Talking STOKED’s New Freestyle Snowboard Club with Matthew Wemple


Photo by James Manges | Words by Matthew Wemple



New York


Snow Mentor

What do you think about STOKED's new Freestyle Snowboard Club?

I think the Freestyle Snowboard Club (FSC) is an awesome opportunity for the most dedicated students to get some extra time on the hill, more one-on-one mentorship, and to get to free ride occasionally.  I also think for the coaches and mentors it is really great to know that there is a group of students that can be relied upon when we have 50+ students on a trip. Knowing that these 9-10 students will pitch in to reinforce the importance of safety, community and keeping things orderly and on time to their peers is awesome. 

What were the goals for Sunday's trip?

First, was to get the most dedicated students out early, almost as a reward for last year's dedication, improvement, and performance in school. Second was to evaluate the students' abilities. We tested some fundamentals plus a step up to ensure that those students who've capture a solid baseline of skills are included. Third, I think we wanted to have fun but also instill a message that these students will be relied upon as leaders amongst their peers for the snow season. 

How did you feel when you were on top of the mountain? 

Uhhh, as always - STOKED! It was great to get out on my first snowboard trip of the year in this format. Overall, there's honestly no better place to be!

How did you connect with students?

Through the van ride up, when we got to the barn, and on-trail we were closely connected the whole time. The format of having five coaches and mentors and nine students lets us have constant direct contact throughout the day. James had us play "Angels and Demons" too, which was a unique experience to say the least, watching us all scramble around with one foot strapped in!  

What was your most memorable moment from the trip?

Most definitely at the end of the day, huddled with five students, James, Erik and myself.  A couple of us (myself included) had just been through the terrain park for the first time, and the rest had all tried and successfully stuck some cool new tricks. There was this palpable energy amongst us where you're just certain everyone is on the same positive wavelength and that indelible impressions had been made. For me, that moment has been top of mind all week and is exactly the type of experience I talk about when I share STOKED with friends, colleagues, and family.