Maple Fanatic Callen Hwang
New Hampshire native Callen Hwang balances her aspirations and goals in snowboarding with a full plate of junior high school, plus other competitive sports and activities. Placing 3rd in Slopestyle and 6th in Rail Jam at the most recent USASA Nationals, Callen now sets her sights on competing and having fun in a very different winter season.
How long have you have been into snowboarding and how did you get into the sport?
I’ve been snowboarding since I was around 2. I tried skiing, but just didn’t like it so I tried snowboarding. My mom skied and my dad snowboarded at the time. I’ve been riding for around 9 years. When I first started I would just cruise, but then I started riding with the local freestyle team, got more into riding the park and did local events. After being on the team for 2-ish years I started competing in boardercross, rail jam, and slopestyle. Then, I decided I wanted to focus more on rail jam, and slopestyle, and that’s where I am now.
Where is your favorite place to shred and do you prefer the park or powder?
I mainly ride at Gunstock and Loon, but I’ll be riding a lot at Killington this year. Previously I did trips to Mammoth and Copper and I can’t wait to go back to both. I like park, glades and powder, but I ride the park a lot more at home. I certainly like the park, but when there’s a pow day, I do get pretty excited.
Favorite snowboard trick?
My favorite trick ride now is a half cab with an indie grab. It’s fun to do on small and big jumps. A half cab is a switch 180 (so you come in the opposite way you normally ride and land the way you’d normally ride.) So basically, the trick is a switch 180 while grabbing the middle of your board. I also really like tweaked out nose grabs.
What is a new tric you're working on?
A new trick I’m working on is a cab 360. I’ve gotten it a few times, but I want to have it on lock. A cab 3 is like two cab 180s. It’s just a switch 360 (starting switch landing switch). Once I get that, I am looking to then try 5’s (540s). I also am working on 180’s off a down rail. You ollie, which is a big jump from flat, to the rail, you slide down it and then at the bottom, pop off and do a 180. Then you are set up to go into the next feature switch.
How do you balance family, friends, school and training?
I mainly ride on the weekends and have school on the weekdays. I hang with my friends at school and sometimes surf with them during the week. I work on rotations, dryland, backyard boarding (we have a rail out back), and squats, pushups etc. Family is pretty easy to balance. I mainly ride with my dad, but my mom and brother ski with me as well.
What have you learned from snowboarding? What do you like to do when you are not snowboarding?
I’ve learned a lot about friendship and perseverance. Through snowboarding I’ve made lots of friendships. I’ve also learned to persevere and keep trying even if it takes lots of tries and if I feel like stopping.
When I am not snowboarding I love to surf, mountain bike, play lacrosse, play soccer, make art, hike with my family, play with my dogs, and bake.
Is there a short term and a long-term goal that you are focused on that fuels you to keep working on your skills?
Well, a short-term goal is to nail my cab 3’s before Killington Mountain School (KMS). A long-term goal is to participate in Project Gold / go to Rev Tour.
What do you like about UnTapped products and what is your favorite UnTapped product or two?
I love UnTapped products. They’re organic, good for me and give me energy to keep me going. I really like the Raspberry Waffles. They’re so good! They’re so easy to keep in my pocket when I am snowboarding and want a quick snack. They are especially helpful right now with lodges being closed because of Covid. I also really like the Lemon Tea Mapleaid. I mix it in with my water for soccer games, dryland training and all sports.
Photo Credits: Devon Gulick and Frank Hwang