 board, but nothing compares to the Bright Light’s durability, pop, impact absorption, carving ability and flex.

What’s the trick to riding features and not killing yourself? Always wear a helmet. Age, your experience, or skill level, injuries do not discriminate. Protect your beautiful brain! & Definitely take your time to you’re your way up, scope out the ramp, landing, characteristics of the feature. Is it sticky or will I slide right off the side? Is there a hole at the end of the feature?

How would you describe your riding style? I’m a more relaxed rider, but I get really amped when I nail a trick. I don’t mind if my paints sag a little bit and I love wearing an oversized jacket.

What would you say is your signature trick? I don’t have one but I’d love to learn one!

Favorite drink of choice to refresh yourself after a long day of riding/shooting? An ice cold Landshark.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Ski resort marketer.

Any of your own web pages or social media buttons you want links to? Youtube, Vimeo, FB, Instagram,Twitter etc. etc. Instagram & Twitter: @with_erin
Blog: erinwitherspoon.wordpress.com