Kaitlyn Farrington didn’t start off the year thinking she would win a Dew Cup. In fact, she had never even made a pro podium prior to the 2009-10 Winter Dew Tour season. But as the season progressed, she got her first career podium finish at the Dew Tour’s second stop in Utah. She was stoked at the time, but the season continued to reward the 19-year old ripper beyond what she could have imagined. She gained momentum and topped off her podium finish with first place at the final Dew Tour, securing the Dew Cup championship in halfpipe. After that she added a gold at X Games Europe and second at the US Open. With plans to head to New Zealand for the offseason, there’s no telling what else she’ll dial in for next season. But if this year was any indicator, she’ll be aiming high, and likely mixing in a handplant or two.
When you look back at winning the Dew Cup this year, what are some of the things that you’re the most stoked on? What surprised you the most?
The thing that I was stoked on was my first pro podium at Snowbasin. I was really pumped on that. And then leading into Mount Snow was sweet to go in and win it as well. It was just exciting especially to get the Dew Cup on top of that.
What was it like growing up and learning to ride in Idaho?
I grew up in Bellevue, Idaho. I grew up on a ranch down there. I grew up in the Sun Valley area and just rode at Baldy Mountain all the time. I skied for a long time. We didn’t have a pipe or anything and then we got one later on. I was just traveling to other places at ASA contests which was our snowboard team, and then we’d practice doing pipe and practice riding jumps because we didn’t have a terrain park. But this year they finally got a terrain park.
Why did you make the switch from skiing to snowboarding?
I think it was just because I wanted to try it. I still remember the day when I learned to snowboard and I remember the kids laughing at me from the chairlift on Baldy Mountain. It’s just funny. I still remember that day so vividly.
I hear you originally had Olympic swimming aspirations. How did your passion switch over to snowboarding?
I used to do swim team for a long time. I started swimming in third grade and I used to swim every summer. I used to play soccer as well, but I had knee surgery, my first knee surgery. Following that knee surgery I went to play soccer and hurt my knee again and had to go in for another knee surgery. So my soccer career kind of ended and so did my swimming career too because it was just too much and then I just wanted to snowboard.
Has winning the Dew Cup changed anything for you?
I don’t know if it’s really changed anything for me but it was definitely a moment that I’m still really stoked on.
Was your goal at the beginning of the year to win the Dew Cup, and at what point did you think it was a real possibility?
I didn’t really know it was a possibility until the week leading up to the Vermont Dew Tour. And then when I realized it was a possibility I was just pretty stoked. I wasn’t really expecting to win it but it worked out so I was really excited.
You really gained momentum as this season progressed with your Dew Tour results and then second at the US Open. Did your success on the Dew Tour give you confidence that carried over to the other competitions?
Yeah, I think maybe it did give me confidence because then I realized that I could be on podium if I was at pro events. Maybe it was a confidence booster to just get me psyched.
Who puts the most pressure on you, yourself or your friends and family?
I think it’s myself. I put the most pressure on myself. Which can be good and bad but I definitely put the most pressure on myself.
Is riding pipe as fun for you as freeriding?
It’s just as fun but I do like freeriding. The days that I go freeriding if the pipe is good then I’ll just do laps through the pipe and it’s so fun. Depending on the day I’ll either ride pipes or ride jumps or just hang out.
What have you been doing since the Dew Tour ended? How many different snowboard trips and contests have you been to?
I went to France and did European X Games. I got first at the European X Games so I was really stoked on that. After that I went to the US Open and got second there so I was just real pumped. Then I went to Japan just for a fun trip. That was just really fun to just freeride and it was spring skiing. Now I’m back in Salt Lake just hanging.
Any new tricks you’ve been working on?
I learned handplants. I’m pretty stoked on that because I’ve never been able to do them. I learned handplants in Japan. I’m not very good at them but I’ll get better.
Have you put much thought into being the returning champ next year? Are you anxious to hold onto your title?
I would be stoked if I got to hold on to the title of Dew Cup champ but I know things change all the time, so we’ll see. I would like to.
Is the Dew Cup on display at your house, or is it stashed somewhere?
It actually is in the living room with my Dew Tour trophies.
If you had to pick the winner of next year’s snowboard pipe title, who do you think it will be?
I would say maybe Maddy Schaffrick.
Plans for the offseason?
I’ll probably go down to Mammoth and then we’ll go to New Zealand probably for two months. I can go down there and ride and train. That’s usually what we do and it’s always so much fun down in New Zealand.
Click here to check out Kaitlyn Farrington’s 2010 Dew Cup-winning run.