posted by Aaron Lebowitz on March 10, 2022
Where are you from?
I'm from Jacksonville, Oregon, which is in the southern part of the state in the Rogue Valley. I grew up riding at Mt. Ashland, which is a super small, non-profit mountain. There's four, old chairlifts and a retro lodge that serves the best cheese fries. Time hasn't really touched the place and that's what I love about it. Every time you go up there, you see someone you know, or a smiling stranger. The vibes are always all time. The mountain's tagline is “It’s Steeper Here”, and they truly live up to it. There's one chair on the bunny hill, then it's straight downhill to get to the other chairlifts, so it makes you learn pretty quick. My favorite part of Mt. Ashland is that it has night riding, so I was able to join my elementary school’s after school ski program and we’d take the bus up after school and get to snowboard under the lights till 9pm.
How long have you been riding?
I've been riding for close to 18 years now, I started in 4th grade. I was one of those kids who was totally uninterested in skiing, I was just frothing to get on a snowboard, so I started out immediately with snowboarding. I actually never had a pair of skis on my feet until last winter, when I decided to take ski lessons with some of my students I was working with in Idaho. It was crazy to feel like a total beginner at something and not be able to make it down the slopes like I usually do. It was a really humbling experience.
Can you describe your connection to the Mountain?
I don’t think I would be who I am without the mountains and snowboarding. The moment I started snowboarding, I was hooked. I felt like I finally found that thing that everyone looks for in their lifetime. That thing that puts you into a flow state and brings you absolute happiness, even if just for a moment. Snowboarding has been the driving force for a lot of my decisions in life. When looking into colleges, I knew I wanted to be somewhere I could snowboard and go to class in the same day. When I was offered a scholarship to ride on the snowboard team for Sierra Nevada College, it was a no brainer. Living in Lake Tahoe, surrounded by the Sierra Nevada mountains and countless resorts, I was able to deepen my connection to the mountains and to my snowboarding. Since graduating, I’ve pursued opportunities to ride as much as possible, from a snowboard trip to Japan, cat ski guiding in Tahoe, and now, living in the Stoke Bus and riding with Aaron everyday in Mammoth!
Can you describe your riding style?
I was a big park rider, so for a while my style was surrounding jibs and park. But ever since I got on an Elevated board, I’ve seen my riding style totally change. Most people tell me my riding style looks like dancing on the snow, and I really like that, because I love dancing! I like to flow with what the mountain is doing, find little waves to slash, ride from one side of the slope to the other, see how low I can get on a carve.
Why Elevated Surf Craft?
I had the pleasure of hanging out with Aaron while on a snowboard trip in Japan with Isaac Laredo and friends. I met Aaron in the parking lot of Rusutsu, he gave me a huge hug and had peanut butter all over his face. He was instantly stoked on my riding and I was instantly stoked on his boards. I’ve ridden a ton of different boards from different brands, but I had never felt so seen by a board company. Aaron wanted to ride with me and give pointers on how to utilize the board to its max capacity, and even today I see him do this with each and every person that gets on one of his boards. He is stoked to watch people progress, unlock new skill sets, and overall be a part of the elevated vibe he has crafted.
What is your favorite Elevated Snowboard?
I’m a Minni Fish gal through and through. I’ve been riding the Minni Fish since January 2020 and I just can't seem to get sick of it. I have so much fun learning new ways I can ride that board. It totally crushes in pow, with a big nose and fish tail, it effortlessly floats through deep snow. And don’t even get me started about the Minni Fish on groomers. It allows you to really trust your edge, lay into a deep carve, and play across all sorts of terrain. And lastly, the all red top sheet and unique shape is a great conversation starter. I’ve met so many awesome people from that board catching peoples eye!
Tell us about the course you recently did at Sugar Bowl.
I had the opportunity to compete in the Sugarbowl banked slalom at the end of February and am stoked to say I got first for the ladies snowboard division! It was such an awesome event. Good vibes, good cause, and super fun course. It had been a while since I competed in a banked slalom and I was reminded of how much I love that culture. Everyone is stoked to be there, it feels more like a hangout sesh than a competition. I’m hoping to make it up to the Rally for Rocker event on donner summit April 9th. Everyone should check it out! Another sweet banked slalom for a good cause!