Local snowboarder goes against the grain

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY)- Ryan Bozeman and his dad Dale are planning their next snowboard trip. Like most weekends the two will end up at Wintergreen Resort. “I have coaches up at Wintergreen who coach me every weekend. I’m pretty much learning a new trick each week.” Father Dale adds, “He’s very dedicated to the sport. It’s a physical commitment along with everything else.”

That dedication and commitment has paid off for the 16-year-old Cox high school junior. Bozeman is ranked #1 in the United States of America Snowboard Association Appalachian series where he competes in mostly slopestyle against 16-17 year old riders from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Bozeman says he enjoys competing. “I like seeing how I stack up against the other riders and see where I stand.”

Bozeman took first place in last years regional and then competed at nationals at Copper Mountain, Colorado. Father Dale says, “When you look at the riders who are out there, Vermont, Massachusetts, Idaho, Colorado, you don’t see anybody from Virginia Beach out there.”

Bozeman trains year round either on a surfboard, wakeboard or trampoline and yes, he does get hurt. “I caught my edge one time and hit my head and was pretty dizzy for the rest of the day.”  Dale adds, “The more aggressive you are the more air you get and the higher you go. Each week he’s getting stronger and he’s becoming more aggresive and that’s what it takes to win these competitions. That is what wins out.”

While Bozeman understands a beach kid competing in a mountain sport is an uphill battle, he says that challenge will not get in the way of his dreams. Ryan says, “I would like to compete at the Olympics.”

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