Elena Hight began her snowboard career on the hills of Bogus Basin, Idaho. In 1996, at age six, a child-size snowboard caught Elena’s eye when skiing with her father and sister. After trying it, she never looked back. Elena quickly ingrained herself in the competition circuit a year later. Jump to 2002, when Elena became the first woman to land a 900 in competition at only 13-years old. Her back to back 900s became a signature aspect of her riding, spinning more than her fellow female competitors. In 2006 at just 16-years old, Elena represented the USA in her first Olympics in Turin, Italy, where she came home with an honorable sixth place in Snowboard Halfpipe. Since the 2006 Olympics, Elena has gathered nearly a dozen more podium finishes at major events including the Winter X Games, US Grand Prix, Burton US Open, the Winter Dew Tour, Vans Cup and more. In 2010, she was again named to the US Halfpipe Team. She placed 10th in the competition in Vancouver. Her sights are now on 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The 2012 season was a huge success with several podium finishes, including gold at the Grand Prix in Mammoth, silver at Winter X Games in Aspen, silver at X Games in Tignes France and gold at the US Open Snowboarding Championships in Stratton, Vt. On Sunday, May 13, while training with the US Snowboard Team in Mammoth, Calif, Elena Hight landed the first ever double backside alley-oop rodeo in a halfpipe by a woman. This trick has taken women’s snowboarding progression to a new level; and will further challenge her fellow athletes as they look towards Sochi in 2014. In June 2012, Volcom launched a line of clothing through the VOLCOM unity brand featuring six unique pieces designed by Elena.
Interview by Stephen Thompson, Ph.D.
Welcome to OpenBeast. Tell us about yourself.
My name is Elena Hight. I am 23 years old and I am originally from Kauai, HI but grew up in Lake Tahoe, CA.
How did you get into the vein of snowboarding?
My family moved to Tahoe from Hawaii when I was six years old. My dad who had always been a surfer taught our entire family how to snowboard. Once I started I just loved snowboarding and never stopped.
Talk to us about your one best winning moment.
This past season I won the US Open. This was one of snowboardings first events ever so it is a pretty special event to win. It is something that I will never forget.
Apart from sport, what do you do or what are your other passions?
I love to cook, read, run, surf, and do yoga.
Any upcoming initiatives or events you would like to discuss?
I have my second collaboration line coming out with Volcom this month. It was a really fun project for me to work on. I am excited to see how it does!
What advice would you give for folks aspiring to become a pro snowboarder?
Just have fun. That is the premise of all great things in our sport.
What are your leisure time activities?
I like to draw, read, listen to music, and play with my dog Bosco.
Dogs or cats?