Holden Samuels on top of the world
After bouncing back from a knee injury, Lone Peak High School senior Holden Samuels placed second at the recent Freeride Junior World Championships in Austria. The event was held on Kappl’s Quellspitze venue and it pushed Samuels’ snowboarding in ways that allowed him to capture the runner-up spot.
By email, Samuels responded to a few questions from the Lookout after making it to the podium.
LPL: What was the most challenging aspect of the competition?
Samuels: The most challenging aspect was the fact that I had never ridden the venue before the competition. We were only allowed visual inspection, which means looking from the bottom up. It is hard to be confident in knowing where you are on the way down because everything looks so much different from the top. I definitely got stalled for a second above my top two cliffs, but I was able to find everything that I picked out.
LPL: Can you describe a highlight/moment that stands out?
Samuels: A moment that stood out to me was after the competition having friends and family text me after watching the livestream at 1 a.m. I was very surprised how many people were watching live, and it really pumped me up. Also, it was cool to get props at the after party from competitors that I had never met before. I went really big off the bottom cliff and a lot of people made sure to tell me it was sick!
LPL: What’s next? What does the rest of this year and 2019 look like?
Samuels: This year I am filming a video for the Lone Peak Shootout, and I’m going to try to make up the time on snow that I missed from my ACL tear earlier in the season. Next year, I am going to attend the University of Colorado in Boulder, and snowboard every chance I get. I will probably do the FWQ (Freeride World Qualifier), hopefully get into the 4* events, and try to qualify for the FWT (Freeride World Tour).