Australian snowboarder Torah Bright burst onto the snowboarding scene at age 14. Now—eight years later and more than 17 first place finishes and a dozen silver and bronze medals to her credit—it looks like the bright lights of her career won't be dimming any time soon.
We caught up with Bright at the 2009 AST Winter Dew Tour finals, held at the Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort [Lake Tahoe, Calif.], right before she captured another Superpipe first place finish. Here, the brilliant young Aussie dishes on life at the top of the mountain.
STACK: How did you first get involved in snowboarding?
Torah Bright: I grew up on the mountains of Australia, so I first started off skiing when I was two years old. I was about 11 when I turned to snowboarding and never really looked back. I raced when I skied, and just kind of seeing the snowboarders on the hill, my brother tried it and then I [followed]. I guess why I stuck with snowboarding [is because] I was loving the freestyle aspect and just playing around with the mountain and the different terrain.
STACK: What's it like to travel all over the world to compete?
TB: Traveling the world snowboarding is pretty amazing. I don't know if [I] could get too much better of a job. Maybe traveling for surfing.
STACK: What are some of your favorite tricks to pull off during competitions?
TB: I like to say just Airs, but I love doing Air to Fakie, which is going up normal and coming back in Switch (landing opposite of the side you went up on).
STACK: What's the biggest difference between competitions and snowboarding recreationally?
TB: The only difference when riding on a normal day and riding in a contest is [that in a competition] I can't just go and ride any time. I have certain time periods when [I] can go and ride. I just like to have fun with any contest that I do. It's not too much of a stress. [I] just go and do what [I] know how to do and have fun riding.
STACK: What goes through your mind when you're riding down in the Superpipe, getting ready to attempt a trick?
TB: What's going through my mind when I am going into the wall is just exactly what I have to do: to [perform] that trick and complete it properly.
STACK: What's the most important piece of equipment you need to ride well?
TB: Apart from the board and boots and bindings, it's pretty important to have good warm gear. Maybe not on a day like today, but good waterproof gear. It's [also] important to have good lenses so you don't fry your eyes on [sunny] days like today.
STACK: What advice would you offer young riders who are just starting out and are looking to bust into the pro realm?
TB: [For] any young kid getting into it, it's [important] just have fun. Don't stress about [making it] too much. Take every option that you have, whether it's riding with your friends or entering local contests. Just love it and have fun.
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