Action County: Jake Black |

Action County: Jake Black

Summit Daily/Kristin Skvorc Snowboarder Jake Black stands with one of his snowboards in front of his house Saturday in Keystone.

As the snow season creeps up, most Summit County locals are thinking about getting their gear ready to go. But one group of skiers and snowboarders – the professional ones – have to approach the upcoming winter of fun as Champ Bailey or Jake Plummer approached the current NFL season. A certain degree of dedication is required. Keystone resident Jake Black, a snowboarder, is one of those. He’s only 17, but it’s never too early to make it big in the halfpipe.Black, already laden with big sponsors such as Rossignol snowboards and Smith Optics, spent a month at Mount Hood this summer working on his steeze.And his moves will be seen all over the world.

Through Rossignol, he scored a spot in ski movie master Warren Miller’s upcoming release, “Higher Ground.” “They thought they were getting some 20-year-old guy, but they got me when I was 16,” Black said, “but they liked it.”Black is currently playing soccer for the Summit High School soccer team. He starts at the stopper position for the Tigers.”Soccer helps a lot strengthwise,” Black said. Strength will be key for Black, who, like any pro snowboarder, needs an injury-free ski season to stay on top of his game. Black missed a month and a half with a broken arm last year.

At 17, are you starting to feel the pressure of being a paid snowboarder?”There’s some pressure, definitely, but I’m not extremely worried about it.”What are your goals for the upcoming season?”I’d like to do some more filming. I’m bringing it to a more serious level, trying to get in with the pros.”

Where do you like to ride the most?”Breckenridge. The Breck park is amazing enough. When you’re there and you see Todd Richards and Steve Fisher and Chad Otterstrom, it’s an inspiration. That’s a big help. You see them and you want to be able to do what they’re doing.”What trick are you working on for this season?”I just learned frontside 1080s in the halfpipe and I want to combo it with a cab 1080, which is the switch version of it.”

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