AMHERST, N.S. – Jake Adams is known as one of Nova Scotia’s best young snowboarders.
Soon, the 16-year-old Grade 11 Amherst Regional High School student will put his talents up against the best in the country at the 2019 Canada Games in Red Deer, Alta.
“It’s going to be a nice challenge to compete against the best in Canada,” said Adams, who just returned from a training session in Quebec and is getting ready to head to Alberta. “
Adams will compete during the second week of the Canada Games.
Living in Whitehorse, Adams was introduced to snowboarding at age five when his father bought him a snowboard. He would head out to the ski hill five or six times a year for the first few years until the family moved to Amherst when he was eight and he joined the snowboard program at Ski Wentworth.
“I watched a lot of videos and movies and thought it was the coolest thing,” said Adams, who won a gold medal at the Snowboard Nova Scotia Slopestyle provincial championship last February in Wentworth. “I really like slopestyle because you can be more creative and you can test yourself on your jumps and tricks.”
Adams said he is always challenging himself to do better and likes watching and analyzing videos of himself so he can perfect his performance.
“It’s cool to see how far I can go,” said Adams, who was male snowboarder of the year with Snowboard Nova Scotia last year. “I want to push myself.”
While he’s seen success locally, Adams knows it’s going to be tough in Red Deer because of the training time snowboarders from other places get.
“Out west there are a lot more training opportunities,” he said. “I’ve been training in Quebec and I’ve seen a big improvement.”
To prepare, he went to Quebec on Boxing Day for training and continued training at Wentworth through January before going back to Quebec. During training, he spent four to five hours a day on the board, while trying to avoid injury.
Along with slopestyle, that happens on Feb. 28, he will also compete in the men’s parallel giant slalom in which he will go head-to-head with another snowboarder to get through the course at the Canyon Ski Resort.
It’s a timed event that puts him in direct competition with other skiers, while in the slopestyle event he will have to complete a series of jumps and rails with judges assessing his performance.
He said judges are looking at how fast he’s going and how flawless each jump is as well as things like level of difficulty and other technical aspects.
“It’s going to be a challenging course,” he said. “It starts off with two jumps right at the start. The course is really different with a lot of new features. They’re making things a lot more difficult. There are two jumps, a wall and a half-pipe. It’s going to be difficult.”