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Young Blood: 8 Rising Stars Under 15

From triathlon to snowboarding, these kids will kick your grownup ass.

Whitney Dreier
(Kyle Field)

From triathlon to snowboarding, these kids will kick your grownup ass.

Whitney Dreier

Nik Bade: Snowboarder, 15

“I’m on my way to New Zealand to go snowboard,” USASA snowboard team member Nik Baden says into the phone. “I might lose service in like 15 minutes.”

The jet-setting 15-year-old is en route to Cardrona Alpine resort for the World Cup, where he’ll compete in slope style on August 19. “I feel really ready, really confident,” he says. “It should be a really competitive field – most of the best riders. I’m definitely a little bit nervous, but it should be good.”

Baden already has more than a decade of snowboard experience under his belt; he started snowboarding on his fourth birthday. “I learned it pretty quick,” he says of that day on Mount Warner, in Steamboat, Colorado. “I definitely struggle with different things, but usually there’s not one thing in particular that’s really hard to do.”

That’s probably because Baden practices just about every day – if not on a snowboard, then in some other capacity. “I like to skateboard and jump on the tramp and bike and do lots of different training,” he says.

Hopefully all that training pays off, not just at the World Cup but further down the road. “For the next season, my goal is just to compete with the best guys and be competitive with them,” he says. “Whether that means making the Olympic team or not, I’m going to be happy either way.”

Fellow snowboarder and 2014 Olympic hopeful Benji Farrow is optimistic, though, calling Baden’s cad double 12 the “best in the game for sure.” Check it out here

(Nik Baden)

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