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With Eric Willett
Whether it is off a jump or on the podium, Eric Willett, a pro snowboarder and future Olympian is
always high up there. In this interview, via Facebook, we’ll talk about his plans for the upcoming season, the 2014 Olympics, “The Art of Flight”, and the quad cork. Enjoy!
With winter about to kick into full swing how are you preparing for it?
Not doing too much, just trying to enjoy the last bit of summer before the season gets crazy. I plan on starting to work with a physical trainer in the next couple weeks to make sure I stay in shape for the start of the season.
What are your plans for this season?
I want to travel and compete as much as possible. Competitions start at the beginning of December with the Beijing Air & Style and go through end of March with the Burton US Open.
I know that Torstein, McMorris, and Toutant all have a triple cork.
Have you been working on that trick or any new tricks for this year?
I have tried one triple cork and it was a cab 1440 triple, but on the first try fell and knocked myself out, and that was the only one I've tried haha. I really want to get all double cork 12's I was working on cab double 12 at the end of the season, so we'll see if I can get them this season.
Are you planning on filming a new video part for this year?
Not as of right now, but something might come up. It's really hard to film and compete as much as I do. I barely get any free time as it is so to film as well is really difficult.
Frontside double cork
What’s your biggest accomplishment in snowboarding?
Being pro for sure, I've wanted that since I was 12. Then getting podium and X Games, winning Euro X and Burton US Open were huge. And then getting shots in The Art of Flight.
So you had a part in "The Art of Flight". What was it like being a part of one of the best snowboard films ever?
It was insane! It's a big mind game, a lot like competing, but with this, you have to pull out all your best tricks on gnarly jumps. And on top of that you have a helicopter following you to add that much more pressure. But it was a rad group of guys and are all out there to have fun. Definitely an experience I will remember forever.
How was the experience filming with Travis Rice?
It was awesome. Travis is the man. I still get a little star struck being around him because in my opinio,n he is still one of the best snowboarders out there. And not only can he slay it on jumps, but he's super funny and really nice. The whole Brain Farm crew is a rad group of guys.
Last year you won a dew tour stop and the U.S. open. What is your strategy for winning the contests this year?
Staying focused. It's always crazy going from one event to the next with no time in between. I won the Dew Tour and the next day caught a plane to Norway for The Arctic Challenge. And at the US Open, I had to catch a plane the next day to France for Euro X. Also staying motivated, you can't ever take a break, you always have to be at the top with tricks and if you slack you won't make the podium, and staying healthy.
What’s it like living your dream of being a professional snowboarder?
It's amazing, it's what I've always wanted. Snowboarding has taken me to some pretty awesome places all around the world. I always thought you just get sponsored and they give you a ton of free stuff haha. But there is so much more. Being in a different place every week, being in hotel rooms more than your own room. There's a whole business side, dealing with contracts, team managers, agents, money, TV. It's super crazy, but I love it! And there are so many perks, you can pretty much get anything you need if you know the right people. I used to watch X Games on TV and think that was the coolest thing ever and always wondered if I'd get to go there. And then to compete at X and podium, there's no better feeling. And then to film for Art of Flight and scare yourself to death hitting these huge jumps doing gnarly tricks, and then see all the hard work pay off when you see yourself on a big screen in front of hundreds of people. I couldn't imagine anything better. And then getting paid to do it all haha. And then having tons of fans. I remember when I would see people like Andreas Wiig, Danny Kass, or Scotty Lago I was so star struck, and to meet them made my season! And now I have kids coming up to me freaking out wanting pictures and autographs, it's crazy enough having people know who I am let alone freaking out haha, I love it. But I never take it for granted tho, because I was one of those kids trying to be professional, and now that I've made it I appreciate it that much more.
What are the companies you’re riding for this year?
Quiksilver, Vans, Smith, Flux, GoPro, Breckenridge Resort, Boa Lacing System, Celtek, Nixon
What’s your favorite place to ride at?
My home mountain, Breckenridge Colorado. Best park by far. Outside the US, probably this place in Lavigno Italy. They have an awesome park, and when it snows the powder is amazing, and the town is rad.
What is your favorite contest?
I like all the Dew Tours. They treat you really well, all the Mtn. Dew you can drink. And it's the same guys at each event, so everyone becomes really good friends. Other than that X Games is always amazing.
Are you going to be trying to get on the U.S. team for slopestyle at the 2014 winter Olympics?
Yea for sure. Making the Olympic team would be awesome. I never imagined slopestyle being in the Olympics, but to be able to go and represent you country would be awesome.
How long do you think it will be before people start trying a quad cork?
I honestly don't think there will ever be a quad cork. Jumps aren't big enough or safe enough. Triple corks are already gnarly enough, I don't even think we'll really see that many triple corks in competition, it's pretty risky. Especially trying to do them in competitions on those jumps.
What are some of your hobbies other than snowboarding?
I love mtn. biking, probably my favorite hobby outside snowboarding, Skating, camping, hiking, going to baseball games, hanging with my girlfriend, and just enjoying the summer!
Willett on top of the podium after winning the Billabong “Ante Up”
I think that in this interview we have learned about some of the things that go into being a professional snowboarder and that if you put your full effort into something you can achieve your dreams and do what you’ve always wanted.