Snowboard Coach Webmaster
My name is Spencer Tamblyn and I am the Snowboard Coach Webmaster.
I am a passionate rider, teacher and dedicated coach with over 20 years experience in snowboarding, competition, professsional riding and coaching.
I grew up in Denver Colorado, where I would spend my winter weekends in the nearby mountains of Winter Park, Copper Mountain and Vail, skiing. I fell in love with being up there early on, and felt as though I lived to be on the mountain. Before snowboarding, I raced and skied with the Winter Park Competition Center.
Then, it happened. On the way home from Winter Park on a fateful day in 1984, I saw a couple guys on snowboards making turns in fresh pow up on Berthod Pass. It blew me away and I had to try it. Even that first moment, seeing a rider make turns, I remember fixating in on that flow and rhythm that the riders appeared to have.
So, I started to ride. I began Snowboarding when I was 12, in the winter of 85. I spent many of my early riding days at Winter Park-Mary Jane, riding bumps and running this little quarter feed self timer race course, which was sponsored by Marlboro. HaHa. Marlboro. So, I was heavy into racing for several years. I raced well and dominated the regional racing circuits around Colorado, making it to nationals where I was in the top 5 for Slalom and GS. Slalom was my thing at that point.
My senior year I was racing and getting more into freestyle, competing at the Copper Mountain Series. At that time they would run the race event in the morning and half pipe in the afternoon. It was awesome. Riding plate bindings and race boards in the morning, then switching boots boards and styles to do tricks in the afternoon.
One time I actually just stayed on my race board and competed in the half pipe. I did a couple funny race board tweaks a front side 540, a method and then a backside 720 out of the bottom of the half pipe to a landing that dropped out, towards the trees. I stuck it and won the event. Yee Ha.
In 1992, I moved to Steamboat to go to Colorado Mountain College: Alpine Campus, and to train for racing with the Steamboat Winter Sports Clubs Program. Those years were awesome. I had class in the morning, freestyle ripping Steamboat during the day and race training with Randy Havens (my Coach) in the evening. Sooo Fun!
1992-94 -Competed in 12 to 15 events a season. Found great times on the road and the podium around 40 times during a 3 year period. Competing in Slalom and Giant Slalom races, I had a blast carving it up all over Colorado and at the Nationals Events. I had also entered a couple pro freestyle events and made it into the money. Nice!
In 1994, I basically hung up my racing boots. I had a great run in the gates and loved it, but I had started to burn out on it a bit. At the same time I had been having more and more fun riding my freestyle boards. Free-riding, jumps and half pipe were drawing me in, and still today, they have a hold on me. Then for the next 4 years I was fortunate enough to:
- Turn Pro for Nitro Snowboards, Oakley Eyewear, Wave Rave Clothing, Powerbar and Steamboat.
- Gratefully traveled around the world doing contests, photo shoots, filming and representing for my sponsors. I made it to Chile, Switzerland, and Germany along with Heli Trips to Juneau Alaska and Mike Wiegles' in Blue River British Colombia.
- Did 4 years of research & development on snowboards and equipment for nitro. It was great to get to know how the small variations in board specs could make it ride so differently.
- Got into Boardercross and competed in the APSS or American Pro Snowboard Series, then the AST or American Snowboard Tour in Halfpipe, Big Air and Boardercross.
- Started coaching and led groups at the Rocky Mountain Snowboard Camps, as well 3 full summers at Mt Hood Oregon and 1 summer in La Parva, Chile.
- Made my way onto several pro money podiums in all freestyle events.
- Was competing during a time when the progression level advanced dramatically from your to year and the characters, personalities and styles where wild diverse. I learned a lot during that time and was proud to be part of the rapid advancement of the sport.
The Summer of 1997, I had started to burn out on the travel and pressure of competition a little bit. Then I overshot a jump at hood and hurt my knee that I had already blown out once before. Ouch. During the drive home from Mt. Hood, I made a life changing decision that happened surprisingly easily. It was time for a change.
I accepted a job to develop the Freestyle Snowboarding Program of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Clubs. At that time, Gene Hamilton was running the show. When I was attending CMC, there was this other fun and fired up snowboard racer kid that I enjoyed riding with and talking to about the sport. His name was Mike Mallon and it turned out Gene would hire Mike to coach the Alpine Programs, while I jumped in with both feet to work on the Freestyle side of things.
That was the start of something beautiful. Gene only made it through that first year, but over the next 5 years, Mike and I were part of another incredible progression. It would rival that of the level of riding and tricks while I was pro, only this time it was the progression of competitive club programs and team snowboarding nationwide. In 5 years the Steamboat program went from around 25 athletes, to around 130. In much the same way the attendance at the National Snowboard Events doubled. I started coaching as a Volunteer for US Project Gold Camps and Junior World Chapionships in Austria.
During that time I had to spread my wings a bit and develop a few new skills including:
- Programming and Scheduling for the Freestyle Program.
- Event Management – Running local and regional events in Steamboat.
- Announcing – ST on the mic, all the time, working little and moderate sized regional events. I liked that a lot too.
- Judging - IJC certified Judge. To be honest I don't like being a judge, it is hard and people will always complain about results. I have tons of respect for Judges and Judging.
- Cat Driver and Pipe Cutter- I took over the building and maintenance of our half pipe, jumps and rails at Howelsen Hill, the little ski area, owned by the city of Steamboat, which is the home base for the Winter Sports Club. I have now operated snow cats for around 8 years.Dang, time flies.
After 5 years in 2002, I took a break from coaching. I burned out on the stresses and pressure I had put on myself and decided to drive Pizza and focus on my riding for a year to see if I could compete again. I had been riding well and wanted to give it a shot before my body could not handle it anymore.
Mike went back to his roots on the east coast, to find a home to develop his coaching career, where he would eventually land at the Stratton Mountain School, which incidentally, just received the 2009 USSA Program of the Year Award.
My second year off, which would have been 2004, I competed on the Vans Triple Crown tour. I was so incredibly excited to be competing again. I made it to the Triple Crown finals at my first event back, and then won the Western Regional Championships in Aspen with some of the best runs of my life. Unfortunately, I finished up that season with an injury to my other knee and spent the summer having both knees surgerized. Booo. But, my 30 Year Old season of competition was well worth it. I still love competing when I can, but these days the athletes are my focus not the riding.
Now I have been back at the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club where I have just finish up another 5 years of coaching. Only this time I am not burned out and needing a break. I just love coaching and working with the riders.
Over the past 4 years my Pro-Am program continued to progress. With riders including Matt Ladley, Maddy Schaffrick, Paul Brichta and Taylor Gold and more coming up, the group is gaining momentum. Landing in foreign lands like South Korea, Austria, Italy, New Zealand and almost Russia. Sadly the chair lift fell over and they canceled the event before we touched down in Russia. That would have been crazy.
Since I have a new job, the Pro-Am Program in Steamboat will be taken over by Ashley Berger. She is an amazing coach that I have worked with for many years. She is well groomed for the job and I look forward to see where she takes it.
- US Snowboarding Rookie Team -
Left to Right - Coach Spencer Tamblyn, Matt Ladley, Zack Black, Guest Toby Miller, Broc Waring,
Guest Maddi Mastro, Dylan Bidez, Lizzy Beerman, Paul Brichta, Maddy Schaffrick,
Retiring Rookie Coach Bud Keene & US Snowboarding Head Coach, Mike Jankowski.
(not pictured) Ben Watts and Kelly Marren
For 3 years now I have been working as the
US Snowboarding Freestyle Development Coach.
Before that I was running the Pro-Am Freestyle Team for the
Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club in Steamboat Springs, CO.
Six years ago I was proud to accept the US Snowboarding,
Domestic Snowboard Coach of the Year Award for 2007.
Along the way, I enjoyed having been selected to coach the
USASA Pacsun National Halfpipe Team
at off season camps and on the competition circuit during the winter.
So that’s about it. I love to ride my bike, go surf at the lake, catch fish, hang with friends and family and hope for more phat powder days, perfect parks, fresh cut pipes
and amazing contest days down the road.
Thank you for reading and using www.Snowboard-Coach.com.
I hope that through this site, as well as on the hill, I can help and support coaches
and riders to take our great sport to the new "Next level".
See you out there.
US Snowboarding Development Coach (US Rookie Team)
PO Box 881448 Steamboat Co. 80488
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