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Becoming a professional snowboarder is all about exposure. There are different levels of sponsorship, and you can enter at any level and rise at any speed.
In the 2000-2001 season, Danny Kass claimed three of the biggest titles in competitive snowboarding as champion of the overall U.S. men's Grand Prix half pipe title, the X-Games super pipe title and the U.S. Open half pipe title. He won silver in the half pipe event at the Olympics in Salt Lake in 2002.
Danny Kass is one of the most technically progressive pipe riders in the world. He was the first to string back to back inverted 1080s. And Danny has done all of this before age 24. Danny Kass was led to snowboarding by his love of skateboarding while growing up in Mammoth Lakes, CA. Danny and his brother now own a snowboarding apparel company as well – Grenade Gloves.
Marc Frank Montoya, voted number three on the Snowboard Magazine Rider's list of the top ten riders in 2005 and nicknamed "Rock Star of the Year" in the 2004, is one of the most experienced and top snowboarders in the world today. He has a dynamic personality that shows in his riding.
In his early career Marc impressed the snowboarding world with his big mountain skills while riding in Alaska, with his freestyle skills launching booters into the Utah backcountry, slaying urban handrails, and has played a big part recently in stepping up the competition for snowboarders around the country.
Outside of boarding, Marc run his own hotel, the BLOCK at Tahoe, and snowboard manufacturing company called Biltrite Manufacturing.
Professional snowboarders may also be professional alpine snowboard racers. There are amateur, pro, and top pro professional snowboard racer sponsorship levels.
To be a professional snowboard racer, you need to be good and fast. To get sponsored at any level as professional snowboarder in the half pipe or on the jumps, many companies look for something special, new, or different about your style, trick, look, or attitude.
Danny Kass is known for his signature move, the Kasserole, and for mixing technical tricks with big air and stomp landings. But, what is Danny Kass like outside of snowboarding?
His nickname is Big Dan. He likes fried foods and skateboarding. He hangs out with his friends, likes to draw and listen to his own mixed CDs, which are an eclectic mix to say the least.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|