Skiing on the Edge
Youthful Exuberance, Training Make Excellent Competitors
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One of those young daredevils is Luke Robertson, 10. Luke has been on the developmental team for nearly three years. The best thing about the freestyle team, according to him, is the jumps and tricks. His favorite slope is Lower Holliday where he perfects his jumps.
“It’s fun because at the beginning it’s not that steep, but as you go deeper it’s more of a challenge,” says Robertson who welcomes that challenge like any other pure competitor.
His best trick is the 720 because he loves the feeling he gets when he lands. That’s called adrenaline. Robertson might be young, but few his age know what pure adrenaline feels like. There’s the rush of something spectacular, the excitement from those who just watched an amazing feat, and also knowing that you just did something perfect.
Not surprisingly, the majority of kids in the program are the offspring of skiers. Luke’s father, Rick, was on the Sun Valley Ski Patrol and introduced Luke to skiing.
According to Rick, Luke decided on his own that he preferred freestyle over downhill when it came time to choose which direction he would take. Luke is an independent kid who enjoys the thrill and the full challenge of skiing.
“Both his mom and I are encouraging him to develop a passion, and, at least for now, this seems to be it,” Rick says.
Luke’s passion landed him third in the Bogus Basin Freestyle at Boise last winter. With every practice, his moves are getting better. By the end of his first year, Robertson was able to do a full 360. Last year he was perfecting the 720, which is a much tougher.
Most people would think that doing spins and tricks in the air would come with a price. Zuck’s team, however, hasn’t had to pay. During the entire tenure of Zuck’s program there have been no serious injuries to any skiers, which says a lot about how good an instructor Zuck really is.
“None on my program,” he says. “We’ve been really lucky. But, he adds, “they do just fine as long as they keep fit.”