The Limelight: Jason Wolle, Silverthorne’s next big thing | SummitDaily.com

The Limelight: Jason Wolle, Silverthorne’s next big thing

It didn't take long for Jason Wolle to fall head over heels for snowboarding.

As a youngster of 2 years old, the Fort Collins native made trips to the slopes with his mom, who plopped him on a tiny board and let him go for it. He had a knack for standing sideways and stuck with it. Like so many kids his age, he started seeing snowboarding on TV at the X Games and Winter Olympics, and that inspired him to push his limits.

By the time he turned 10 years old and could really ride — not just cruise down the hill — he started competing in halfpipe and slopestyle contests. After that, well, let's just say he's still head over heels.

"I became so stoked on the sport that I quickly forgot about all of my school sports like basketball and baseball," said Wolle, who's now 17 years old and lives in Silverthorne to train with longtime local and former pro, Jim Smith. Wolle has done it all on a board, from slopestyle to halfpipe, but he eventually decided to hone in on pipe with Smith and his training buddy, Burton US Open competitor Chase Blackwell.

"I got to a point in my riding where I needed to pick one to focus on so that I could succeed," said Wolle, talking like someone who's five years older. "I picked the one that I enjoyed the most: halfpipe. I still ride slope, and nothing beats riding some deep pow, but halfpipe was the direction I wanted to go in my snowboarding."

And Wolle is still falling head over heels for snowboarding — literally. He broke his wrist in a training crash in late February and missed the Snowboarding Junior World Championships in Switzerland this March, where Blackwell took second in the halfpipe finals.

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Wolle missed Worlds and a few weeks of training, but he's finding a silver lining. Chances are good he'll be able to compete at the USA Snowboard and Freeski Association National Championships at Copper from April 1-11, and on home turf no less. It'll give him the chance to show off the lofty frontside 900 he's been perfecting this season, along with a tricky backside 900 and (maybe) his next big goal: a frontside 1080. Even if he doesn't land it at Nationals, he'll spend most of the summer perfecting the rotation and amplitude in the Woodward Copper barn and on trips to mid-summer halfpipes.

Broken wrist, backside 9s, frontside 10s, Nationals, another shot at Worlds next season — they're all en route to Wolle's ultimate dream.

My goal in snowboarding is to go to the 2022 Olympics," Wolle said. "That is the main one, anyway. I also want to compete in the X Games and ride for the U.S team."

One step at a time, Wolle is on his way.

Vitals | Jason Wolle

Age: 17 years old, 15 years on a snowboard

Birthplace: Fort Collins, Colorado; lives in Silverthorne

Home mountain: Copper Mountain

Career halfpipe highlights: 2nd place, Mammoth Revolution Tour (January 2017); 2nd place, Pennsylvania Rev Tour (March 2016); 4th place, USASA Nationals (April 2016)

Shout outs: I want to thank my sponsor, POC Sports. Also, shout out to my teammate, Chase Blackwell, who just placed second at Junior Worlds in Switzerland. Finally, I want to recognize my great coach, Jim Smith, who also makes awesome boards!