Last year, she was stuck in a holding pattern, finishing a disappointing 14th place at Sochi because of a foot injury. This year, pro slopestyle snowboarder Ty Walker, 17, has her vindication. In December at a World Cup stop in Turkey, Walker picked up gold in big air (and $17,000 for the day) and she's aiming to podium at the Sprint Snowboarding and Freeskiing Grand Prix on February 27.
Her perfect 720s signal an ascendant career for one of U.S. Snowboarding’s youngest members. “I started on the tour when I was 13, so I was the youngest for a really long time. These days, it doesn't affect things socially. No one on the team views me as a subordinate.”
Favorite Destination: Breckenridge, Colorado
“I have a place in Breck and spend most of my time riding there, so the mountain life is a huge part of what I like about it. It’s a mecca: all your friends are up there riding, and it’s always a great atmosphere. One park, Freeway, has pro-contest size jumps that are constantly maintained. That’s uncommon. Most places only keep up those kinds of jumps when there’s an event. The other one, Park Lane, is a huge progression park with at least a half dozen jumps you can hit on one run. All day, I lap the park chair and get an opportunity to try so many tricks.”
Favorite Gear: Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens
“I don’t have a fancy camera, but I’m always trying to get good shots on the mountain. This little device ($70) clips on your phone and gives you fish-eye and wide-angle lenses. We got them in the goody bags during the Dew Tour, and, you know, I just kind of ignored it for a long time. But now I can’t live without it. It’s so tiny, but it gives you artsy shots of good quality, and it makes normal angles look Insta-worthy.”