GRILLED: Kaitlyn Farrington, from Sun Valley to Sochi

Comments by Kelli Lynn Hargrove/

Growing up on the slopes of Sun Valley, Idaho, Kaitlyn Farrington has managed to spin and stomp her way to the top of the leader board in women’s snowboarding. From winning the Euro X Games to carving untracked powder every chance she gets, Farrington rides for the love of it, and this stoke, matched with the drive and desire to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the pipe, has helped her become one the the top female riders in the game.

Kaitlyn is among the legions of riders currently looking up at that shining Olympic star and gunning for a spot on the team. With pure talent and raw passion stashed securely in her back pocket— and an Olympic size pipe built by Sun Valley to help her train — Kaitlyn’s aspirations are anything but far-fetched.

Kaitlyn Farrington, ladies and gents.

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Where did you learn to snowboard?
My mom taught me to snowboard on Baldy Mountain in Sun Valley, Idaho when I was about 11.

When did you realize it could become a career?
When I was 17 I realized that I could make snowboarding my job. I got 4th in the Tamarack Grand Prix and thats when I think I realized I could hang with the top girls.

Which rider(s) inspire you most?
I think I am inspired by every rider, everybody I feel brings something different to the table. Thats what keeps snowboarding progressing as well I believe.

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Highlight of your career thus far…
I think winning Euro X Games was my biggest highlight. It had been a tough time for me because I hadn’t made any Pro podiums in my career, so I was starting to get down on myself. Winning that event revamped my confidence for moving forward in my career.

Describe your perfect day on snow…
UNTRACKED POWDER ALL DAY LONG! Doesn’t matter where, just bottomless!

Is your mentality going into competitions any different given that it is an Olympic year?
I think for me I am just trying to stay healthy so I can hopefully make the Olympic Team.

How has your training been revamped to prepare for the games?
I have been spending some quality time down in New Zealand to prepare and make sure I am feeling confident going into this season.

What do you think of Sun Valley building an Olympic size pipe? How does this effect/enhance your training?
It awesome that Sun Valley has stepped up and built a 22′ pipe. It now allows me to have the option to go home and ride. I had to move out to Salt Lake City just because there wasn’t a pipe.

Kaitlyn-Farrington_action Photo courtesy of The North Face

Any particular tricks you’re hoping to nail this season?
Last season I learned back 10’s and so this season I am hoping to perfect the trick in the middle of my run.

Olympics aside, which competition are you most stoked for?
I’m really looking forward to Dew Tour, it’s always so fun and a great way to start out the season. Not to mention it falls so close to my birthday!

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Any competition superstitions?
Nope, I try not to believe in superstitions because then I get superstitious about my superstitions!

Any plans to step away from competitions and start filming in the future?
I would definitely like to step away from competing but I’ve heard filming is a lot of work… I just want to be able to free ride and forget about all the stress.

What is the scariest/ craziest moment you’ve had snowboarding?
One of my first slope contests, I fell in my run and dislocated my knee. No one was around so I forced myself down the run and when I got to the bottom everyone was waiting. I collapsed and was balling my eyes out, one coach grabbed my upper body and the other my leg and just yanked… all you could see was my whole leg shift back into place. That was a crazy moment for me!

Why snowboarding? Why this lifestyle?
I just loved to snowboard and happened to be good at it when I was younger. I used to think I was going to the Olympics for swimming and that was my dream. ha

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In one word, how does snowboarding make you feel?
Ecstatic!