"If snowboarding starts being all about competition, then quit—it's not worth it."
My Perfect Adventure
She’s young, but Maddy Schaffrick is no rookie. Before even taking her high school diploma in June, the 18-year-old from Colorado was the youngest snowboarder at two Winter X Games, first in 2009 and again in 2010. That same year, when she was just 16 years old and two seasons into her professional career, she almost made the U.S. Olympic squad, missing the team by three spots. (Not to worry; the 2014 Games are coming up soon, and she’s got plenty of energy for another go.)
Off to an early start, Schaffrick had to take a break early last year due to a major knee injury, but after surgery and 11 months of physical therapy she came back strong with a second-place finish at the Grand Prix season opener last December. She injured herself again shortly after that and had to go through another surgery plus more rehab. Her first competition since then was at the Dew Tour in mid-December, where she finished in third.
Here, she tells us about her fantasy to surf with Taylor Lautner, why she wants to visit an Amish town, and what always brings her back to snowboarding, even after an injury.
Describe your perfect day, from dawn 'til dusk. Where would you be, who would you meet, and what would you do?
I wake up in a small hut on the beach with Taylor Lautner next to me, surf all morning with him and Salma Hayek, and then take Salma golfing. On the course, we run into Quentin Tarantino and he takes me out to dinner to discuss his new screenplay ideas. Then we have a bonfire on the beach that lasts all night. All my friends, new and old, are there, and everyone is really rowdy.
If you could travel somewhere you've never been, where would you go and why?
I would want to go to a place full of Amish people to feel like I was time traveling. I know I would have an urge to drive my car 80mph through their town, but I probably wouldn't have the guts. I would end up just churning butter. I would probably go to Pennsylvania since there are so many Amish people there and I could escape to New York City if I needed to get back to civilization.
Where is the best place you've ever visited? What made it so special?
My favorite place to go is my grandparent's cottage in Misquamicut, Rhode Island. My entire family, all 14 of us, squeeze into this small, one-bathroom cottage and go to the beach every day together. My cousins and I take sea kayaks into the ocean and flip them over. We sit on the bottoms of them and watch fish, jellyfish, and crabs pass below us. My grandma plays Scrabble with my aunts and uncles in the sand. And sometimes we'll throw the frisbee for hours. Every Sunday, my uncle Glenn makes pancakes and my grandma makes the best bacon in the world. It's my favorite place to go because I'm with my family and it’s an escape from everything in my usual life.
If you could have lunch with any adventurer, explorer, or athlete, who would it be and why?
Felix Baumgartner, to hear the details of his experience and see what actual insanity looks like. He’s the man who skydived from outer space. I want to know what it took for him to want to attempt that.
What's something you can't travel without? And why do you need it?
I always need a ballpoint pen, in case a brilliant story idea or rhyme comes to mind. I always need headphones as well. I can't snowboard without music.