Never underestimate the importance of warming up and stretching. Method Snowboard Academy.

Never underestimate the importance of warming up and stretching. Method Snowboard Academy.

Method Snowboard Academy (MSA), a season-long coaching program at Breckenridge resort geared towards athletes hoping to compete or otherwise advance in the snowboard industry, reports a stellar second season in 2011-12, having grown from a pilot group of 6 students to a grand total of 20 this year.

“We have a great coaching staff and a lot of good athletes; it’s been a blast,” said coach Cameron Hunter, who founded the program along with Breckenridge locals Scottie Kees, a former rider for Burton, Forum and Smith, and Gregg Davis, a 2-term member of the AASI National Team.

Successful Athletes

Cameron is just back from accompanying athlete Grant Giller to the US Open in Stratton, VT, where he took 13th in the slopestyle qualifiers against a competitive field of pros, missing the semifinals by just three spots. Grant also competed in the Revolution Tour and qualified for USASA Nationals at Copper in April. Method Snowboard Academy athletes Silas Moran (pictured at top) and Lauren Ferrie also qualified for Nationals and will compete in slopestyle and halfpipe/slopestyle, respectively.

Every Method Snowboard Academy rider has to master a method, of course. Freeride crew.

Every Method Snowboard Academy rider has to master a method, of course. MSA freeride crew.

“It’s been great working with a lot of great athletes going to bigger events—seeing where they are and wanting to keep pushing themselves and follow their dreams,” Cameron said.

Beyond Comps

As founder Scottie Kees explained, Method Academy’s vision reaches beyond competition, however. “We have the ability to train world-class athletes, but we also cater to everyone else who just wants to have fun, meet new people and push themselves,” Kees said. “We want to bring the community together, to teach kids the values of goal-setting and working as a team.”

A USSA-insured program in conjunction with Hawks Freeride and Team Breckenridge Sports Club, Method Snowboard Academy is open to High Country locals and Denver area regional snowboarders alike. Helmets are required for all riders and slots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The program accepts strong intermediate riders and beyond.

“Sorry beginners,” said MSA founder Gregg Davis. “We recommend you contact your local Learn to Ride or Ski and Ride School program. Breckenridge has an awesome program called Bombers and their lessons are top-notch.”

The Method Snowboard Academy on-snow curriculum ranges from freestyle/park to all-mountain riding. An avalanche awareness class and ongoing video documentation of student progress are among the highlights from this year,  with videos available for viewing at the Method Academy website. Among them is a piece by Noah Schwadron, an MSA athlete who is also doing a video internship with Method.

Bustin' it sidewise: MSA groms crew.

Bustin’ it sidewise: MSA groms crew.

“My daughter Quaylyn’s experience with MSA has been phenomenal,” said parent Larkin Ferris. “The confidence she gained through the coaches at Method shows in her development on and off the hill.”

Method Snowboard Academy’s season ends April 8, so while it’s too late to sign up for this year, there’s plenty of time to think about next season. Check out www.methodacademy.com for more information or to reserve a spot for the 2012-13 winter season.

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