The 7-year-old Fraserite who’s storming snowboarding
Small but mighty Paizley White podiumed at the USASA Nationals and is pursuing more success.
Before 7-year-old Paizley White moved from Houston, Texas, to Fraser, she was a little girl wilting in the heat alongside her parents, David and Piper, and her little brother, River. By then, Paizley had fallen in love with snowboarding. “So,” says David, “we figured we’d move up here so she could do that, plus the other sports she’s into, downhill mountain biking and BMX riding.”
Judging from what Paizley accomplished this winter, it was a good decision.
On April 4, she took third place in the 4th USASA National Championships at Copper Mountain. The 3-foot-11-inch athlete’s bronze-winning slopestyle runs were something. In Paizley’s division, the seven- and eight-year-old girls can take a small, medium or a large line (defined by the size of jumps, rails and boxes on each).
The girls who won first and second place were both eight and both took the big lines. Paizley was the only seven-year-old that did — and she nailed her medium lines. On her first jump, she did a nose grab, on her second, a shifty, and on her third, an indie grab— and on the boxes she slid, did a nose press and a frontside boardslide. Not bad for a kid who started competing this year and who had two first-place age group finishes before her national competition.
Paizley says she started out a skier back when she was two years old and her parents took her to Loveland. Did she like it?
“NO! I started crying as soon as I got my skis on,” she says.
“She literally cried and cried so we went back and rented a snowboard for her. That was like putting tennis shoes on her to walk,” says David. “It was super natural, and since then she’s just been going and going.”
Paizley started training with the Winter Park Competition Center in November of 2021, so she could take her riding farther. David says he’s thrilled she chose snowboarding because it’s a great community that’s fosters supportiveness in kids.
“Paizley loves to meet kids that train at Copper Mountain or from other states. They’re up there literally cheering for each other when they compete,” he said.
“Yeah, at nationals we had a delay and we were all dancing at the top of the run,” Paizley adds.
This year, her goal at her first-ever nationals was to get on the podium. She says one thing that helped was her coach, the local Winter Park legend, Chris Pappas.
“He was a pro snowboarder back in the ‘80s,” says David. “I think he’s, like, 60.”
“No, Dad, I think he’s 58,” says Paizley.
David’s advice for parents wanting to get their kids into competitive sports is simple.
“We let our kids try different things. Every kid’s dream is to go to the Olympics, so we tell Paizley we’re going to give her all of the tools to help her do so. But we don’t just snowboard, because she can get burned out. She loves to rock climb, so we give her all kinds of options and try to make it fun. Another key for us has been traveling to snowboard, so she can meet other kids. The kids push each other. When she rides with those who are better than her, she starts trying different things.”
Right now, Paizely is far from burned out. So the Whites are heading to Mount Hood for her to train for two months this summer. David says she’ll do four sessions with the Mount Hood High Cascade Snowboard Camp, “and then other weeks she’ll be free and riding her mountain bike.”
“I’ll probably only ride a couple of days,” says Paizley.
Follow Paizley at instagram.com/snowboardpaz.
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