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Cortland’s Landon Rozewski heads to snowboarding competition

Bob Ellis/staff photographer

Cortland resident Landon Rozewski, 14, is shown Wednesday at Greek Peak Mountain Resort in Virgil, where he practices snowboarding during the winter.

VIRGIL — Landon Rozewski, a Cortland teen, will head to Colorado for a national snowboarding championship, but winning won’t be his focus — fun is.

The competition is the 2017 National Championship through the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association.

Landon Rozewski will compete from Friday through April 6 at Copper Mountain. This will be Rozewski’s first year at the competition.

Michael MacBlane, 16, of Elmira, who also trains at Greek Peak, will compete, too, but on skis instead of a snowboard.

Rozewski, 14, has been snowboarding for five years, and before that he skied.

Why the change? It’s something different. “I got bored of skiing and wanted to try something new,” Rozewski said.

His father, Brian Rozewski, was surprised at the idea.

“I said, ‘Oh no,’ because I’m a skier,” the elder Rozewski said.

To help his son learn how to snowboard Brian Rozewski found him a coach at Greek Peak Mountain Resort in Virgil, Liz Bonham. After learning the foundations of snowboarding from his coach, he was off to performing his first trick, a 180-spin, Landon Rozewski said.

“I just want him to enjoy the experience and have some fun,” Brian Rozewski said.

At the championship, Landon Rozewski will compete in the Rail Jam and Slope Style competitions.
The Rail Jam involves performing tricks cleanly and with style using a metal rail to earn points.
The Slope Style involves performing tricks off jumps, Rozewski said.

His favorite trick to do in the Rail Jam is a front board slide to 270. The trick involves approaching and jumping up onto a rail, back facing forward and jumping off the rail and doing a 270-degree spin and landing, Rozewski said.

Most of the tricks Rozewski knows he learned on his own or by watching older snowboarders on the mountain, he said.

Rozewski looks forward snowboarding in April, something he doesn’t get to do often in New York, though it won’t be his first time doing that, he said. He also isn’t worried about winning.

“I don’t focus on winning,” he said. “I focus on having fun with my friends and meeting new people.”

Rozewski said he looks up to professional snowboarder Mark McMorris. Like Rozewski, McMorris started snowboarding just to have fun with his friends, and then became a professional, Rozewski said.

Becoming a professional isn’t on Rozewski’s mind at the moment, he said. “I just want to enjoy snowboarding for the rest of my life and have fun with it.”

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