Action County – Erik Hamilton
Erik Hamilton started working for Copper Mountain’s ski and ride school as soon as he moved to Summit County from North Carolina. Eight years later, it’s a decision he doesn’t regret. “It’s the best job I’ve ever had,” the adult snowboard instructor said. “I’ve got clients who come back and tell me I’ve given them a new part to their lifestyle. It’s a good feeling.”Now that Copper has closed for the season, Hamilton will quickly transition into his summer job as co-owner of Quickchip Tree Services in Breckenridge.Quickchip’s winter work is mostly confined to emergency details, which opens up Hamilton’s riding schedule, whether he’s doing it for business or pleasure.Hamilton spends a good deal of his time snowskating, an activity he refers to simply as skateboarding on snow. After riding Summit’s resorts for three years on a binding-less board, the North Carolina native believes he’s found his new thing. “It’s off the hook,” he said. “The lack of bindings brings a lot of creativity into (riding) that you certainly can’t get with a snowboard.”
Hamilton teaches occasional lessons in the sport he likens, popularity-wise, to snowboarding 20 years ago. He traveled to Washington state in March to compete in the GNU Shut Up and Snowskate Tour, where he took sixth place among 48 mini-banked slalom competitors.Is snowskating harder to learn than snowboarding?”I don’t want to say that it’s harder because there’s parts of it that are easier. There are different movements and tricks you can do when your feet are unattached, but you also have to balance yourself over a smaller area. You just need to go into it with the expectation that it will take a different skill set. And don’t try to kill it on the first day.”Do you consider snowskating dangerous?
“I sort of advocate the thought that it’s less dangerous than snowboarding or skiing because you’re not attached to your equipment. It takes away all the bad effects of bindings. For instance, if you’re in the trees and you can’t make it on a turn, you just hop right off.”Why did you get into snowskating?”I always wanted to be a skateboarder but the concrete scared me. All my friends that were skateboarders always wrecked. As soon as I saw a snowskate, I figured it would be a lot safer.”- Adam Boffey
Erik HamiltonDecade Born: 1960sState Born: North CarolinaFavorite Pro Athlete: Carlos Sainz (World Rally Championship driver)Years in Summit: Eight
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