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Catching Air with Max Williams

Visit Winter Park, Colorado
Your Unofficial Guide to all things Winter Park and the Fraser Valley

Name: Max Williams
Age: 16
Town: Winter Park, CO

Sponsors:
K2 Snowboarding
Smith Optics
Winter Park Resort
Family Shred

Boards Max rides:

Park Board
K2 Happy Hour 157
Lifted for ultimate pop and ollies

POW & Half Pipe
K2 Joy Driver  157
Gives a more reliable surface area




Max Williams is a kind kid who has a “heart of a champion” and works very hard at achieving his snowboarding goals while having the time of his life! As the Winter Park Resort Territory Ambassador to the Terrain Park Territory, you can usually find him there practicing his tricks. Max trains every day in the terrain park, Tuesday-Thursday 1:00pm-3:00pm and Friday-Sunday 9:00am-3:30pm. He is currently a sophomore in high school and tends to his studies online in the mornings.

Max Williams at Rail Yard Entrance
Max Williams at Rail Yard Entrance Photo Credit: Jay Stewart

Hey Max what have you been up to lately?
Um, snowboarding and a lot of training! In the winter, we do more weight lifting and in the summer we do a lot of cardio like running. Also in the summer I enjoy downhill biking in the Trestle bike park. It craves the need I have for going fast and getting lots of air in the off season!

I’ve also been competing in the REV tour (U.S. Revolution Tour) as well as the USASA Rocky Mountain Series.

Max Williams–Canon Gap Tail Grab in Dark Territory. Photo Credit: Jay Stewart
Max Williams–Canon Gap Tail Grab in Dark Territory. Photo Credit: Jay Stewart

Tell me a little about your background?
I started skiing when I was two and then got into the Comp Center (Competition Center) at Winter Park Resort. I excelled fast and they put me with the older kids but when my parents got me a board at 6, I found that I really enjoyed snowboarding better than skiing. So I switched to snowboarding in the Comp Center and started hanging out with Pauly Weston–Park Crew and Nick Nagel–Winter Park Resort Snowboard Team Director. I learned a lot from them (still, do).

Then I started the snowboard comp team around 8 years old and really started competing when I was 10. Around 13-14, I started to progress and land more of my tricks. Then at 13 till now I’ve been competing in the REV Tour for half pipe and now this year I made slopestyle.

Max Williams–360 Melon in Dark Territory. Photo Credit: Jay Stewart
Max Williams–360 Melon in Dark Territory. Photo Credit: Jay Stewart

How’s this season going?
This season has been really good for me, it’s my first time being in open class which is all ages and my first in slopestyle. I’ve had a good turn out in all the comps so far. Recently I got back from a comp in New Hampshire–the comp was good but the snow was not great meanwhile I was getting text pics of it dumping at home. Now I am training for my next comp in a couple weeks held in Mammoth, CA.

How do you like Mammoth?
Mammoth is insane! There’s a lift just for the parks. On one side hang the big jumps and the other side features the half pipe. You will see at least 10 doubles from Monster dudes sticking it smooth while you’re riding up the lift.




What tricks are you pulling lately?
I’ve been landing a cab double-nine and I really want to try a back double 10!

Are there certain tricks that challenge you?
Doubles have been challenging for me and it takes me awhile to get to the point where I can actually try them. I just landed the cab double-nine last week and it was such a mile marker for me. It opens up a lot to where I can start thinking towards competing in bigger comps like Dew Tour and X-games.

To qualify, you have to get around 50 podium points in USASA, last year I got around 28 points and I’m climbing up!

Right now the Comp Center has around 40 kids in snowboarding. They break us up into groups and there are around 10 in mine. I like the Comp Center because I’ve known everyone since I was a little kid. Practice is what makes you better but the coaching really gives you the extra confidence needed to compete.

Max Williams–Mute Slob at Rail Yard. Photo Credit: Jay Stewart
Max Williams–Mute Slob at Rail Yard. Photo Credit: Jay Stewart

How do you decide your tricks?
I’ve done lots of tricks in foam pits (like Woodward in Copper) but the hard part is actually visualizing and doing it on snow. Once you try it on snow it’s easier to visualize in your head.

Who do you like to ride with?
Mike Miller–our head coach
Chase Hill and Lydia Silber–my friends and teammates

What’s your style?
That’s a hard question to explain but I love POW and jumps! Jumps are my favorite because of the air time and just being in the air. The approach to jumps are sometimes scary like in New Hampshire, I was hitting some of the biggest I’ve ever done! It’s intimidating approaching the lip at full speed but once I’m in the air the training comes into play and I just focus on the trick!

Who are your influences?
Pauly Westen and Mike Miller.
My Dad and Mom

What do you like best about Snowboarding?
I like the atmosphere–being a part of the group with such a big industry and meeting people within the industry. I also enjoy going to SIA (Snowsports Industries America), it’s really fun because you get to meet everyone involved and hang out with them.

Max Williams in his realm! Photo Credit: Jay Stewart
Max Williams in his realm! Photo Credit: Jay Stewart

What experiences would you like to accomplish in Snowboarding?
I really want to go to New Zealand in the summer time to train in their parks. Of course getting on the D-Tour would be cool because you get to travel more to places like Europe and China.

Where do you think snowboarding is heading as a sport?
Snowboarding is getting very intense with riders doing quads! I have no idea what is going to happen after that but it’s getting crazy and I’m excited to be a part of it and see where it goes and where it takes me!

What do you like best in the parks?
I do rails but like I said the jumps are where you can find me!

What’s your best trick in the halfpipe?
Michalchuk! It’s a cool trick kind of like a wild cat but its basically a side flip facing down into the transition blended into the backside air.

What do you like about K2 Snowboards?
I’ve ridden their stuff for 5 years and they have always been super reliable. The boards I get have lasted all year. I usually get to order what I want online at the beginning of the season, as I’m getting taller, I’m getting into more adult boards.

What motivates you?
Training, competitions and other dudes above me. Seeing others in higher levels pushes me to get where they are at!

Achievements (copied from maxwilliamssb.com):

-2017 USASA Nationals: 3rd in Slopestyle
-2014 USASA Nationals: 8th in Halfpipe, 18th in Slopestyle
-2014 1st, King of the Groms, Winter Park
-2014 3rd, IFSA Big Mountain Event at Winter Park
-2013 USASA Nationals: 11th in Slopestyle 26th in Halfpipe
-2012 USASA Nationals: 28th in Halfpipe
-2011 USASA Nationals: 26th in Halfpipe

Goals:
-To finish top half on the Revolution tour.
-Top 5 finish in halfpipe and slopestyle at USASA Nationals

Long Term:
-Make it on to the Dew Tour
-Make it to the X-Games
-Years of competing on the Revolution Tour
-Who knows, hopefully, the Olympics one day!!

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Eric Vandernail
Eric is a local to the valley and is passionate about the people of Winter Park & Grand County, VisitWinterPark.com and his other business O2 Creative. He enjoys blog writing, camping, skateboarding, snowboarding, painting and spending time with his family.

Summary
Photo ofMax Williams
Name
Max Williams
Nickname
(Mad Max)
Website
Job Title
Snowboarder

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Comments

  1. Max, that is a great start! I can still see you in the goalie gear at the Ice Box! Don’t think I’ll ever forget your Dad telling me you wanted to start competing on the board. The excitement he shared for you when K2 sponsored you the first year. Keep up the good work and I’ll keep an eye out for you in the Dew tour!!!! Coach Conger

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