“I hope to be at the top of my snowboard game, the best female halfpipe rider in the world.”
Brooke D’Hondt is a 14-year old snowboarder from Calgary Alberta who is becoming a bit of a big deal. She is rapidly progressing technically in the pipe and is getting noticed with title wins like last season’s US Open Junior Jam. She is from Calgary, likes long winters, perfect pipes, the cold and riding with her dad. You can check her out at the Halfpipe Nationals at Calgary Olympic Park 12 – 14th March.
How did you first get into snowboarding?
I started skiing at 2years old, at age 5 my Dad thought it was time to make the switch to snowboarding and I have never looked back.
Where have you grown up?
Born and raised in Calgary. It’s the only place I have lived. My snowboarding is starting to take me all over the world and it is awesome.
Has Calgary been a good place to develop into a good pipe rider?
Calgary is one of the best places in the world to develop into a good pipe rider. Winsport is 10min from my house. The pipe is cut daily, it’s open 7 days a week 10am - 9pm under the lights. What more could you ask for.
What does Calgary have that makes it different from anywhere else?
I can’t think of another place that has world class facilities like Winsport in the heart of a major city with the Rocky Mountains on our doorstep.
How long have you been riding COP?
I have been riding at Winsport since I was 4 years old about 10 years. I am still there 5-6 days a week when I am in town.
Where do you go to ride pow?
I grew up riding Lake Louise every weekend with my family. You can’t beat the terrain at the Lake on a POW day.
How did the US Open Junior Jam go last year?
The Burton Junior Jam at the US Open last year was a great experience. I was fortunate to finish top of the podium. This gave me a spot in the semi-finals in the Open with the best pipe riders in the world.
What else do you do apart from snowboarding?
When I am not snowboarding, I enjoy skateboarding, mountain biking, working out in the gym, hanging out with friends.
Where do you see yourself in five-year’s time?
In five-year’s time, I will have graduated high school. I hope to be at the top of my snowboard game, the best female halfpipe rider in the world.
Who do you see that is your age who will dominate the future men’s halfpipe?
Valentino Guseli, he is a 14-year old from Australia who absolutely destroys the halfpipe.
How do you feel about 22ft pipes? Would you like to get to ride perfect smaller pipes ever?
The 22ft pipe is where it’s at, but I would love to see, and ride well maintained smaller pipes at more resorts. I think smaller pipes would be less intimidating for young riders and a great place to develop solid pipe riding fundamentals which can be taken into the 22ft.
Do you see yourself going to the Olympics or are you more of a US Open / X Games focussed rider?
I 100% percent see myself competing in the Olympics as well as X Games/US Open/ Dew Tour etc. I want to compete against the best riders in the world.
Do you ride much park?
I love riding park any chance I get. Most days at Winsport I spilt my time between the halfpipe and riding slope.
Who do you ride with most?
I love riding with my friends, but I ride the most with my Dad. Almost every day since I was 5.
How do you do at school? Does wanting to go snowboarding make school harder or easier?
I am a straight A student. Wanting to go snowboarding all the time definitely makes school harder, but it is still a major priority as I have aspirations to attend University down the road.
What female pipe riders do you look up to?
Katie Tsuyuki a retired National Team halfpipe rider was the first to really get me stoked on riding pipe. Currently I look up to Chloe Kim, Maddie Mastro, and Queralt Castellet, these women are really driving progression in women’s halfpipe.
Do you find it cold in Calgary or are you just born tougher in Alberta?
Yes, it can be freaking cold during winter in Calgary but with the cold comes a 7-month riding season, so I am good with it.
How hard will it be for you to have to watch the Snow Rodeo World Cup in your home resort from the side lines?
Not competing at World Cups this season is not a huge deal. I am just going to continue working hard and progressing my riding so that next year when I am competing at the World Cup level, I am making finals and fighting for podium spots.
Will you be doing the NorAm Canadian Nationals in COP in March 2020?
I am looking forward to competing at the Air Nation Halfpipe Nationals later this season at Winsport. Hopefully lots of girls from all over North America come and make it a stacked field.
What Canadian riders do you think will do well at the event this year?
At the Snow Rodeo we have some great riders competing. Last years’ 3rd place finisher, Derek Livingston, along with Shawn Fair, Jack Collins, Braedan Adams, Owen Wopnford, and Kiran Pershad. On the women’s side I am pulling for Elizabeth Hosking who is riding great.