Ski and Snowboard Club Vail snowboarders finish successful USASA, Rev Tour and World Cup seasons
Club claimed 10 NorAm podiums, seven national titles and 39 USASA series wins in 2022-2023 season
The Ski and Snowboard Club Vail snowboard program is coming off a 2022-23 campaign that saw athletes make 11 World Cup starts, claim 10 NorAm podiums and win 39 United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association (USASA) series events and seven USASA national titles. SSCV’s director of freeski and snowboard Chris Laske said those performances put his group in the upper echelon of domestic clubs.
“We’re definitely one of the highest,” he said when asked to contextualize the season as a whole in relation to other programs. “Nationals is where you’d compare yourself to other clubs and I’d say there’s probably only one or two other programs that even compete with us. Probably Mammoth or Stratton Mountain School. We have a pretty large team and they’re solid.”
SSCV athletes compete in the Rocky Mountain Series, one of 30 regional series in the USASA, which serves as an introductory level of competition for athletes of all ages. In addition to 39 wins, SSCV claimed 34 second-place finishes and 25 third-place finishes during Rocky Mountain Series events. At the USASA nationals held at Copper Mountain earlier this month, SSCV was responsible for 21 top-10s and 11 podiums, including seven victories.
Brooklyn DePriest took the overall slopestyle win that event, capping off a season in which he finished fifth in the overall NorAm slopestyle and big air season standings and also placed in the top-30 in two World Cup events. The 17-year-old was 29th at the Copper Mountain big air on Dec. 17 and 26th at the Feb. 4 slopestyle at Mammoth Mountain.
“He was pretty consistent, almost getting into finals at every contest he went to,” Laske said. “He was really figuring out how to put down consistent big runs. His runs would be like double-12, front-10, switchback-10.” Being able to consistently nail multiple 10s and 12s put DePriest in the running for the top spot in the NorAm standings, which would have earned him World Cup starts for 2023-24.
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“He definitely had a shot at getting that World Cup spot, but got beat out at the end,” Laske said.
His teammate Evan Wrobel, who finished the season with two NorAm podiums, was right there, too, finishing 10th in season standings.
“Evan makes finals all the time, too,” Laske said, pointing out that throughout the year, SSCV had someone in the men’s final at every NorAm event.
“Gets himself on the podium, has a shot at making that World Cup, is putting down big runs, has the triple cork — so those two were really kind of battling it out on our team.”
Right in the middle is 14-year-old Ollie Martin, who wound up eighth overall in the NorAm standings and had to decline the World Cup start he earned because he is too young.
“That was a huge bummer,” Laske said of Martin, who will be World Cup-eligible as a 15-year-old next season.
Kade Martin and Augustinho Teixeira also made World Cup starts in the halfpipe, with Martin flying to a 13th-place finish at Mammoth Mountain and Teixeira finishing 26th in Laax, Switzerland, on Jan. 21. Martin and Teixeira finished their seasons with third and seventh-place marks, respectively, at the USASA national championship halfpipe at Copper Mountain on April 5.
Hahna Norman led the club’s female performances, claiming three NorAm podiums, including wins at the Copper Rev Tour and Stoneham, Quebec big air.
“She’s kind of a big hopeful to kind of fill the Jamie Anderson shoes, because right now we don’t really have too many really solid girls at the World Cup level. She’s got a good shot,” Laske said of the 18-year-old.
“She’s out there trying doubles, she’s working on all kinds of different things — kind of pushing women’s riding — so it’s been really fun watching her progress.”
Olivia Lisle also demonstrated her promising talent throughout January, placing third at the Sun Peaks NorAm slopestyle on Jan. 17.
“She’s was riding with Hahna a lot this year,” Laske said. “She just turned 15 and can spin 5, 7, 7, big line, at Copper, which is massive for girls. There’s girls on the U.S. rookie team that won’t do that.”
Lisle’s season ended after a knee injury suffered at the Rev Tour competition on the X-Games course in Aspen.
“She’s going on full recovery right now,” Laske said. “She was by far the standout of the year as far as making a huge jump, pushing the riding for women.”
Norman, DePriest, Wrobel and Martin will all compete for Team USA at the FIS Park and Pipe Junior World Championships in New Zealand Aug. 29-Sept. 8. Martin, whose father is from New Zealand, will spend most of his summer in the country, which has served as a summer on-snow training destination for various North American winter sports teams in the past. Laske said he won’t alter his normal off-season program too much, even with a global event at such a unique point in the calendar.
“We try to do one camp a month just to keep them on snow and then usually take July off so they have a whole month to just be a kid and enjoy summer,” said Laske, who brings his FIS athletes to Mammoth for 10 days in May and Whistler for 10 days in June.
“So I guess it’s not that much out of the norm. There’s pretty much something going every month.”