Rox-star: Summit’s Roxy Patnode ready for first year on Nor Am moguls circuit
FRISCO — On the heels of her second consecutive season as a USSA Rocky Mountain Division All-Star, mogul skier Roxy Patnode is ready for her first full season on the International Ski Federation’s NorAm circuit.
Patnode, 16, was one of the top 20 Rocky Mountain freestyle skiers named to the team this past weekend, a designation that is determined by last season’s success.
For Patnode, that included her first victory in a Rocky Mountain Freestyle mogul competition in March at Winter Park.
As Patnode shifts her focus to competing in at least three FIS NorAm circuit events this season, she’s training five days a week with Team Summit, conducting dry-land and strength training before hoping to hit the snow at Copper Mountain Resort in a few weeks.
Heading into the season, Patnode said she’s working to continue to improve as a mogul skier, as she’s dialing in a back full, or a back flip with a 360-degree rotation.
Patnode credits her air awareness as one of her strengths as a skier. She says it’s something she learned and inherited from riding with her family, including her father Justin Patnode, who competed at a high level himself before riding lines in a couple of Warren Miller flicks.
“He’s cruising around, skiing all over,” Patnode said about the footage. “And that’s my dream one day — to go all over the place.”
On the rare weekends when Patnode gets down time from her busy competition and training schedule, she said she, her dad and her family love to go ride at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. To Patnode, there’s nothing better than riding powder under bluebird skies in The Beavers or throughout Pallavicini or dropping into the Basin’s bowls off the back side.
Whether cruising at A-Basin or hurtling down a mogul course, Patnode said she always tries to remember her father’s main advice when it comes to skiing. Patnode is well aware of how nerve wracking the moment can be at the top of all those technical bumps. That’s when she channels her father’s advice.
“When you’re skiing, you got to make sure that you have fun. That’s the No. 1 thing,” Patnode said. “If you aren’t having fun doing something, you shouldn’t do it at all. And when I get stressed at the top of the course, I think, ‘Have fun, calm down, this is why you’re skiing — to have a blast.”
Patnode skied through nerves to strong finishes at the highest level American mogul competitions last year, including 11th of 60 skiers in dual moguls and 21st of 60 in singles moguls at Junior Nationals at Snowbird. And at the U.S. Freestyle Mogul National Championships at Waterville Valley in New Hampshire, Patnode skied at her highest level yet. Finishing 25th in singles and 23rd in doubles, Patnode nearly took on the country’s best female mogul skier and the second-ranked competitor in the world: Jaelin Kauf. Patnode missed racing against the U.S. star she looks up to by just one bracket spot.
Heading into NorAm competitions this season in Calgary, Alberta; Deer Valley, Utah; and Killington, Vermont, Patnode is ready to take the next step to her own dreams.
“Last year, the one NorAm I competed at, it was a really good experience for me, kind of a trial,” Patnode said. “So now this year, hopefully on the Nor Am tour, I can get a top 10 finish.”
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