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Snowboarder programs are hitting the slopes

Men compete during the snowboard cross quarterfinals on Thursday.
Cameron Spencer
/
Getty Images
Men compete during the snowboard cross quarterfinals on Thursday.

As an abundance of snow arrives in town, Park City’s Snowboard program is in high gear.

Rick Shimpeno is the new director of Park City Ski & Snowboard’s snowboard program.

The organization offers big air and boardercross for youth aged 7-25. They offer just-for-fun along with serious competition level training.

Before joining Park City Ski & Snowboard, Shimpeno coached the Olympic halfpipe team and went to the previous two Olympic games.

Now, he’s training the next generation of shredders in his own backyard, so to speak.

“You know, I live in the community here. And I told people early on I wanted to be stopped in the supermarket and people ask me questions about snowboard, and it's funny what you wish for it starts happening. So I talk about snowboarding all the time, and I get to share what I love with the community here in Park City.”

Shimpeno grew up in Pennsylvania, where he fell in love with skateboarding. He said he loved the freedom and independence of it.

He said that drew him into snowboarding due to similarities between the sports and all the ads he saw in skateboard magazines.

This season the snowboard program has over 100 participants, the most the program has ever seen. They ride at Park City Mountain on Saturdays and Sundays. During the week they can do afternoon and evening training at Woodward.

The snowboard team also offers boardercross, which is where competitors race side-by-side on a specially designed winding course that includes jumps.

Shimpeno said the boardercross team has become very successful in recent years.

“They were just over in Europe competing and a girl on our team is also kind of named to the D team on the US team AC Craig is training with us and she's out of Vermont, but she comes out here periodically and trains.”

Starting this month the program will send competitors to United States of America Snowboard And Freeski Association (USASA) competitions.

The first is in Jackson Hole January 6-8. Events include halfpipe, slopestyle, rail jam, and boardercross.

There will be a couple more competitions later in the month at Woodward and Park City Mountain.

For more information a link to the organization can be found here.