Welcome to Breck

An interview with Zack Black


In an effort to learn more about our Breck Epic Team riders and find out what life is like both in and out of the halfpipe, we asked them to interview each other and tell us a little bit about themselves. The following is an interview with Zack Black by fellow snowboarder, Brett Esser. 

Q: What has it been like growing up in Summit County?
Growing up in Summit County Colorado is the entire reason why I can call my self a snowboarder. Without the passionate people in the mountains I would have lacked any true motivation to pursue a life of snowboarding.

Q: Who/What inspired you to start snowboarding?
My older brother Jake Black is the main reason I got into Snowboarding

Q: How was it to have the legendary Jim Smith as your first coach?
Jim Smith was an amazing coach with lots of creativity and style. He always encouraged me to do my own tricks and allowed me to push snowboarding in my own way which help develop my current riding style.

Q: Did he influence you in any way? (EX: Snowboarding style, life goals, life itself?)
He gave me everything from style, to tricks, to how to behave when traveling around the country as a competitive snowboarder still in high school. ZackBlack

Q: You were one spot away from making the 2010 Halfpipe Olympic Team, what was that like?
That was a trip. I never expected to be anywhere near the team but ended up close to actually going. I wish I had been able to pull myself up the one placing but in retrospect I am more proud of the tricks that put me in that position, namely the switch backside 1080

Q: What made you want to come back and try to make the Olympics for a second time?
Last time I was a rookie on the professional snowboard scene before Vancouver and now before Sochi I was much more prepared and understanding of how the contests work and how I could succeed in the system, unfortunately I again failed to make the team.

Q: Breckenridge has the best Halfpipe, Jumps, and Rails. How has that helped you in your snowboarding career? 
Being able to ride anything is something I pride myself on. Although my rail moves may be straight out of the 90’s I would not be able to turn, let alone get out of  a halfpipe, if I had not had Breckenridge to test and push my skills on all over the mountain in everything from the park and pipe to the powder.

Q: What is next for Zack Black?
I will continue to ride and finish my education in college out in Utah for the foreseeable future but who knows what curve balls I have for the world or the world has for me.

Q: How does your brother Jake still help you grow in snowboarding?
He shows me places on Breckenridge that I have never been to because he isn’t afraid to hike for a few turns.

Q: What is the best part about living in Breckenridge? 
Waking up everyday knowing that the park crew has done their absolute best to make the park perfect.

No thank you, but for real thank you to my parents, my sponsors, all of my coaches over the years (Jim Smith, Ben Boyd, Josh Moses, Spencer Tamblyn, Bud Keene) and all of my friends (Of course Brett, Jake Black, Dylan Bidez, Maddy Schaffrick, Broc Waring, Kaitlyn Farrington)

— Interview by Brett Esser

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