Bear Mountain is home to a 200 acre freestyle park, with upwards of 120 beginner to advanced jibs, 100 snow features of all shapes and sizes, and Southern California’s only Superpipe. With such an awesome winter playground, it’s no surprise that Bear Mountain has produced some incredible snowboarding talent, including Olympian Shaun White.
Shaun grew up in Carlsbad, California, but he and his family spent their weekends at Bear Mountain. At the age of four, Shaun proved his fearlessness on skis by keeping up with his snowboarding older brother, Jesse. Shaun’s mom tried to slow him down by putting him on a snowboard too, but her attempt failed. He only went faster, and by copying Jesse and his friends, Shaun continuously challenged himself to learn more difficult stunts.
At the age of 7, Shaun won his first amateur contest. He then went to nationals, where he placed just outside the top 10. At this time, Burton was developing a kid-sized snowboard line, and in a stroke of good timing, Shaun’s mother sent them a homemade video of her son. Impressed, Burton offered him a sponsorship deal. At the age of 13, he turned pro.
From that moment on, Shaun White quickly became a household name. He proceeded to win 5 national titles, the 2001 Arctic Challenge and at the age of 16, medalled in his first Winter X Games. If that’s not enough, Shaun also turned pro in skateboarding at the age of 17, becoming the first athlete ever to compete and medal in both the Summer and Winter X Games in two different sports.
In 2002, Shaun experienced his first major upset. He failed to make the 2002 Winter Olympic team by three-tenths of a point, but regained ground in 2006 and became the first athlete to win the entire five-event U.S. Grand Prix series. That year, he won an Olympic gold medal in Turino, followed by another half-pipe gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Bear Mountain is incredibly proud of Shaun White, and they’re excited to continue the mountain’s legacy. So who are the next prodigies? According to their blog, Bear Mountain’s next up-and-comers are Maddie and Cameron Mastro, age 10 and 12. With sponsors already backing them up, their confidence and love of snowboarding will undoubtedly carve the path to success.