This 16-Year-Old Snowboarder Will Blow You Away

Hailey Langland is a 16-year-old snowboarding star who believes that if you're not having fun doing something, it's not worth doing. "What sets me apart from the other riders is that I try to ride with as much fun as possible," she says. "For what it's worth, I'd miss any high school dance just to be able to go ride." A native of Southern California's desert, Langland discovered snowboarding at age 5, when her dad introduced her to winter on Big Bear mountain. Now, she has been home-schooled since third grade so that she can focus on her sport. And she's been busy conquering icy courses as a seasoned pro, entering (and winning) her first snowboarding competition at just 14. "If you have confidence in whatever it is you love to do, people are going to notice that," she says. Her grounded, calm self-assurance helps her continue perfecting her technique — and wins her the admiration of rivals and coaches alike. Langland's supreme chill even extends to her occasional wipeouts; at the Burton U.S. Open, the biggest national snowboarding competition, Hailey took a dive on her run's final, daunting jump, as captured in the video above. From the way she got up, though, smiling and ready to try again, it's impossible to see this as a bad day on the slopes. "This is my life; this is my love," she says. Update: In January of 2017, Langland became the first woman to land the Cab Double Cork 1080 at the X Games, where she was the youngest participant. Her performance on this move won her the competition's first gold medal.

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