Serena Kirby, Denmark Bulletin
Seventeen-year-old snowboarder Henry Edmondson has had another hectic 12 months.
This time last year Henry was ranked among the top 40 junior freeriders in the world after competing in several events in France.
Having just returned from numerous overseas trips Henry is now ranked second in the Oceania Freeride category for under-18 males and ranked 13th in the world.
Freeriding is a dangerous and extreme style of snowboarding and Henry only strapped on his first snowboard two years ago during a trip to Japan.
He said it was still early in the international snowboarding season and though his ranking was likely to change he was pleased with his position so far.
He came second in one of his events in Andorra and at first was not ‘super happy’ with how he performed saying he could have done bigger jumps and drop offs.
“I managed to stay on my feet and apparently that was enough,” Henry said.
By all reports it was one of the best runs of the day. The past 12 months has shown Henry that the life of an international snowboarder is filled with ups and downs on and off the snow.
One of his other overseas trips involved training in Whistler, Canada and from there he’d planned to head to the French Alps via the USA but was forced to change plans mid-trip due to Visa complications.
He had to fly all the way home to Australia and then turn around and fly to Europe three days later.
“I totally lost Christmas Day due to the time difference during the flight,” Henry said.
Having spent a large amount of time away from school, including five months training and competing in New Zealand, Henry has been doing most of his high school studies online. He’s also learning Japanese.
Funding for Henry’s travel and expensive equipment has been significantly helped by a $10,000 scholarship from the Reach Foundation via Bonds, a grant from the WA Institute of Sport and Col’s Mechanics.
Now in his final year at high school, Henry said he had yet to finalise his snowboarding plans for this coming year.
“Nothing’s locked in long term but I’ll potentially head to Norway in April,” he said.
“Part of me wants to go back to New Zealand because I really like it there but part of me wants to stay in Australia and maybe spend a bit of time over East so that I can focus a bit more on the school stuff.”
This article appeared in the Denmark Bulletin, 23 February 2023.
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