Team Thursday - 2016 Season
We asked the team about their struggles and accomplishments in the 2015-16 season. Although some struggled with injuries or overcoming injuries last season, the most common theme in their responses was that this was a season that was about celebrating why they love snowboarding - can’t argue with that!
Biggest accomplishment: Learning to splitboard and kick turn! And getting in the air again.
Biggest struggle: Overcoming fear after being injured last season
Biggest accomplishment: competition wise: Winning the overall title for the Freeride World Qualifier America region and tying up for first place worldwide. Boarding wise: I got my very first heli-boarding experience! That was a dream for quite some time. I was very stoked to put a check mark next to it.
Biggest struggle: I had a lot of health issues this year. I’d say staying focused while being very ill was a real challenge for me all winter.
My biggest accomplishment was learning more about backcountry travel, including being efficient on my splitboard and learning how to handle a snowmobile.
My biggest struggle was trying to decide what awesome line to take at the top of an ascent!
My biggest accomplishment this year was just taking a step back and realizing that I just need to relax and remember what snowboarding is really to me. I can express myself through my tricks the way that I want to and when I’m relaxed and confident that I can be my best. And being the best that I can for myself. That’s all I have to satisfy for when it comes to snowboarding.
First place in USASA Nationals Halfpipe and Boardercross
This season I have been trying to get out and explore the backcountry as much as possible. My most memorable experience was when a few friends and I thought what better way to really get in touch with mountain than splitboard/tour up to Crater lake to sleep for the night. It took us two hours to reach lake. When we did we immediately began building our snow huts also know as quinzee’s. It took Ty and I three hours to finish ours. After Ty, Kyle and I finished our huts for the night, we started a huge fire and made food. Jesse took a bit longer to finish his, but he was able to build a huge spacious one that fit all of us inside. When we ran out of fire wood we continued the evening inside of Jesse’s amazing quinzee. I have not laughed that hard in forever, we truly had the best company out in the backcountry. Around 1 everyone went to bed except for Jesse who decided to go skiing… lucky for us he was up around 2:30 because he had to come dig us out of our hut. We had about three inches left before our entrance would have been completely covered up. Same with kyle. Probably one of the scariest moments of my life, the thought of being buried alive was such a frightening feeling. We had to set an alarm to wake up every hour and half to make sure we didn’t get buried in. Thanks to Ty and Jesse for making sure we stayed alive. With 100 mile an hour howling winds, and snow we decided to leave right at sunrise. During our descent back to the truck a small avi was set off. Ty got dragged a little was but no one was hurt, luckily! We made it back to the truck by 8:30. This is one adventure I will never forget. Thanks to the boys for making sure we stayed alive, and making me feel safe the entire time.
This year I planned to compete in many different events but I broke my collar bone, so I’ve been home healing and now doing PT and working out to be even stronger. I was excited to do a big Mountain contest, and get to go to Revelstoke. That was a great experience and I want to go back again. There were a lot of good days that I did have so I’m thankful for that. Healing had been a challenge but I’m getting through it.
Melissa Spillman Caughey
My biggest struggle this season was finding contests and not having the money to travel for them. My biggest accomplishment was making it through the season with injuring myself for once! Haha!
My biggest success this year, was to find how to have fun in snowboarding again! With the last 4 years being low tide in Tahoe and feeling like I’ve lost my passion for snowboarding, I was really struggling - Getting paid for the last 5 years was fun, traveling to see the world was amazing - but it lost it’s momentum for me. Each contest I was going to, the conditions were rough and we were riding huge features in weather were I probably wouldn’t even go outside in. It wasn’t fun. This year, I’ve had fun doing everything! I’ve progressed more then I had in the last year or two, without the pressure and had a blast doing it! I got out into the backcountry multiple occasions with my boyfriend, had some ridiculously fun & deep pow days, traveled a bit, and so many great days shredding the mountains/riding park! I love snowboarding, I love traveling - just not on somebody else’s terms. I started snowboarding as a kid to have fun. My “career” was an accident. It’s never something I was trying to do, it just happened and I’m so so so grateful for the experiences. Now I’m grateful to be able to do the same things, except ride only because I want to!
This season has been for myself! I have had a blast riding and traveling my home state. I traveled to small time resorts around Oregon with my Man Forrest. We hit up good old Mom and Pop mountains and filmed our stops. We are now off to Holy Bowly next week which will be our first time out of the state to shred this season! I have placed 1st in both contests I have entered. One retro freestyle contest and a banked slalom.
It’s been quite of a season for sure! It started out with me beeing voted for the best “Finnish pro” which still feels insane. Just few weeks after that I bailed really bad and spent a night alone in a hospital since my phone had died… Getting back in the game was quite a struggle but it turned out really good since I went straight to a rail competition and had to give my all right away, I won the whole thing! So luckily got my confidence back just when needed.
Posted by Kelly Vance on 04/07/16