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JHSM Issue 17 - Dropping Next Ace Emery
Photo: Ryan Dee

Dropping Next

Ace Emery charges on his snowboard for all the right reasons

How did Ace Emery get featured as the snowboarder who is “Dropping Next” this season? His contagious passion for riding all over the mountain no matter the conditions, for a start. His always-positive attitude with teammates and coaches factors into consideration. Then there’s his ability to adapt flawlessly from riding big mountain terrain to hitting manicured park jumps in the same run. Of course, it really all comes down to his very respectable method.

Ace Emery is an objectively rad rider. It’s more than just him blasting over the feature in front of the judging panel during a Wednesday Night Lights rail jam. Ace is also metaphorically jumping onto the local stage, grabbing the microphone from the emcee, and letting his style announce his abilities for all to see. His strong performances in International Freeskiers and Snowboarders Association big mountain freeride events, his winning run in the Dick’s Ditch banked slalom race, and his ability to grab and spin over anything prove Ace has arrived. Here’s the kicker: he’s only 12 years old!

Snowboarders often seem to see themselves as either park jocks or big mountain free riders. Ace has demonstrated that you can, and should, be both. The essence of great style to an old coach like me is witnessing a snowboarder ride like it’s the most natural thing ever. The snowboard is an extension of their body. I see this when Ace spins in a tightly composed ball while holding his grab throughout the entire rotation.

When Ace isn’t modeling to his peers what airs should look like, he is reminding all the older riders in Jackson Hole what line selection should be. I don’t recall having any coaching sessions or even seeing a single photo of Ace from this past season, where he wasn’t riding something huge. If you’re lucky enough to ride alongside him (or more likely behind him), you’re in for a wild ride.

Ace’s riding style fits his personality too. He’s extremely humble, kind to everyone on the team, and loves snowboarding. He charges hard without the need for digital validation. He straps in to enjoy what he’s doing and who he’s doing it with.

Ace, you were chosen for “Dropping Next” this season because of your kind heart, your timeless riding style, and your ability to make even us old coaches want to progress. Thank you for riding for the right reasons. On behalf of the coaching staff and your teammates: we’re so excited to see where you take snowboarding next.

Andy Lex is the head snowboard coach and Freeride Program Director of Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club. @22lexwy

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