Bath snowboarder making national name for herself
|Shown is Angie Crum during a competition.|
|Photo courtesy of Angie Crum|
Angie Crum, a Revere High School graduate, took first place in the USA Snowboarding Association (USASA) National Championships at Copper Mountain, Colo., in the Women’s “Jams” 18-22 age class in April. After competing in events such as boardercross, giant slalom, half pipe, slalom and slope style, Crum won the title.
“When you compete in every discipline, you’re competing for the title of overall ‘National Champion,’” the Bath resident stated. “Points are earned based on how you place in each event.”
While winning is important on a personal level, Crum said it is also important to her to successfully represent her home state.
“Most of the top snowboarders are from Colorado, Utah, Vermont and other states with mountains and well-known training facilities,” she said. “I always love to hear people’s reactions when they learn I am from Ohio. We may not have the big mountains and be known as a snowboarding state, but we do have a vibrant snowboarding community. As a matter of fact, there were a number of competitors from Ohio in different age groups at the USASA Nationals, and we participated in the opening ceremonies as ‘Team Ohio.’ This is a great state with great people and I hope I can continue to have the opportunity to let the people in the state, and the rest of the country, know that snowboarding is alive and well in Ohio and you don’t need big mountains — just big passion.”
Crum — whose nickname is “Storm Trooper,” because her big, clunky white boots are reminiscent of those worn by characters of that name in the “Star Wars” movies, she said — describes her snowboarding style as “aggressive.”
“I channel all my energy into the board,” she said. “In the park, I’m known for my backwards way of doing boardslides. I call it a ‘disaster’; most people know it as a ‘lip-slide.’ A boardslide is simply sliding down a rail sideways or perpendicular to the rail. The natural way I do this move is backwards from the normal. I call it ‘disaster’ because this way can easily cause the rider to snag their nose or tail end under the rail. That usually ends in some kind of body slam.”
Surprisingly, given her skill and success, Crum has been involved in snowboarding for only two years.
“This winter was my second season on a snowboard. I was not a skier before I started snowboarding,” she said. “When I was a kid, I wanted to be a snowboarder, but I had a series of knee surgeries from age 11 to 16. Although I was involved in other sports, I was forbidden by orthopedic doctors to attempt snowboarding to prevent the risk of further knee injury, which would put an end to participating in athletics any longer.”
However, Crum said, she never gave up on the idea of trying the sport.
“Every winter that went by, I still wanted to try it — and then I turned 18,” she recalled. “Like many other 18-year-olds, I somewhat gained a sense of independence. So this time, when winter came, I went snowboarding. I was a freshman at Kent State University [KSU] in the fall semester when I signed up for the KSU ski and snowboard team. I hadn’t truly snowboarded yet, but I knew I wanted to be part of the competition.”
Crum said she is pleased with the progress she has made in the sport thus far.
“My first season was highlighted by my 11th-place finish at the U.S. College National Championships,” she stated. “Year two was capped off with winning the USASA Ohio regional title, placing second in my age group at the NASTAR Nationals and then winning the overall USASA title in my age group.”
Just like anything else, Crum said, the only way to get better at snowboarding is through practice and experience.
“This past season, I competed in competitions in New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, throughout Ohio and, of course, Colorado,” she said. “If it was a weekend, I was competing somewhere. If it was a weekday, you could find me at Boston Mills or Brandywine.”
Crum said she is ready to reach new heights in the sport.
“I will be training at the High Cascade Snowboarding Camp on Mount Hood, Ore., next month, which is staffed by professional snowboarders,” she said. “This upcoming season, I plan on competing in more national and regional events, including the Burton U.S. Open in Vermont. I will also be moving up to the USASA Open Class division, which competes for prize money and often features some of the best snowboarders in the country.”
As she moves up to the next level of snowboarding, Crum said she will be looking to add sponsors to help defray costs, such as equipment, travel and entrance fees.
“I have recently launched a website at www.angiecrum.com and am putting together a portfolio to send out to potential sponsors,” she said. “Over the next several years, I hope to continue to progress and, with the help of sponsors, compete in World Cup events, as well as hopefully be considered for a spot on one of the national teams.”
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