John LaConte - USA

Born: May 18, 1980

Hometown: Waukesha, WI

Years living in the Vail Valley: 8

Home Mountain: Vail

Stance: Regular

Years Snowboarding: 22

How did you get into snowboarding: My first board was a Crazy Banana which my mother bought for me when I was 13. Then my grandmother, who had been living in Vail since 1971, helped me take my skills to the next level by giving me an open invitation to shred any time I wanted.

What do you love most about snowboarding: On a competitive level, I love how there's no snowboarding body type as a pre-requisite. You can't look at someone off the snow and say "I bet they're good at snowboarding," the way you can with other sports. On a non-competitive level, I love how snowboarding has allowed us board riders to experience the mountain with a board under our feet. Growing up I loved skateboarding and skiing, and taking part in the merger between the two has been the most exciting athletic experience imaginable.

What are you most excited for this season: I'm excited to watch fellow Weston team member Rakai Tate compete in the youth Olympics in Norway in February. Getting selected to that team was incredibly competitive and young Rakai certainly has a bright future in front of him.