No story in the world of snowboarding is quite as unique as Chanelle Sladics’. From skateboarder punk to professional snowboarder/surfer/organic veggie farmer, there’s next to no terrain Sladics hasn’t already shredded. Powderoom.net had the chance to catch up with the action sports triple-threat turned yoga teacher before her trip to Bali this month. Have we yet to see more from the newly minted One Life mogul? You bet your lucky beanie.
There were no overbearing parents there to discourage her, no cautious friends to explain to her that what she was doing was completely mental. Not even her sponsors seemed to think it through entirely.
“I did a competition the second day [of snowboard lessons] because I just felt like I was bored, and my sponsors were like, we’ll pay your entry fee, and I was like, I don’t know if I’m ready for a contest, but like, screw it. Whatever. [Laughs].”
Ready or not, Sladics rocked the competitions socks off, earning second place, a magazine spread, and a heap of free products in the process.
“I was 12 or 13 years old and I was like, holy shit, how did I do so good?”
All signs point to her fearless approach–to anything that she does. Growing up in Newport, California, the pro-snowboarder spent most of her youth braving concrete and soccer balls to the face, while still finding time to tear up her local mountain on skis during winter vay-cays.
“[Because] I was confident in the snow and I was already competing in skateboarding and sponsored for skating, I was already at a high level for that age and [it] was pretty easy transition for me.”
It was only a matter of time before sponsors in the snowboard world took notice.
“I was kind of a little skater punk and I was like, alright… I’ll do this little contest. I was having trouble with my club soccer team and I wasn’t really feeling the vibe from the team and the coach. I was so stoked, I quit soccer and quit skateboard competitions and I signed up for USASA and never looked back!”
t was a decision that has turned Sladics into a franchise. She was picked up by Oakley, Omatic Snowboards, and Flux Bindings (to name a few) and competed in several competitions across the nation, including Grand Prix and Nikita Chickita slopestyle, always placing top tier. But has she really never looked back?
“I don’t know as much about the [skate] scene as I used to… I do pop up every once and a while, skate the ramp, but I know it’s not like the fastest growing scene because skateboarding hurts!”
The snowboard industry was much easier for Sladics to come up in as a professional female rider, though she does attribute the chick appeal to more than just a smaller pain threshold.
“Snowboarding is very social. You can talk on the lift, you get your cute clothes [and] you get to have lunch with everybody on the hill. It’s like more of an experience, you know? So I think that our sport is really growing the more attention it gets because they’re like, you know, I can do that! [Even] my mom is over 50 years-old and she’s killing it!”
It’s easy to see why Sladics has surrounded herself with like-minded female riders, having bought a house in Oceanside, California (an action sports refuge tucked away in north county San Diego) and shared space with the likes of other professional riders, such as Elena Hight and Jamie Anderson. Leave it to Sladics to shake things up. There’s a youtube video circulating of her tricking Hight into thinking that her car had been stolen. Sladics’ impression of a police officer is eerily good.
“[Elena] was an easy victim. I called her at the airport and I knew she’d just gotten a new Toyota vehicle and I’m always looking to be entertained, and pranks are like my favorite thing to do. Keeps it light-hearted, keeps people on their toes, keeps life less serious. There’s already enough serious energy going on. I like to, you know, mix it up!”
Mixing it up is a subject Sladics could have an advanced degree in. The snowboarder found yoga a few years ago as a way to stay fit and focused in both her professional career and life. The hobby has turned into another area of focus for the pro, who’s in the process of completing her teaching certification.
“I’ve had Bali on my wall for a while. I’m all about totally immersing yourself in anything that you do, and that was like the ultimate [place] where they practice peacefulness, and then you know, to go and practice the anatomy of the body… That would serve me in my career. And it’s a big passion of what I want to contribute back to snowboarding.”
Not only that, but Sladics has teamed up with professional surfer Rochelle Ballard to become an integral part of the ‘Surf Into Yoga’ series, making several cameo appearances in the franchise DVD. But why not ‘Snowboard Into Yoga’?
“With snowboarding, if you’ve got your ipod blasting and you’re hanging out in the park, you could potentially distract yourself enough that you could forget where you are. Even I can be so pumped up that I’ll totally forget that I’m out in nature, and I’ll totally forget where I am. And like, I think [for] surfers, that wave is constantly moving, and the more in tune that they are with the wave, the better they surf.”
But surfing is like a fresh tracks day on the mountain for Sladics.
“I think riding powder is just like riding epic waves, and it’s something that I don’t even get a ton of at the moment because I’m on tour, but I’ve found that it’s something I’m very passionate about.”
The veggie garden in her backyard is further proof that the pro practices what she preaches. Mindful living is the new wave for Sladics, and she’s surfing this one full-heartedly.
“I grow my own food and I open my home to many people so that I can inspire them to live a lifestyle with higher vibration food and just have fun with it!”
But it can be–believe it or not–exhausting work for the southern Californian.
“I get burned out really easily, so my inspiration is to keep doing stuff, you know? Having a mini-ramp in my backyard, having the waves this close… It allows me to stay incredibly inspired, and I bring that with me on tour. It’s been really fun to inspire my friends about getting involved in skating and surfing again. And they’re like, wow, I didn’t think of spending my summers like this! I’m like, it’s just another way to do it. And they’re so getting off on it.”
There’s tons to get off on when Sladics is around, and with the launch of a networking website–One Life–an open door policy at chez Sladics might bring a few more visitors than she expects…
“Basically, it’s just a crew of ladies, we have a website coming out, thisisonelife.com. Yeah, we just have a lot of fun… We do pranks and we dance at the top of our runs… We have a rule book that inspires being present. It’s super fun to have a group of such amazing women to like, inspire that. And we’re going to be doing potluck dinners and opening up the space to everybody when we’re gone. And once a week, we’ll open up or space for everyone to bring a dish, and kinda see what we do behind closed doors.”
That sounds good to us, Chanelle–We’re bringing Mexican!