Waring joins U.S. Snowboarding Team
VAIL Studying for exams is never easy. But Sunday night, Broc Waring, an eighth grader at Vail Mountain School, had an especially difficult time concentrating. Waring had good reason to be a bit jittery, though hed just passed a test for which hed spent years preparing.Mike Jankowski, the U.S. Snowboarding Freestyle Team head coach, called Waring to invite the 14-year-old onto the U.S. team. Waring, who rides with Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, couldnt have been any happier.It was one of my long-term goals that came way sooner than I expected, Waring said.Waring, who was named to the rookie squad, is the only new male addition to the halfpipe team.We are looking forward for great things to come, Jankowski said of Waring. Hes a super-talented rider, and hes also young, so we feel like he can hopefully grow within our program.While Waring was a bit surprised by the invite, Ben Boyd, the SSCV snowboard director, had a feeling the call would come.I knew it, Boyd said. I knew (by) how big he went. His amplitude is above and beyond for a kid that young. As soon as he got his consistency, I thought it was kind of a lock.This year, Waring competed in three World Cup halfpipes and rode well at all other events he entered.I was pretty consistent the whole year, even though I didnt have any top-five (finishes) or podiums, Waring said.Earlier this month, Waring was invited to a camp at Mt. Hood, Ore., with a bunch of other top riders.They didnt say it straight up, but I was sure it was a tryout for the U.S. Team, Waring said. And everyone was riding super well. I didnt know how they were going to pick the kids.
Jankowski got his first look at Waring last season.(Ben Boyd) gave us a heads up and said look out for Broc. Once we got into this season, Broc really started stepping up and proving he can ride with the big boys, Jankowski said. I think when you look at young riders in general, youre looking for that certain kind of spark and certain touch that a rider has and the ability to stand on the board.In this day and age of 900s and 1080s, its a special talent that these guys … have to know where they are when they land, and all of a sudden they are going backwards and heading into another 22-foot wall and ready to make the next maneuver. Its that whole combo. And hes got that touch.When Waring started to snowboard competitively, Boyd had an idea that Waring had the potential to throw some big tricks.Taking him to the U.S. Grand Prix Junior Jam hes performing in front of 10,000 people in the finals and wasnt missing anything, Boyd said. He was happy, having fun. We were having more stress than he was. He was doing back (720s) before they were trendy and he was 111⁄2.Boyd also remembers asking former U.S. freestyle coach Bud Keene to grant Waring, a junior, an exemption to compete in the U.S. Open senior finals.(Bud) took one look at him and said, Yea, thats not a problem, Boyd said.Warings mom, Heather, knows her son isnt one to talk about how well he does, so she often has to see it for herself or hear it second-hand.I always thought he was talented, but when other people started noticing him just from being out there, I thought, Wow, he really is talented, she said. Its funny to hear how many kids know who he is. Hes so modest and humble. I like that a lot of kids know who he is, but its not from him.Wednesday, after finishing up his final exam of the year, Warings mom drove him and a friend to go skateboarding at the Edwards skate park. When Waring arrived, he greeted two kids from Vail Mountain high school, both of whom had no idea hed made the U.S. team.I told my good friends, but thats it, Waring said. I didnt want to tell anyone.
Waring joins his friend, Minturn rider Dylan Bidez, on the rookie team. Clair Bidez, Dylans sister, is on the womens halfpipe team. The other mens rookie team rider, Matt Ladley, is from Steamboat Springs.Waring will be the first rider out of SSCVs snowboard program to join the U.S. team. (Recently retired U.S. Snowboarding Alpine member Stacia Hookum of Edwards was part of the snowboarding program before it joined up Ski & Snowboard Club Vail).We couldnt be more proud of him, Boyd said. Its really gratifying that we can send him from our program.Jankowski appreciates what programs like SSCV do for riders joining his team.These guys are giving kids a foundation so when they come to us, they know what it means to train hard and be disciplined in their approach, he said. (Boyd) and his club are putting out great riders.While Waring will train and travel with the U.S. Team next season, there will be stretches of time next year when hell be back home and plans to ride with SSCV.
In mid-June, Waring will be back in Mt. Hood for another camp and will possibly go to New Zealand later in the summer. Its such a great stepping stone for the guys, Jankowski said of the rookie riders. For instance, look at Louie Vito. He was a rookie a couple years ago, and he bumped up to the top of the pro team.Waring, like Bidez and Ladley, train alongside all of the pro riders.Thats a huge part of our development, Jankowski said. Were fast-tracking them with the pro riders. Theyre living together, eating together … you become a family and get into the mold of seeing how each other does certain things on the hill and off the hill.Its really positive for guys like Broc to be around guys like Steve Fisher and see how hard he works and what it takes to get to that next level. Broc has a similar style to Fisher. His backside 540 is a lot like Fishers, and thats good thing because Fisher has one of the best in the business.Waring, who has competed against a lot of the pro riders in various events, cant wait to do it on a full-time basis.Just riding with those guys Olympic and X Games Champions it pushes you to do that much better, Waring said.