Pond skimming snowboarder gets his $1K from Red Bull | VailDaily.com

Pond skimming snowboarder gets his $1K from Red Bull

Alex Clapin successfully crossed the pond on his snowboard April 10 at the World Pond Skimming Championships on Vail Mountain, earning $1,000 from Red Bull.
John-Ryan Lockman / ShowLove Media |

VAIL — The pond skimming snowboarder has received his $1,000 from Red Bull.

Flash back to April 10 at Golden Peak, the annual World Pond Skimming Championships were underway once again, albeit a week earlier than usual. The scene was playing like a crash reel GIF, with skier after skier hitting the jump, half flipping in the air and back flopping the water, and every snowboarder failing to cross the pond. Out of nowhere, a challenge was issued from the event’s sponsor, Red Bull: The first snowboarder to cross the pond wins $1,000.

For snowboarder Alex Clapin, spending the winter in Vail from Australia, it was bad news. He had already made his attempt to cross the pond, making it about two-thirds of the way and washing out in a 180.

“I thought, I have to go back up there and do it again,” he said.

His second attempt was what some would call a poach of the course.

“Wait, who let him in?” the announcer said. “The competition’s over. He doesn’t get a thousand bucks.”

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Clapin successfully skimmed the pond and the crowd exploded.

The Australian was just happy he made it across, the lone snowboarder to step up to the challenge. For him, the pond skim had been an exclamation point on a big season. He rode almost every day, filmed a lot of great clips as part of his newly earned ambassadorship for GoPro, perfected new tricks in the park and, of course, enjoyed dozens of great powder days.

“The entire season has been an absolute blast,” Clapin said.

Not sure if Red Bull was going to come through with the money, he waited to hear word back.

They asked him for his bank account and routing number.

“When they came through with the money, it was just like a bonus for me,” he said. “I know I poached the course and they didn’t have to do it. I had lots of people telling me ‘they better pay you’ but I didn’t feel that way.”

In a touch of irony, Clapin said part of the winnings might go to having his shoulder looked at as a result of the skim.

“After I crossed, I kind of stumbled on the turf surface and tweaked my shoulder,” he said. “But it was totally worth it.”

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