Ten Minutes With Spencer Link

Spencer Link grew up riding Southern California’s Mountain High Resort, sharing chairs on the weekends with Shaun White’s family. Now, at 20, he’s sponsored by Signal and just finished sixth last month his first Dew Tour final. Alli spent a few minutes chatting with Spencer to hear how he’s got to this point and to find out what’s next for the budding slope slayer.

What did you think about ending your season with sixth place at the Dew Tour finals in Snowbasin last month?
I was pumped. It was my first final and I’m glad I landed both my runs. The course was a little different, I think all of us are used to three jumps. But I just felt better about that stop.

What do you think about the whole slopestyle season that went down this winter?
It got crazy! Hopefully triples don’t come into play soon. I think hopefully it puts a freeze to it and it will stay mellow for a while. They’re going to need huge jumps to get triples around. And a course with 100-ft. jumps, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Where’s your home base?
Mountain High is my home resort and I live in Corona, so that’s pretty much the middle of everything. I’m 45 minutes from Mountain High, 45 minutes from the beach. I pretty much have everything around me. I was born and raised here. I’ve lived in the same house for 20 years now.

Spencer’s Signal board going the distance

How did you get into snowboarding being from SoCal?
I used to play baseball, like day in and day out. I thought that was going to be my career and profession. Then my parents got me into snowboarding. We rode almost every weekend up at Snow Summit. We were good friends with Shaun White and his family. We would ride with them every weekend. Then one year I got a coach, and he said I could excel in snowboarding. So I told my dad that’s what I wanted to do. I was about 13 or 14 when I decided to start snowboarding for a career.

Was it the parks of the Southern California resorts that turned you into a slope rider?
Mountain High is a good mountain when they have snow and they can build good stuff. That’s pretty much how I got into jumps, because they don’t really have a halfpipe. It’s kind of hard to build a 22-ft halfpipe on a small resort. I just like the jumps better, and halfpipe scares me.

How did you get involved with Signal Snowboards?
I’ve been riding for Signal ever since they started. I was just a little kid at the time and the smallest size they made was like a 132. I rode a 125 and they actually had to cut them down in the press and then mold them for me. It’s pretty cool that they could do that. Now I ride a 151 though. Getting bigger.

Spencer launching the Dew Tour course in Snowbasin, Utah

Since Signal is based here in SoCal, how does that work out for you?
Yeah, it’s awesome. I’m 45 minutes from here, so I can drive down here and gets my two cents in on colors, I can paint a board, or just grab boards and be on my way. It’s an advantage for it to be here.

What do you think about the fact that the boards are made here in California?
I like it because I can come down here and see how they make them and give my feedback if I want a board that’s stiffer or anything like that. I used to ride the park board a lot and that got soft for me because I was hitting bigger jumps and I was growing. So they told me to try out the OG series. It’s a little bit stiffer and built for bigger jumps. So I’ve been riding that one lately and it’s been working out. They hand paint all of the OG’s too, so there’s no two that are the same.

What are your goals with snowboarding?
Right now I’m just trying to stick to the contests to make a name for myself and be on the top.

So making the finals at last month’s Dew Tour Toyota Championships must have been a big move in that direction for you with the national television coverage of the finals?
That was awesome. It’s kind of funny though because after my second run I checked my phone because my dad was calling. I must have had like 30 friend requests on Facebook, and 10 text messages from all my friends saying they had just seen me on TV. It’s cool. I like it. It gets my name out there more and people start recognizing me places.

What are your bigger goals?
Now that I know I can do well and place in contests, I’m hoping to get into X Games next year and then just stay at the top of my game and try to place top five in all the contests that I do.

Any plans for the offseason?
California summer. It’s fun to snowboard year round, but sometimes I need a little break. I like California summers. I go wakeboarding like three times a week. I skate with my friends. Go to the beach and skim a little. Just hang out and enjoy life.