Some people know what they are destined to do from a young age. For others it takes time, and rightfully so. As humans living in a world that changes every single day, it can be impossible to know what we like. Sometimes the only way to find out what we like is to understand what we don't like. It took him a few years, but Andrew Pace figured it out as soon as he stepped on a snowboard. Andrew likes to fly, in whatever he does. Whether it's behind the steering wheel of a GTI, or on his road bike venturing 80km around the beautiful Greater Vancouver landscape, Andrew just wants to go fast. And his snowboard allows him to do just that. Living a few hours away from a snowboarder’s paradise in Whistler, Andrew makes frequent visits to the former Winter Olympic venue. Every year is more anticipated as the next, and it's where he gets to do what he loves most. Ride or die.
Andrew got into snowboarding through skateboarding in early high school. It's also no coincidence that his first ever email name was ap_phatmethod, signifying his passion for flying in the air on a board. His first season consisted of him and a group of friends getting seasons passes at Grouse Mountain, even though the snow levels were particularly low that year.
"There was hardly any snow on the mountain the first year I got into it, but coming from Maple Ridge we were still super excited. We always made something of it, every time we went. Rain, snow, ice whatever, we had a day up there."
He did that for a couple seasons, but it just wasn’t enough to take his game to the next level. Things like the type of runs, variety, and snow levels all played a part.
"I wasn't getting what I needed out of those mountains. Long line-ups, very little snow, incredibly slow chair lifts. Finding Whistler gave me a feeling of being alive again on a snowboard, and my passion was reborn."
If you're ever up at Whistler, you can usually find Andrew in the Blackcomb Terrain Park wearing his favorite athlete's sports jersey! Andrew is a well versatile boarder who can throw down everything from your standard 360s to methods airs. He also likes approaching any pipes in the park, which have really turned up his rail game.
"My favorite trick to do in the park is anything with big air. Rails where I shoot off the end, 360s, grabs, I honestly just have a blast getting tons of speed and going high."
When the day calls for it and the powder is right, he also likes going backcountry near the peak of Blackcomb. There are a couple bowls and back sides of the mountain that he finds a great balance of powder, and natural jumps to keep it interesting. His ability to carve down highly skilled and challenging runs fast is very high. When most people are going down black and double black diamonds a few feet at a time, Andrew will be long gone out of sight.
"My go to runs are Watch Out, Spankys Ladder and Coulouir Extreme. Any double black in the sun on a powdery day, I'm in. I chase the powder and unchartered terrain that I can fly off with clear landings. On foggy and snowy days, I stick to the trees since the visibility is more clear and snow is thick. When the suns out, you'll find me on the peak."
When Andrew hits the mountain, there are a couple things he must have that go without compromise: his Bataleon snowboard and his GoPro camera. Andrew has been riding Bataleon for 3 years now, and from what I hear, I doubt he will ever switch.
"They are the best snowboards on the planet. I can't say enough about Bataleon. The feel the first time you ride one cannot be compared to any of the top brands. Simply the best with incomparable ability to carve and butter."
Along with his passion for riding snowboards, Andrew is also a videographer at heart. All throughout high school he would be the ringleader with his friends putting together video scripts, filming them and submitting the projects for his media classes. So when you combine snowboarding and video, its a match made in heaven for him.
"As both an avid user and a share holder of GoPro, I truly believe they are a life changing company. My GoPro inspires me. It allows me to take action and share it with the world in ways I never thought possible. I originally recieved the Hero 2 as a gift a few years back, and am now using the Hero 3+ Black. I love how simple it is to use and share with my phone."
Even though the snow has been minimal this year, Andrew looks to finish a strong spring season at Whistler and keep taking his boarding skills to even higher levels. After a crazy showing at last years Olympics, I wasn't shocked to hear who he looks up to most.
"Mark McMorris inspired me when he won the X Games with a broken rib. I think he got robbed at the Olympics, but was proud to see him represent Canada with one of the sickest slopestyle runs I have ever seen."
To see more gear recommendations from Andrew, check him out on Dooers.
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