PHOTO: Vernon Deck

This Lake Tahoe rider has been on the rise over the last couple years with some big contest wins while gracing the pages of this very magazine. While others her age are plotting out their post high school endeavors, Elena has been getting schooled in the ways of shred and world travel.  She’s recently picked up a few new sponsors and on the way to a prominent snowboarding future. We fired a couple questions at her and this is what she had to say.

What do you think you would be doing if you had stayed in Hawaii?
I would like to think I would be living the same life I am now, only as a pro surfer…this might be a little bit of wishful thinking though!

Who did you grow up riding with in South Lake [Tahoe]?
I grew up riding on a snowboard team at Heavenly; mostly a bunch of boys and a few close girl friends…I was always the youngest so I got my fair share of being picked on.

What’s up with the new Volcom Snow Program?
I am super excited to be apart of the Volcom snow program. I have been on the streetwear since and just recently made the switch to ride head to toe with Volcom. I am so stoked on all the products I just cant wait to ride in it! It is definitely a more tight knit program than I have been involved in before so its different, but really nice to have such a close relationship with everyone in the company. It is cool to try something different and be apart of it while it grows.

What stokes you out about the new team?
The team is amazing, all the riders are not only incredible snowboarders but they are really great people as well. It is great to be able to travel and hangout with the team because it is always a good time. There are also are so many great people working in Volcom that make the company very unique and special. Really I just love the family vibe there is at Volcom, everyone is fun to work with and brings in their own personality to the mix which keeps things interesting.

PHOTO: Vernon Deck

What’s an average day like for you?
There is no average day! Haha, I know that sounds like a cop out but its so true! An average day for me can be anything from getting up early to work out and run, catch a flight across the world, sleep in a bit and go riding with friends, prepare for a contest, go surfing, or on a rare occasion just chill… The only common thing I have is everyday when I wake up it usually takes me a second to realize where in the world I am.

And if you could have the perfect day, what would it include?
A perfect day would include, chocolate chip pancakes with whipped cream, a close group
of friends, sun, an empty resort, and bottomless powder.

What are your plans for this fall?
The autumn I plan on working out a bit to try to get back in shape for the season, spend some quality time at home, and make a trip to Hawaii to enjoy some beach time before the snow
starts falling.

PHOTO: Vernon Deck

Do you still get nervous before a big contest?
I always get nervous before competing…no matter how many contests I do I don’t think that
those butterflies will ever go away.

What is the contest atmosphere like behind the scenes?
There are some amazing girls that compete in halfpipe so really before a contest we are all just hanging out, goofing off, and having a good time. There are always those serious moments for sure but I try to keep them to a minimum because it really takes the fun out of it all.

Are you looking forward to traveling this winter?
I love traveling! This year I think that I am going to make a trip to Spain for a World Cup, I have never been there before so I am super excited about that.

What have been your biggest career setbacks?
I have gotten my fair share of head injuries over the last few years. These have all set me back because it is really important to take proper care of your head because it is the only one you have.

PHOTO: Vernon Deck

Who or what are your inspirations?
I am inspired by anyone who sets their mind on something and does it no matter what or who is telling them they can’t.

How do you relax when you get the chance?

I love to cook so there is nothing better than cooking a big meal and sinking into the couch to watch a
movie.

What’s up next for you?
I am just anxiously waiting to see that white stuff fall from the sky!!!

Age: 19
From: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Sponsors: Volcom, Oakley, Nixon, Monster, Nike 6.0

You can also check out a video interview of Elena here.