We’re really getting pumped up with the U.S. Freestyle Championships starting in a just a couple of days! But we’re especially excited to see Heavenly Foundation skier Sho Kashima hit the slopes.
Kashima had an amazing recovery this season after he had a knee injury last year. He’s been touring with the U.S. Ski Team racking up points in the World Cup circuit. After watching Kashima compete in Japan, Sweden and Spain, it will be great to see him return to his home mountain. Just how long has Kashima been skiing here?
“I’ve been skiing at Heavenly since I was four. I’ve had a pass every year for the last 22 years,” Kashima says. While Kashima competes in moguls, it was actually the natural terrain that initially inspired him. “I’ve always liked jumping. When I was younger I would always try to hit the jumps on the side of the runs. This was before there were terrain parks,” Kashima says. “When I was 11 or 12, I joined the freestyle team a Heavenly.”
The mogul competition is made up of a long mogul course with intermittent jumps. While launching off a booter into a mogul field would be scary for most people, Kashima still thrives on the same feeling he enjoyed when he was a boy. “That’s the most fun part of skiing for me, getting airborne, it’s just natural now,” Kashima says.
When asked how he prepares just before a race Kashima mentions a few basic ski techniques for skiing: standing strong, fluid movements and staying in control. But Kashima puts in a lot of hard work before the race. So, when he points his tips downhill on competition day, “It just happens,” he says.
The U.S. Freestyle Championships is the last competition for the World Cup circuit season, but Kashima still has a lot of work with the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games around the corner. “I’ll have a couple weeks after this event to let the body catch up, but we’re pretty much back in the weight room before May,” he says. Along with doing “explosive” lower body and core exercise during the summer, Kashima also uses a pool to practice new tricks.
But when there’s snow on the ground it’s all about skiing moguls all the time. “Just moguls, when you’re on the hill you just go find moguls,” Kashima says. “We go to a lot of competitions. There’s a lot of repetition on the snow. There’s really no replicating it otherwise.”
Nutrition is also an important part of training. While he does not have a dedicated dietician, he says he has a good handle on what food he should eat; that is, when he can identify it. “It’s tough when we go overseas and you don’t have an idea of what you’re eating,” he says. As for competition days, “I don’t really have a preference as long as it’s not too greasy and fills me up, it’s pretty ok.”
Because of his knee injury, Kashima started racing with this season already halfway over. Despite those challenges, he was able to climb up the world rankings to 17th place. This weekend he is going to bring that same hard work, dedication and incredible skill for one goal, “To win.”
Come support Sho and watch other incredible athletes compete this Friday-Sunday, March 29-31, 2013. And don’t miss the Community Party with live music, fireworks and the Men’s and Women’s Aerial Finals on Saturday from 4:30 pm – 9:00 pm.
Volunteer during the event to be in the heart of the action and get special course access! We are looking for both on-snow and off-snow help. Especially for advance skiers to help shape the mogul course on Thursday-Sunday.
We also have shifts for various roles during the entire week. Don’t just sit on the sidelines, sign up and be a part of it. Volunteers will get lunch and a special gift for participating in three or more shifts. Call Tiffany at 530-542-5180 for more information and to sign up.