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Local 13-year-old youngest on Big Air competition and show team

The young snowboarder from The Blue Mountains followed his teammates off a 50-foot jump at Blue Mountain over March Break

Jona Holden is taking Blue Mountain Ski Resort by air.

The 13-year-old snowboarder from The Blue Mountains was the youngest athlete to participate in Blue Mountain’s inaugural Big Air Show, which took place from Tuesday Mar. 15 until Friday Mar. 18 at Blue Mountain Resort.  

“It was really cool to ride in front of that many people,” said Holden. 

The March Break event welcomed back crowds to the on-hill ski show, which featured a 50-foot jump set up at the base of the Smart Alec run. Some of the top Ontario freestyle athletes put on a show as they launched themselves off the jump and performed tricks choreographed to lights and music. 

It was the largest event Holden had ever participated in, but he kept a narrow focus as he was following behind his friends speeding towards the 50-foot jump.

“You’re so focused on what you’re doing,” he said. “And making sure you land of course.”

Holden first strapped on a snowboard five years ago, when he was just eight years old, and he took to it immediately. By the next year he was riding in the terrain park with his friends. 

“I love riding park because it is more of a challenge,” he said. “You’re always pushing yourself or working towards something.”

From the first day the snow falls each season until the mud finally takes over, Holden, who lives only five minutes from the top of Blue Mountain, can be found on the hill with his friends almost every single day. 

“It’s a lot of fun,” he smiled.  

Holden is equally as comfortable hitting rails as he is sending it off jumps, and he says when he is working on a specific trick, he does it over and over again until he nails it. 

This past year he was invited to join STERIK’S, a local freestyle team, and competed in its Airs, Grabs and Grinds competition at Blue Mountain on Mar. 11. Holden is the youngest member of the team by almost 10 years. 

He also recently obtained sponsorships from K2 Snowboarding and Conquered Peaks apparel. 

“The community is really cool. I’ve met a lot of awesome people so far,” he said. 

While Holden doesn’t know what the future will hold when it comes to a career in snowboarding, he said all he really cares about is how much he loves doing it. His advice to anyone looking to get into snowboarding or park riding is simple. 

“Just get out and try,” he said. “You have to push yourself, but not too hard, and so much can come from it.”

When Holden isn’t on snow, he is skateboarding, fishing or practising his tricks on his trampoline.

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Maddie Johnson

About the Author: Maddie Johnson

Maddie Johnson is an early career journalist working in financial, small business, adventure and lifestyle reporting. She studied Journalism at the University of King's College, and worked in Halifax, Malta and Costa Rica before settling in Collingwood
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