Though the University of California, Santa Barbara’s campus is miles from anywhere that sees snow, students on the Ski and Snowboarding Team aren’t letting the distance stop them.
The team’s season spans “as long as there’s snow on the mountain”—usually from December until May—and they make trips up to Mammoth to hit the slopes, says snowboarding captain and fourth-year aquatic biology major Dylan Brady.
“This year we got a lease on a condo up in Mammoth for six months,” Brady added.
“It’s like a giant sleepover,” said third-year environmental studies major Emily Lam. “You get to go from one beautiful place to another. You get a chance to do something that’s athletic and outdoors all year round. I know a lot of people are dreading winter quarter, but I can’t wait.”
The Ski and Snowboarding Team competes in a wide variety of events in both racing and freestyle categories, including giant slalom, half-pipe, slopestyle, and border cross. They compete in a league that is composed of a variety of other Southern California schools, including the University of California, Los Angeles; University of Southern California; San Diego State University; and University of California, San Diego.
“There’s a broad range of skill levels, so it’s a really good way to get better,” said fourth-year history and environmentally studies double major Mikey Muraki. “You improve a lot over four years.”
UCSB’s Ski and Snow Team is one of campus’s many clubs offered through Recreational Sports on campus, welcoming students from all skill levels and backgrounds.
“We do pretty well, but competition is entirely voluntary,” said second-year biology major and ski captain Andrew Peterson. The group doesn’t require any prior experience for students to join, but still offers opportunities for those with previous skiing and snowboarding experience.
The group doesn’t require any prior experience for students to join, but still offers opportunities for those with previous skiing and snowboarding experience.
“There’s a broad range of skill levels, so it’s a really good way to get better,” said Muraki.
The Ski and Snowboarding Team does most of their recruiting immediately preceding their season, including tabling at the annual Fun and Fitness Festival, but students can also get involved by joining their mailing list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.