Summer break for winter athletes
Winter athletes in the summer
Professional freeskiers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers certainly aren't just sitting around during the summer months. We checked in with some of the top winter action sports athletes to find out what they've been up to this summer.
Chris Benchetler goes climbing
"My summers consist of climbing, surfing, and biking," says Mammoth Lakes, California-based pro skier Chris Benchelter. "However, as of late, I'm spending more and more time climbing. I've truly found a deep passion for climbing and really appreciate the connection to nature. I've also seen a lot of benefits from climbing that complement my skiing, both mentally and physically."
Arielle Gold and her horse
Arielle Gold, a two-time X Games bronze medalist in women's snowboard SuperPipe who's from Steamboat Springs, Colorado, loves horseback riding. "My favorite activity to do in the summer is ride my horses," Gold says. "I have two horses, and I love to spend time with them jumping, barrel racing, or going on mellow trail rides."
Levi LaVallee doesn't take time off
"The majority of my time 'off' in the summer is spent getting geared up for winter," says dominant X Games snowmobiler Levi LaVallee. "I enjoy the summer though -- I'm either on the lake in my Malibu boat or blowing donuts on the track with my Polaris RZR. This is my first full season of racing Terracross, which is short course UTV side-by-side racing. It's all good cross-training."
Janina Kuzma still on skis
New Zealand halfpipe and big-mountain skier Janina Kuzma gets to enjoy winter all year long. "I finished up the first three sessions at Windells at Mt. Hood and now I'm back in Wanaka, New Zealand," she says. "I'll be competing at the Winter Games halfpipe platinum event in August and the New Zealand Freeski open. I'm also filming with Shades of Winter in New Zealand in September, a film that will come out in 2016."
Mountain biking with Dane Tudor
"I'm a big fan of the great outdoors in summer and winter," says Whistler-based pro skier Dane Tudor. "Enduro mountain biking is great cross-training for skiing, so my mornings are spent grinding up super steep trails to bomb down the other side. I find this is a great way to tune my cognitive motor skills, enabling me to stay mentally prepared for big mountain skiing during the winter."
Alex Yoder rides for a good cause
"I was recently at Mt. Hood for a banked slalom event called The Rat Race held by Drink Water. The event gives all of its proceeds to water.org to supply people around the world with clean drinking water," says snowboarder Alex Yoder. "I also do a lot of hiking, skateboarding, and road biking in the summer. I guess it's training for the winter, but more so I just try to have fun and stay outside."
Skating with Sebastien Toutant
"In the summer, I like to hang out and do fun stuff," says Canadian snowboarder Sebastien Toutant. "There's a skate park in my hometown, Repentigny, Quebec. It's about 25 minutes to downtown Montreal."
Marie-France Roy goes surfing
"Annie Boulanger and I recently came back from an insane surf trip to Indonesia and we had such a blast," says snowboarder Marie-France Roy. "We aren't the best surfers at all but that is our favorite thing to do in the offseason in order to keep in shape while having way more fun than being in a gym."
Greg Bretz laying low
"Mainly my summer includes taking my boat out on the lake close by and wake surfing with a little bit of water skiing included," says Mammoth Lakes-based snowboarder Greg Bretz. "I just spent a week at Mt. Hood snowboarding and soon, I'm headed to New Zealand to ride for a few weeks."
Brita Sigourney road trips
"This summer I've been spending a lot of time at the beach. Whether it's been in Central America or California, it's just been nice to be by the water," says halfpipe skier Brita Sigourney. "I recently did a camping trip down the California coast in my parents' old 1984 Vanagon and it was one of my favorite summer trips so far."
John Jackson hangs off a ledge
"I've been doing a lot of climbing -- that's my favorite thing to do in the offseason," says snowboarder John Jackson. "Through the spring I was also doing some backpacking around the Mammoth area. I climbed Mt. Ritter and was trying to bag some couloirs around the area, but the snow wasn't the best. I'm always trying to sneak a little fishing in. It keeps my mind right."
Gus Kenworthy takes it easy
"I hurt my knee in March so this summer, I've just been rehabbing and enjoying the downtime to hang with friends and family," says Olympic silver medalist in ski slopestyle Gus Kenworthy. "I went to Montana in July. I have friends with a lake house there, so we spent a lot of time out on the water, boating, wake surfing, and swimming."
Torin Yater-Wallace gets around
"Some of the things I have been up to this summer are skating all around, skiing at Mt. Hood, and adventures in my truck to go camp and mess around with my pit bike," says Aspen native and halfpipe skier Torin Yater-Wallace.