Sports journalists and industry watchers call them “the future of snowboarding.” A cadre of emerging stars of the snowy slopes is bringing mind-boggling moves and magnificent maneuvers to the hipster gonzo sport that sometimes is as much about personality and branding as it is about athletic talent.
In the final analysis, however, these young snowboarders are the ones to keep your eyes on:
Born in Newport Beach, California, and moved to Park City, Utah, when he was 12, Hunt is often praised for his incredible precision. That maneuverable precision combined with a snowboard and some killer slopes makes for the magic to watch. Speaking to this young man, now just 20, reveals a mature-beyond-his year “thinker” sort of dude who displays a logical mind and an articulate delivery when he discusses his technique. Hunt is driven to make the cut for the Winter Olympics.
This young man was born into snowboarding, the son of a father who worked for Oakley for 25 years. He strapped on his first board at age four and just kept going. He called the experience “magic from the start.” As for Olympics contention, Warble could care less. The games are not on his agenda. He said he’s into the sport “for fun” and doesn’t identify with any particular aspect of the sport. For him, “planting a hand” is better than “going 20 feet.” He’s a vibrant showman at competitions – but he sounds like he mostly wants to opt-out of the circuit, for now, calling it “a grind.” How this young man will shape the sport remains to be seen – but he definitely seems destined to play more than a minor role.
Known for his massive tricks, Ferguson is also renowned for his laid-back off-the-slopes demeanor. This carries over to his technique which has been described as “cool and a cucumber.” Many say Gabe is laboring in the shadow of his more experienced brother, Ben Ferguson, who is a major known quantity within the sport. As you might expect, the always relaxed Gabe said, “that’s cool with me.”
Gabe captured the silver at the 2016 X Games in Colorado with his one and only run at the Men’s Snowboarding Superpipe competition and has remained a formidable force ever since. He was born and raised in Bend, Oregon.