Breckenridge’s Gold rides custom Silverthorne-built men’s, women’s board to X Games silver, Pyeongchang Olympics
Steamboat Pilot & Today
Fresh off of her 92.33 X Games silver medal performance in Aspen, Arielle Gold enters the Feb. 12-13 Olympic women’s snowboard halfpipe event as one of the prime contenders to knock off her Team USA teammate and gold-medal favorite, X Games champion and 17-year-old American snowboard phenom Chloe Kim.
But when Gold, who grew up in Steamboat Springs and lives in Breckenridge, competes at Phoenix Snow Park, what gear will she be entrusting to help her execute her best performance?
There are plenty of giants in the snowboard industry, but Gold gets her boards from a relative shrimp, at least in terms of market share. A two-time Olympian, Gold said she’s found exactly what she’s looking for.
Gold rides the 152 centimeter Origin board from Unity Snowboards, a small 1,000-board-per-year company that’s been hand building boards in Summit County for more than 20 years. They still do today out of the corner of a two-story warehouse in Silverthorne.
For Gold, it was about finding the right fit in Unity’s line. She tried a larger men’s board and the size worked well enough but it proved stiff for her.
The women’s boards, meanwhile, proved a little too soft. So, her custom supplier built her a custom snowboard.
“The outside is the men’s board, but the actual core is a women’s core,” Gold said. “It’s a little softer, a little more flexible. I tried his men’s board, and it felt like it was a little too much for me, a little hard to turn.”
She’s ridden Unity boards to the podiums of some of the biggest events in her sport, including a second-place finish at Winter X Games Aspen, and she rode one in the most recent Warren Miller flick, “Line of Descent.”
She gets two new boards every autumn and doesn’t plan to switch up anything before arriving in Pyeongchang, South Korea, for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
She’ll ride the same two boards that got her onto the U.S. Olympic Team.
Made in Silverthorne, Gold’s board is a custom-made version of the 152 Origin with a full-length aspen and maple wood core.
Built to shine in the park and pipe, it’s symmetrical in shape and flex. $545.00, UnitySnowboards.com.
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