(Note: This interview was conducted when Shaun was 13 years old.)
FEN: When did you start snowboarding?
When I was six, but only for a few days. I started doing more snowboarding the following winter.
FEN: How did you become interested in snowboarding?
My brother was snowboarding, and it looked like fun. My mom liked the idea because I liked to ski really fast and she thought it would slow me down.
FEN: How much time do you spend snowboarding?
I try and get to the mountains on the weekends. I wish I could ride every day but it's a three hour drive and if I want to ride a pipe it's six hours away.
FEN: Do you do any other sports?
I like to skateboard a few hours at the YMCA. I skate at least two to three days a week depending on my homework.
FEN: How much money do you spend on equipment and gear, and sport-related stuff?
Now I get most of my equipment from my sponsors for free, except for my skate stuff.
FEN: How long have you been competing?
Since I was seven.
FEN: Why do you compete?
Competing is fun. I get to ride different pipes and race courses. Also, you see new tricks to learn and it motivates you to try new things.
FEN: Do you get injured a lot in your sport?
I was at a local competition and I didn't check my jumps that well and hit a jump too fast and fell back hitting my butt. They thought I fractured my hips, but I just bruised my tailbone. I did snap my board in half.
The only other injury I've had so far was when I was skateboarding on MTV Sport and Music Fest in Texas. I was doing tricks with another skater and we collided. I fractured my head and broke my hand and foot, plus I had two black eyes. I've got lots of school pictures with black eyes!
FEN: Why do you think snowboarding has become so popular?
It's really so much fun. It feels more comfortable, and is much easier, than skiing. If there's not much snow you can still ride as long as you have a few jumps and rails. More parents are trying it too and we have a lot of fun riding together as a family.
FEN: Do you consider snowboarding an extreme sport?
It can be if you're in the backcountry. Some pros are really pushing it with huge tricks.
FEN: What makes a sport "extreme"?
With all sports it gets extreme when you take it past what feels comfortable and start pushing the sport to a different level.
FEN: How do you decide whether to make a last minute dangerous move if you think it'll get you ahead when you're competing?
Usually if I know I can't land a jump, I don't try it. In racing, if I have a good first run, then I might be more risky. But I try not to put myself in dangerous situations. That's how you get hurt or hurt someone else.
Why do you snowboard?
It's fun and challenging. And the traveling is a blast!
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