Kids these days are getting better and better every year, from contests to street parts, kids are slowly taking over snowboarding. Today, I caught up with North Carolina native, Luke Winkelmann to see how and why he does it.
How old are you?
(Born in 2000, wtf) When and how did you get into snowboarding?
I was 5 and my dad rode. I used to ski but he wanted me to pick up snowboarding because it was way sicker and I did it and caught on really fast. That following Christmas got my first snowboard and I’ve been doing it ever since.
North Carolina… What is the snowboarding scene like there?
Really small scene with really small resorts, you can see the whole resort from the bottom. There are like four of us who all rip together and try to make it as fun as possible. Basically all rails . Not much happens, people are trying to progress it and that’s sick and it will always be my home place and I love it to death.
You live out in Colorado now right? How did all that happen?
Yeah, this is my second winter out here. I got into Rev Tours a year before I came out here and I heard about Kirk’s Camp and all my homies did it and the coaches are sick and I wanted to be with kids who wanted to film and compete, so I moved out here to do that.
What do you do in the summer?
I leave Colorado at the end of April and chill in North Carolina till June then I go out to hood and stay in the Burton Demo Center riding High Cascade till the end of July.
What’s the Demo Center like then? Must be nice, huh?
It’s wild, it’s a sick experience, I’m always having fun and the people who live there during the summer are all people I’ve looked up to and it all becomes a family and I’m always the little brother getting nagged on and I love it. For sure the best time of the year.
What was it like being a Knowbuddy?
It was really fun for the year I was on it, and that crew is like the crew/team I like to be involved with because they all film and shred. Having that connection with all those dudes is really sick.
What about school?
I just started high school this year so I enrolled in a year round online school. I can usually stay pretty on top of it when I’m trying. It’s way tight to do online school because I can travel and ride as much as possible while still getting an education.
What do you want to do with snowboarding?
These next few years I’m gonna keep competing and see how that goes.I really want to film with a crew and be a part of a movie with sick dudes and be able to go ride backcountry and street and make snowboarding so much fun.
So you compete, how did you get into that and why?
I guess I got more serious into it that first year I started doing Rev Tours. It’s a cool experience and my parents wanted me to do it and I’ve been doing it forever, small comps in NC back then to Rev Tours and other international comps now. Competing is a good thing to get your name out there and meet new people. Plus, seeing all the legends out there starting out competing and now they’re filming pow parts and being in all these movies is so so sick. Competing is a starting point to make snowboarding something you can do for a long time.
Do you like the pressure of competing?
I’m indifferent about it, the pressure sucks but the feelings you get when you land a run you’ve been working on is sick. It’s something that pushes me.
Would snowboarding be more fun if you didn’t have to compete?
I think competing kinda balances it out. I enjoy competing you just can’t do too much of it. So if you like compete and film during the season it’s so much fun.
Is there a better way than judges?
Yeah, I think the way peace park does it is sick, how it’s rider based and they can feed off the positive energy and vote for who rode the best and that’s definatley a sick way compared to the same old judging contests.
Why do you think people hate on “comp kids”?
I think people hate on comp kids because they tend to have a jock reputation and I think that people tend to think contest kids don’t know what snowboarding is about and that is the case for some of the kids and that group kind of I feel like gives everyone else that may compete some hate.
Are your parents hard on you?
No not at all, my parents support me an insane amount. I never thought they would let me pursue it as much as I do. They really want to see me go somewhere and want me to go out and have fun and i really appreciate them so much for that.
Favorite thing about riding?
Getting to the mountain and seeing all my friends super juiced is my favorite thing. That just gets me so hyped for the day and start ripping with everybody just is the best. Like combining ideas on tricks and filming and the way riding with friends pushes you, just so sick.
Do you think snowboarding is dying?
I don’t think snowboarding is dying at all. For a little bit I saw that it could’ve been dying , but I think this generation can make it so sick. I know how it should go and my friends know how it should go, and none of us want to see it go down.
How should it go?
I think shit like the bone zone, open to public, and DIY features built by riders for riders is so sick. Snowboarding should be fun and creative riding with all your homies having the best time is really when you get down to it is the best and what it’s about. Contests also should go in the more creative way as in less chucking and more sick lines with sick grabs and style.
Is snowboarding a sport to you?
No, it’s not a sport at all. To me it’s a passion and something I really like to do. It shouldn’t be considered a sport I feel like that because it doesn’t fit that category and that’s a good thing.
Shoutout to Dave Massie for bein a boss and always having my back supporting me and always letting me stay with him in hood, dude is a boss
Shoutout to Zach Nigro. Shoutout Frankie Chapin for being so sick and supporting me to snowboard you guys are G’s
Shoutout to all my boys Red Gerard/Chandler Hunt/ Lyon Farrell/ Reid Smith/ Benny Milam/ Brock Crouch/Jack Reid/Reilly Tardiff/Waker/ Kirks Camp/ Kyle Beckman/ All the Knowbuddys my brothers/ Connor Manning/ George Mcdowall/ Cooper Whittier/ My parents don’t know what I’d do without them/ Evan Lefebvre/Preston Strout/ Mike Flinn/ Adam Homi/ Ben Elliot/ Bo Warren/ Maddie Mastro the chick boss of snowboarding/ Anyone I didn’t shoutout to, shoutout to you because you’re all great <3
And a special Shoutout to my sister Kylie! That chick is a boss and supports me and believes in me more than anyone! Love her