Photo courtesy of U.S. Ski and Snowboard

5 Questions with Chase Josey

Words by Annie Pokorny 

Any given ski town boasts high peaks, elite runs, and dozens of gold-medal-toting-former professional skiers. No doubt, the mountain west is one hell of a place to be a winter athlete. Among the crop of mountain town Olympian hopefuls stands Chase Josey. The 22-year-old Sun Valley native has made quite the splash on the pro halfpipe snowboarding scene—snagging wins and podiums at the Red Bull Half Pipe, Mammoth Mountain Grand Prix, and the X Games—while living the dream as a regular mountain town kid. According to U.S. Ski and Snowboard, Josey has a few technical tricks that set him apart from his competition that include a switch double cripper, switch Michalchuk, and a switch backside 900. We don’t know what any of those mean, but they sure do look pretty.

For example, here’s a wickedly smooth run from the Mammoth Grand Prix:

BL: When would you say you became “full time” in snowboarding?

CJ: I think by the time I started high school I was pretty much full time in snowboarding. Aside from athletics, I was focused on graduating from Community School in Sun Valley. All of my focus was centered around staying on top of my grades because I was missing so many classes to pursue snowboarding.

BL: Was there any one moment when you decided you would pursue elite competition?

CJ: One afternoon my senior year of high school in 2013, the coach of the U.S. Snowboard Team called me up and asked if I wanted a spot on the U.S. Halfpipe team. It was really at that moment, and then the next season too, when I decided to aim for elite competitions. That next season in 2014, I won my first pro-level halfpipe competition, the Redbull Double Pipe in Aspen, Co.

Josey (right) scoring valuable podium points with 2nd place at the Mammoth Grand Prix. Photo courtesy of U.S. Ski and Snowboard

BL: Favorite part of being on the road?

CJ: I think being able to travel the globe to follow snowboarding is a pretty unique experience, so whether it be competing, shredding powder, or just exploring someplace new every travel experience with my friends and teammates always feels exciting.

BL: Least favorite part of being on the road?

CJ: Trying to pack a suitcase appropriately so I don’t have to do laundry.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Ski and Snowboard

BL: Best part of growing up in Sun Valley?

CJ: I think the best part about growing up in Sun Valley is having a truly passionate community of people that help and encourage young kids to pursue ski and snowboard sports. I really feel like I am the person and rider I am today because of my upbringing in Sun Valley, and I have so many things and people to be thankful for back home.

Another example of how proper Josey’s skills and style are from the Copper Grand Prix: