Nayte Brown, a member of the Sun Peaks Freestyle Snowboard Club (SPFSC), recently competed in the Canada Winter Games in P.E.I. and says poor conditions didn’t stop him from having a blast on the slopes.
The 16-year-old came sixth in the snowboard big air male competition, eighth in slopestyle male, 12th in parallel giant slalom male and 13th in snowboardcross male. One of the top moments for Brown was competing in big air.
“The energy was crazy … Finals were at night under the lights, and there was a huge crowd of people that came [and cheered],” Brown said.
He noted that when preparing for the slopestyle competition, he expected a steeper course, which impacted his results.
“Unfortunately, for slopestyle, the course was flatter than expected and there was a pretty big headwind. I couldn’t do the tricks that I had planned but still managed to put down a run,” Brown told SPIN.
He said he was happy with his rankings, and while it was frustrating to not be able to clear jumps and do the tricks he trained for in slopestyle, everyone else faced the same challenges.
While he gravitates towards slopestyle riding, Brown also had fun competing for the first time in parallel giant slalom.
“It took the stress out of having to do good — I just did it for the fun of it and got a pretty good placement,” Brown said.
Another style of boarding Brown isn’t used to competing in is snowboardcross, which he’d only done once before the Canada Winter Games.
Brown has snowboarded since he was around three years old when his parents started him in the sport. He began taking snowboarding to the next level when he was 10 and moved up to Sun Peaks with his family. He started with freestyle lessons, and his mom eventually founded SPFSC.
As a youth athlete, Brown’s schedule is packed with sports, school and work. He told SPIN he rides every day as part of his schooling, as well as in the evening with friends on the Platter when the hill is closed. He trains on weekends and coaches snowboarding, while also working at Masa’s Bar + Grill twice a week.
Brown thanked his parents for funding his snowboarding career.
“[They’re] my biggest supporters. I’m very grateful for them and the opportunities they’ve given me,” he said, while also thanking his coach, teammates and sponsors.
Brown will soon compete at BC Winter Games in Greater Vernon in March.
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