Snowboarders race at Copper Nationals in April |

Snowboarders race at Copper Nationals in April

Winter Park Competition Center's Snowboard Team in Copper this April.

Winter Park snowboarders travelled to Copper Moutain in April for the USASA Snowboarding Championship. Lyda Silber finished in third place slopestyle, and fourth in halfpipe. Max Williams placed 26th in halfpipe. Chase Hill placed 55th in halfpipe. Josh Wisda placed 15th halfpipe. Elan Fleetwood finished 9th in halfpipe and slopestyle.

Sam Kapland was hurt in practice and didn’t compete.

Nic Nagel, 29, is the head coach of Winter Park Competition Center’s snowboard team. From April 2 to April 8, he coached his team at the annual USASA Snowboarding Championship. Snowboarding events included halfpipe, slopestyle, slalom, giant slalom, and boarder cross.

“At Nationals there are teams from Ohio, Alaska, and all over the US. It’s a well organized event with announcers, DJs, and rail jams at night for the kids,” said Nagel.

“It’s a snowboarders paradise for the week. Burton and other snowboard brands give a way gear.”

The snowboarders have been coached this year on weekends with some training on Thursday’s after school.

In this program the emphasis is not on racing at Nationals, said Nagel.

“It’s just about working hard all winter.”

The focus is on taking runs, performing tricks, all with a good attitude, he said.

“We shred and work hard. We act as role models for the mountain in the parks,” Nagel said.

Now that the season is over the kids will move on to spring sports. They stay active over the summer competiting in soccer and other sports. Some of the kids will go with Nagel to High Cascade Snowboard camp in Timberline Oregon in August.

Snowboarding will start up again the first week of November.

Team aspect

Despite snowboarding being an individual sport, they are still a team, said Nagel.

“The team waves and cheers on the racers. They are waiting at the bottom or on the side.”

While training, the team works on things together such as one kid will try a new trick and other will watch, he said.

“We are a family. Once or twice a month we are traveling to competitions. We work really hard and have our goals for life and competition, but we are here to have fun and keep the family-team aspect.”

Nagel has been coaching in the program for eight years and he is proud of the kids in the program and who have left.

“When these kids leave the program, they love snowboarding. They keep riding and loving it, we are doing our job.”

Nagel himself, was also part of the program. He moved to Winter Park 10 years ago from Chicago to snowboard. From age 19 to 22 he was coached by Bob Holme and competed for three years.

Now, Nic Nagel is coaching the team he once was a part of and sharing his love of snowboarding to talented local kids.

“We have been blessed with great kids and talent.”