Words by Chelsea Waddell
Whoever says Corinne Pasela is quiet, just hasn’t been asking the right questions. After breaking out of the Ohio snowboarding scene by winning the Roxy Shooting Star Contest, Corinne moved out west and earned herself the title of the 2013 TransWorld Rookie of the Year. She’s soft-spoken, but about as smart as they come, and has a heart of gold. It may take some time to pry words out of her, but they’re pretty much always worth listening to. Corinne took some time to sit down with me at the local laundromat, because even pro snowboarders like clean socks.
Ice breaker. What’s your most embarrassing moment?
Pretty much any time I speak it’s pretty embarrassing.
Well then this could get pretty interesting. Let’s start with something simple. Where did the nickname “Corn” come from?
I had friends in Ohio who called me Corn, and somehow friends on the west coast found it fitting too. I don’t know why.
What’s the biggest difference between snowboarding here in Salt Lake City, and snowboarding in Ohio?
It’s crazy because in Ohio we have a three-month season, and I can honestly say that a majority of my time snowboarding in Ohio was done at night. It’s weird because there everybody has a life, and snowboarding just fits into it, where out here in Utah a majority of people I’m surrounded by spend their entire day snowboarding, and then fit real world chores in around that.
Filming in the streets takes a lot of time and work, what do you love about it that keeps you working hard to make it happen?
One of the things I love about it that I notice way more at home in the Midwest than out here is just how intrigued pedestrians are as they walk past. They’re never offended that you’re obstructing traffic, or ruining something, they’re more just like “What are you doing?” They don’t quite understand it until all of a sudden they see someone fly down a handrail.
Let’s dig into the past. Weren’t you Valedictorian in high school?
What was it like to be second best?
Story of my life.
But you gave a speech, right? Which speech was harder, Salutatorian or when you won Rookie of the Year?
The Salutatorian speech was a good warm-up for Rookie of the Year, and we all know how well that went.
So you went to state for track, you were a soccer star, ended up being Salutatorian, and went to a really nice college practically for free. How did you manage to screw it all up?
Strapped into a snowboard. You can’t stand sideways through the hallways of Case Western Reserve University.
Amen to that. What do you have to say to anyone who’s given you shit about dropping out of school and pursuing your dream?
They’re probably very level headed people, but I don’t really regret it because school’s not going anywhere. We’re always learning.
What was it like going from college in Ohio and snowboarding for fun, to Salt Lake City and snowboarding as your job? It happened really fast for you, right?
I definitely think I stumbled upon some secret portal into dream world. My intentions were to move to Salt Lake and hop back into school, but it’s crazy how when you have the opportunity to travel, you can’t help but take that. Everyone kind of gets the school grind and schedule, and it’s completely different just to be able to wake up in the morning and be able to do something you love with your friends, and see new places everyday. I think I was so far away from being in the scene at that point that I didn’t have any expectations, so it was just awesome and weird.
What’s this story I’ve heard about the back 180 on?
Ok, so there was this deal way back when, like mid high school when Aaron Fraher told me that if I ever did a back one on to a rail he would tell me this secret that all of my friends knew. It was this big thing. If I did a back one on, he would tell me. So I did a back one, on film, but I still have yet to hear the secret.
We’ll have to hound him about that. How did you get so good at snowboarding? Was it Mid-West hot laps? Riding with dudes? Watching movies?
Well I can tell you we didn’t watch many movies. We spent a ton of time hot lapping with friends, and we used to play around in the backyard all the time. We would just get a bunch of ice rink snow and hike one rail for hours in the middle of the night with my dad’s flood lamps that he used for painting houses. It would probably be raining outside, and more mud than snow, but we’d still be so stoked.
No movies? I thought that was all mid-west kids did during the nine months that they didn’t have snow.
Well, we had a really talented group of local guys while growing up who would put out some awesome videos. Then a group of guys from our local resort made a movie called “All Smiles” and I was definitely influenced by that. It was probably the first snowboard movie I had ever seen. Other than that it would just be watching edits, or anything available for free online.
Is there anyone specific in snowboarding who you get your influence from?â€¨â€¨
Well, my friend Max Senger highly influences my outlook on the snowboard world. He taught me to always change my socks, and to never let them get too crusty. But seriously, I say Max because him and all of my friends influence me. It’s the people I’m surrounded by, and anyone who looks at something a little differently.
I heard that Too Hard is headed to Sweden. Are you all being exiled from the states?
Nah, Madison [Blackely], Danyale [Patterson], and Alexa [McCarty] are going and I’m lucky enough to be able to tag along. We’re going to try to get some shots for the movie, but it’s also going to be crazy because some of us have been to Canada, but some of us haven’t been out of the states at all. It should be quite the adventure.
â€¨That sounds like it could get wild.
Yeah, it will be really interesting just to ride different terrain, because we are just a product of the places we inhabit. When you’re going around looking for street spots and stuff you’re obviously influenced by the architecture around you, so to go to a completely different country where things are built differently should be pretty interesting.
How does it feel to go from being the one watching the movies and edits, to being the one being watched?
I didn’t realize that people were even watching, but I guess it’s cool. When you’re watching a video you hope to one day be able to influence other people in the way they do for you.
What was the best part about filming for Roxy’s “Wilder”?
I think it was the fact that we were riding on each other’s home areas. We met up with Jessi [Huege] and went into Chicago and got to ride with her brother and all of their close friends. Then we went to Alaska and hung with Danyale and her friends and parents. Then we were in Salt Lake City where Erin [Comstock] has such great ties. It was just really awesome because whether or not people recognize it or are aware of it, everybody has a little bit of hometown pride.
Tell me about the time when you snowboarded off of Danyale’s roof.
Danyale and her dad had this funny idea to drop a “pillow line”. It was like a two-tiered roof, so we basically took her dad’s ladder and propped it up against the back of her house. She put us in costumes, and we basically snowboarded down off of it. In all honestly, I was absolutely terrified. When we landed we zipped across the street, and her mom was just standing there with a tray of cookies. The Patterson family is pretty incredible.
(Intermission to switch laundry from washer to dryer.)
Alright, it’s time to get serious. All the boys around here seem to be in love with you, how do they get to your heart?
Um… an autopsy? â€¨â€¨Holy shit. â€¨â€¨Ok, well I like sailboats and Good and Plenty’s.
I don’t even know what to say right now. I guess that’s all they need to know.â€¨â€¨Let’s talk about art. Some of my favorite pieces in my house were done by you. Is that kind of your home away from snowboarding?
I don’t know if it’s my home away from snowboarding, but it’s always been part of my home. Whenever I’m not snowboarding I guess I’ve just always had a pencil. It’s something people in my family have always done, so it’s not really a newfound hobby, it’s just something that’s always been there.
As used up as this question is, I have to ask. What advice do you have for younger girls looking to get where you are?
I know it’s super clichÃ© to just be like, “Well you just have to go out there and have fun”, but honestly snowboarding is that art form that’s kind of like, how you feel influences how you move. I think it’s incredibly important to always have a good time when you’re out riding, and obviously the more you ride, the easier it’s going to be. Just put in a lot of days with a snowboard strapped to your feet.
How do you keep snowboarding fun?
Well, when you can’t just surround yourself with your favorite people, I think it’s really awesome just to switch things up just as much as you can. Scare yourself a little bit, and that’s always fun.
The part you filmed for Roxy’s Shooting Star contest was pretty much all filmed in Ohio and was good enough to win the whole thing. What’s your perspective on traveling near and far to film a video part?
People are hopping all around the country, jumping on planes, chasing the snow, and finding random crews to join. Then you have other people who are just sitting through thick and thin of the winter, wherever they happen to be stuck, and they’re filming video parts as well. Say you have a group of like five really close friends and they make a snowboard video, they’re obviously only riding their home turf the entire season, and it’s super cool because they’re riding things that they walk past the entire year. They’re doing things on it that no body else has thought of before. They’re just looking at the environment they come from in a whole different way.
But going other places allows you to experience a new kind of riding.
If you chase the snow you can lengthen your season by at least four months, and that first year with Roxy I snowboarded more than I ever had before, and that was really cool. But at the same time, it’s just tricks. Sometimes it’s just cool to do things on pieces of architecture that you see all the time. To dream it all up on things that you walk past everyday.
Well I don’t normally like to shout, but I’m thinking of my Ohiomies, and all the good people who keep snowboarding, snowboarding. Thank you to all my sponsors…. Roxy. And thank you to iPhones.
â€¨â€¨Anything else you’d like to say?
No. Not in particular.