Snowboard Iskola

Shaun White spoke to Maxim recently about a collaboration with Utah's High West Distillery, an award-winning whiskey distillery in Park City that is involved in a variety of give-back campaigns with groups like Protect Our Winters through its Protect the West Campaign.

Shaun opened up in the interview about where he's at in his career, going from competition athlete to brand owner and operator, and the current state of progression in the halfpipe.


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It was while talking about the latter topic—specifically the Scotty James' new trick—that Shaun mentioned a forthcoming announcement he plans on making, saying:

"You see Scotty James getting a lot of points and cred for spinning switch backside and these things. And he’s doing a sort of McTwist revert at the top of the run. The sport’s got that heavy spinning going on, but it’s still got the style component."

Shaun continued, adding:

"There’s also a big announcement that I’m going to make pretty soon—I can’t talk about it now—but I think it’s going to change the sport. It’ll be kind of like the new era. Stay tuned for that."

That's a heavy statement from an individual who was deeply ingrained in the highest level of halfpipe riding for over two decades. He retired from competition in 2022 after riding for Team USA at the Beijing Olympics.

In the interview, Shaun also talks about the external validation of the drive to win and how his perspective has shifted over the years, especially when retiring from competition. He explains:
"Take away all the snowboarding stuff and the accolades and you think, 'Am I a good friend? Am I there for my family? Am I a good brother?' You realize, 'I am those things, and I have friends that that knew me way before I started snowboarding and still don’t care.' So you kind of get fulfilled through that and then you add everything else—it’s just kind of like flipping it on its head.

I had fun through it all. I wanted to win, but you push things aside to get to the top. Then you look around, and go, “Where is everyone right now?” I also did a lot of courses with [life coach] Tony Robbins and read some great books and that put me in a different mindset. I think it really helped me with retirement."

He mentions lessons garnered from other high-level athletes like Tom Brady and Michael Phelps.

An eight-time US Open champ, three-time Olympic gold medalist, and winner of over a dozen events at the X Games, Shaun is one of the most dominant competitors of all time. In recent years, his involvement in snowboarding has shifted with momentum through Whitespace, which sponsors riders like Jonathan "Mamba" McDonald and Ian Matteoli.