Rob Kingwill

Rob Kingwill

Photos by Mike Arzt

Current favorite piece of gear? Why?
My AVALON7 Mesh Faceshield is my favorite piece of gear, winter or summer, because I am fair skinned and really like to hide my face from the sun and snow. The Meshtek fabric is super breathable so it doesn't fog my goggles or sunglasses, or make me feel claustrophobic when I put it over my face.

How do you like spending your down days?
Flyfishing and making art.

Fondest memory from learning to ski or ride?
I vividly remember taking my board up to Teton Pass to try to ride powder in the backcountry for the first time. I had only tried to snowboard a few times on a icy road behind my house up until that point. I remember dropping in and finding that effortless moment of flow that riding powder gives you, and I was hooked for life.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I can Tuvan Throat Sing. I'm still working on my volume, but I can do it.

What would your superpower be?
I just want to fly.

Spirit animal?
The Raven.

What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
Winning the US Open of Snowboarding halfpipe.

Do you have any pets? What are their names?
I have two cats - Ash and Cinder. And my lady has a Jack Russell named Scrappy.

Can you speak any other languages? What other languages would you like to learn?
I can speak Spanish fluently, and I do really well with Japanese. I can get by in French, and I know how to say thank you in about 10 other languages.

What is your biggest goal/something you hope to achieve in your ski career?
To inspire more people to turn off their phones and go outside and discover the amazing power of snowboarding and being immersed in the mountains. I feel like modern culture is getting more and more disconnected from who we truly are as beings rooted in nature. Snowboarding allows you to interact intimately with the mountains and the snow in a way that is primal and healing to modern people who have become so enamored with their computers and their phones, which constantly lure us away from reality with their promise of entertainment and meaning, but always leave us searching for more. I find true happiness, sanity and presence of mind in the mountains as I ride my snowboard, and I want to share that feeling with the rest of the world.

Any nicknames? Kinger

Where were you born? Durango, CO

Home Mountain? Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Who taught you to ski/ride? My dad taught me to ski when I was 3. My friends and I taught ourselves how to snowboard when I was 11.

Heroes in skiing and in life? Benjamin Franklin, Tesla, Einstein. Craig Kelly, Terje, Rice.

You're on a hut trip: no phone, no internet, no tv. What board game is your go-to? Scrabble.

Reading any good books right now? I'm currently reading Dreaming With Open Eyes - the Shamanic Spirit in Twentieth Century Art and Culture. I find it intriguing because it talks about modern culture and its dissconnection from nature and spirit, and how modern artists have become the new shamans of our time, helping us reconnect and find new balance in an era of digital distraction.

Favorite ski film? (We promise it's okay if it's not WME) The Art of Flight, which is a snowboard film that will never be matched.

Any pre-riding or skiing rituals or superstitions? Snowboarding begins with stretching. A little yoga in the morning goes a long way.

Warren Miller Films:
2016 Here, There & Everywhere (Greenland)
2015 Chasing Shadows (Nepal)
2014 No Turning Back (Hokaido, Japan)
2013 Ticket to Ride (Valdez, AK)
2002 Storm (Austria)
2001 Cold Fusion (Girdwood, AK)
2000 Ride (North Casades, WA)

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