Jake Canter poses for a portrait at Red Bull Snow Team Session in Mammoth Lakes, California, USA on May 15, 2023.
© Peter Morning / Red Bull Content Pool
Snowboarding

Snow or skate, Jake Canter is ready to ride

How the slopestyle prodigy stays fresh on the powder by skateboarding in the offseason.
By Stephen Laddin
5 min readPublished on
As kids, we typically looked to the people closest to us for inspiration.
For X Games snowboarder and Red Bull athlete Jake Canter, his path to snowboarding was through his babysitter.
“My babysitter was my next door neighbor and he skated and snowboarded,” Canter said. “When he’d babysit, he’d show me old Ryan Sheckler videos, Bob Burnquist videos, and videos of Danny Davis and his crew. That really inspired me—to see the insanity of what people were capable of doing.”
Red Bull athlete Jake Canter gaps over the flat at Pier 62 Skatepark, Chelsea Piers, New York, NY, on June 20, 2024.

Jake Canter gaps over the flat at Pier 62 Skatepark in New York

© Cole Giordano / Red Bull Content Pool

When Canter was around 6 or 7, his parents gave him a skateboard and the following year for Christmas, gifted him with snowboarding lessons—the initial exploration of which felt completely natural.
“When I first stepped on a snowboard I loved it,” Canter said. “We had a place in Steamboat, Colorado, right on the mountain, and when the mountain was closed, I’d hike up and try to learn. For skateboarding, I’d just sit in the driveway, push around and learn to ollie and pop shove it.”
For both sports, Canter was largely self-taught, and while he enjoyed both and could feel he was good at it, he kept at it because it was fun.
Red Bull athlete Jake Canter does a backside grab in the deep end of the pool at Pier 62 Skatepark, Chelsea Piers, New York, NY, on June 20, 2024.

Jake Canter does a backside grab in the deep end of the pool in New York

© Cole Giordano / Red Bull Content Pool

“Obviously I wasn’t really ‘escaping’ too much when I was 6 or 7, but it was a pretty unbelievable thing to get home from school and just skateboard in circles,” he said. “My dad then slowly started taking me to skateparks and to the mountains and I just continued to build my skills from there.”
But it wasn’t until he was 14 and won the Junior Jam at the Burton US Open that Canter started to see that the path ahead with snowboarding might be more than just a hobby.
“I was like, ‘oh, this is real,’ because that’s when the agents and sponsors started to line up,” he said. “The year after winning Junior Jam I went to New Zealand and made the finals in both slopestyle and halfpipe and was the youngest person to make the top five. A lot of those kids are now big names in the sport, and I remember being there competing with all of them when I was so young and realizing I could hang with the older kids.”
Jake Canter rides at Red Bull Snow Team Session in Mammoth Lakes, California, USA on May 15, 2023.

Jake Canter rides in Mammoth Lakes, California

© Peter Morning / Red Bull Content Pool

The kind of internal validation that only comes from the external realization you’re in the same bucket as your peers.
“Not necessarily cut from the same cloth, but being able to compete at their level in two disciplines was pretty crazy,” Canter said. “From that point on, I knew it was time to put in the work to take it even further.”
Part of “taking it further” has been Canter’s immersion in both snowboarding and skateboarding—two different sports that, for him, compliment each other.
“I love snowboarding and once snowboard season ends, I’m just as excited to hop on the skateboard and learn new tricks and skate with my friends,” he said. “I spend a lot of time in California and a lot of my skate friends are the best skaters in the world —Keegan Palmer and Jagger Eaton— skating with them just pushes me."
Red Bull athlete Jake Canter does a backside grab in the deep end of the pool at Pier 62 Skatepark, Chelsea Piers, New York, NY, on June 20, 2024.

Jake Canter at Pier 62 Skatepark in New York

© Cole Giordano / Red Bull Content Pool

For Canter, part of the transferable skills between the sports resides in the mental approach he takes to a course.
“I’ll look at a bowl and think about how I’ll turn and hit and I’ll take that same mindset and view of a skate park and take it to a slopestyle course,” Canter said. “I try to snowboard a slopestyle course like a skate bowl to have a good flow of it.”
Visualizing the landscape of the ride he’s about to embark on also parlays itself to Canter’s ability to visualize and manifest his goals—a mental component to competing that—along with the physical—he boosts with a can of Red Bull.
Jake Canter rides at Red Bull Snow Team Session in Mammoth Lakes, California, USA on May 15, 2023.

Jake Canter in Mammoth Lakes, California

© Peter Morning / Red Bull Content Pool

“I usually have a back-up can with me between snowboarding runs and will try to consume it 30 minutes before my second run so it’s really in my system,” he said. “It helps me have energy leading into the second run.”
It’s the kind of energy required not just for competing at a high level, but for staying disciplined and learning new tricks. In fact, part of Canter’s ability to learn new tricks rests in his ability to persevere—even if the process seems scary at first.
“A huge part of it is muscle memory, though it’s scary to land a trick the first time, no matter what,” Canter said. “That's why I try to complete the move two or three times before I leave the mountain that day, and it’s the same for skateboarding. If I try a new skateboarding trick, I try to do it at least two or three times before I leave—just to know I can do it and won’t be scared to go out and do it again.”
Jake Canter rides at Red Bull Snow Team Session in Mammoth Lakes, California, USA on May 15, 2023.

Jake Canter rides in Mammoth Lakes, California

© Peter Morning / Red Bull Content Pool

In this way, conquering his snowboarding and skateboarding fears has given Canter a tool in his toolbox for conquering other fears in life.
“It’s also helped me look at things from a different perspective, he said. If something ‘bad’ happens, I know I’ll just need to work at it, but everything will be okay.”
Though the biggest tool for Canter is to make sure he’s always having fun.
“My goal is to also push the sport as much as I possibly can,” he said. “When I’m having fun on my snowboard—-regardless of what tricks I’m doing, whether it’s the big 18s or just 540s—it makes it less scary because I’m truly enjoying it. It’s super fun to keep the same headspace and mindset throughout the summer so that when I get back to winter, I feel well adjusted and ready to get back on the horse and start competing at a high level.”

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Jake Canter

After overcoming a serious head injury, snowboarder Jake Canter is now determined to make it to the very top of the slopestyle ranks.

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