snowboardOn the rise

X Games veteran Barrett Christy believes the sport of snowboarding will continue to reach new heights extremely rapidly.

"I see a lot of new riders coming into the sport all the time," Christy said during a Jan. 19 chat with users. "I can see snowboarding and snowboarders being a lot more focused and progressing more with the difficulty of tricks, and smoothness. I think parks and jumps and pipes are going to continue to improve. I'm excited to watch it grow."

Christy, a four-time X Games champion who will be competing at Mount Snow next month, also discussed her future as a snowboarder. An edited transcript of her comments follows.

Ryan: Where is your favorite place to snowboard?

Barrett Christy:
My favorite place varies on snow conditions. I live in Vail but when it's lacking snow I spend a lot of time in the Northwest.

Largent: Barrett, as a newcomer to snowboarding I jumped right into the swing of things, attacked the mountain, and now I want to take it to the next level. What is the one piece of advice you like to give to "beginners" to help them improve their skills?

Barrett Christy:
Not to take it too quickly. Perfect every little thing. Just focus on one thing at a time and build your confidence up by getting better as you go along.

Sandman: Barret, you are so awesome!!!!!!! How do you feel about who you will be going up against?

Barrett Christy:
As far as I know it's a lot of the same people that I compete against. I'm excited because we all push each other. I'm riding with Tara Dakides right now just for fun and we're really looking forward to Winter X.

Timo: Where will you be competing next after the X Games? Are the X Games the most competitive event out there?

Barrett Christy:
Winter X is one of my most competitive events. I'm not doing a lot of events but I'm doing the Gravity Games, the U.S. Open and Mt. Baker Bank Slalom. I put a lot of weight on each of those because I'm not doing a lot more. I look forward to the X Games because there are so many venues. You don't get that at the other events.

Sluggermj: Have you ever landed a 900?

Barrett Christy:
No. I'm still working on 720's.

McTwist: I had my first opportunity this year to go to Hood for the summer, and I loved every minute. Do you train there in the off-season? And if you do, what are your favorite Hood memories?

Barrett Christy:
I didn't spend a lot of time there this summer but I have in the past. I love waking up to sunshine and slushy snow every day. Groomed parks and pipes. I love Mt. Hood for the mountain biking, golfing and fishing and everything else. Mt. Hood is a good time on and off the snow.

Rosario: I loved that Nike commercial you were in. Was that fun to do or a pain? Will you do more?

Barrett Christy:
It was really fun to do. It was the first commercial I've ever done. I would love to do another one. But I don't have any plans to do one at the moment. Sometimes Nike just springs those things on you at the last moment.

Jesse: It seems like snowboarding has really grown the last couple years. Where do you see the sport going in the future?

Barrett Christy:
I see a lot of new riders coming into the sport all the time. I can see snowboarding and snowboarders being a lot more focused and progressing more with the difficulty of tricks, and smoothness. I think parks and jumps and pipes are going to continue to improve. I'm excited to watch it grow.

I don't think freeriding is going to all-together disappear. I think people are going to keep pushing themselves in the parks and on the pipes. I think people will use the mountain more as their park than using the man-made jumps.

Dankum: Hi Barrett. What will you do when you "retire" from competitive snowboarding? Will you stay in the industry, or do you have other career interests?

Barrett Christy:
If I were to retire today I would still like to be in the industry. If I retire in five years I might want to try something new. I'd like to continue to work with the athletes and improve the competitions. If there is anything I can do outside of being an athlete I'm going to try it.

John Hedden: I've lived in Denver for seven years now, but grew up in Doylestown as well. I've watched you grow into somewhat of an icon and would like to say congrats on your accomplishments, you make good ole D'town proud!

Barrett Christy:
I'm really flattered to hear that. I'm proud that I came from D'town! I wish I had snowboarded when I lived there.

Dan: Do you ever visit your roots in Doylestown to snowboard in the Poconos?

Barrett Christy:
I still have not been snowboarding in the Poconos. I do go home to visit family ever year. I learned to ski in Vermont and I've been back there to snowboard but not the Poconos yet. I'd like to get back to New Jersey to ski at Bell Mountain someday.

Brian: Yo. What kind of snowboard do you have? What are you ranked in the world?

Barrett Christy:
I ride a Gnu. It's a board that I design for. Usually I ride my 148 or 152. Gnu is made by Mervin Manufacturing. I like to make my boards stiff and responsive for free riding as well as park and pipe stuff.

Me: Where in the Northwest do you like to board?

Barrett Christy:
I spent some time at Mt. Baker two weeks ago. I had the best time there this year. All the mountains up there are good right now. Crystal Mountain and Alpental Mountain are good right now also.

David: What is the competition level like out there amongst you and your competitors/friends I assume?

Barrett Christy:
Yeah, I think we are all friends but the competition level continues to grow. Everybody keeps doing new things. The jumps are getting bigger and scarier. We are all real supportive of each other. It helps the competition a lot. We push each other to try harder.

I think we are all pretty competitive but it's all internal within ourselves. There are no cat fights.

Erick Walqusit: Hello, Barrett Christy. I think you rock. Have you ever been to the Midwest snowboarding???

Barrett Christy:
I've never been to the Midwest but I know lots of Midwestern snowboarders.

David: Do you ever come to Utah?

Barrett Christy:
Yeah, I had a great time last year in Brighton and I think I'll wait for it to snow more before I head out there. I like all the stuff you can hike to right off of the resort. Of course with my shovel!

Devon: Do you have any other hobbies?

Barrett Christy:
I played tennis a lot this summer. My other hobbies are all sports. I got a dirt bike that I learned to ride. I horseback ride, go mountain biking and golf and one of my new hobbies will be learning to use a computer!

Chad: How did you get so good?

Barrett Christy:
Probably by never thinking that I am very good! I don't ever think that I've gotten good enough that I can stop trying. I'm pretty critical of myself and am always pushing myself to try harder.

David: Do plan on competing in the 2002 Olympics, and if so, do you think that scandal will put a storm cloud over the competition?

Barrett Christy:
I plan on trying. I haven't ridden a lot of half pipe events. I'm going to spend some time practicing before then. But I would definitely like to try. I don't think the scandal will be a problem. Snowboarding didn't get a lot of attention in Nagano but I think we'll see a lot more support in Utah.

I hope all of you come to the X Games and bring about 50 friends each. We could use a big crowd to cheer us on. All the support really helps. Thanks for checking in. See you in Mount Snow!

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