What is the strangest airport experience you’ve ever had?
I’m not sure which airport, but I waiting for a connecting flight and was on my iPad. I was playing Tiny Wings on my Ipad, this game that you have a little bird and have to catch suns. I had to wait two hours at my gate and was trying to beat my score and was so focused that I missed my plane. I was listening to music at the same time, so I didn’t hear anything.

Explain this game that kept you so focused.

It’s called Tiny Wings. You have a little bird and you have to catch suns to go faster. When you push on the iPad, the bird goes up and down a bunch of hills because it can’t fly. Each level is a day, so the faster you go the more time you get. It’s really hard to explain. [Watch the trailer here.]

I see you play a lot of ping pong and golf. How did you get into those?

Ping pong is fun for me. It’s just a simple game and you only need one other person. It’s really fun when you find another really good person. Everything I do I try to challenge myself. It’s the same with golf. I love the game because it’s so hard to be good. My videographer is really good at, and he got me into it about two years ago. You can do 100 bad shots, and one shot makes your day. [My score] is probably +15 or +20. Every year I’m getting better.

Moving on to snowboarding, you won the U.S. Open of snowboarding. Where does that first-place finish compare to other tournaments you’ve won?

It was good. I’ve been doing that since I was really young, so it was good to finally win. It was close to Montreal, too. It was the 30th anniversary of the event, so the set up was nice and it was cool to see everybody. There is so much history, and so many good riders have won before.

You beat out second place by 11 points with a score of 92. Where do you rank that run?

Every contest my goal is to make the final and then go for it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I failed my first two runs on the first jump on the Cab 12, because the jump wasn’t that big and my landing was pretty flat. It definitely wasn’t my highlight run, but each course is different, so it’s hard to compare. I can do better, but the course only had two big jumps and rail features.

In a video after the event, you spoke about that being one of your favorite trophies. Why is that?

I thought it was pretty rad to have the name plate on the trophy. It means so much to me, because I won the 30th anniversary. It is a piece of history to have all those legends on it. I’m hoping in the future that my name can be on it. In the past couple years I’ve been in second or third place.

Of the names on the trophy, which stand out to you?

Travis Rice. He wasn’t doing it for the money, he just loved the sport. He’s just a great person. And then there’s Terje Haakonsen, who is a great snowboarder.

How do you think this season has gone overall?

I’m really stoked. This season went really well. Last year my goal was to do well at X Games, but I had some trouble. This year it was to be good at Dew Tour, and I ended up winning the whole thing. I felt like I progressed and definitely had a better season than last year.

X Games gold is your ultimate goal. Now that you’ve been through it, what do you think it will take to achieve that?

I just take it year by year, try to learn new tricks and be better on my board. The Olympics are coming up too, so I’m going to be trying to make the qualifiers for that.

How does the Olympic stage compare to the X Games?

X Games its really big for sure, but Olympics is worldwide with all sports. All the people that don’t know about snowboarding watch the Olympics and find out about us that way. It’s a good way to show why you’re snowboarding and why this sport is so great. It’s a lifetime experience when it happens every four years.

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