Cade Van Etten, 9, loves to go fast. Since he first mounted a snowboard at 3.5 years of age, Cade has been in love with the sport.
Keeping up with his two older siblings was his first challenge. “He’s not the kind of kid that likes to be left behind,” Cade’s dad, David Van Etten said.
Cade entered his first snowboard competition three years ago.
“His first competition was at Red River,” David remembered. “It was much larger than anything he’d done, but he wasn’t intimidated at all. Now he lives to compete.”
Cade has competed in the USASA Southwest Freeride series for the last three year and has won many competitions. Last year he won his regional series in Slopestyle.
Cade has had two third-place finishes in Rail Jam and was invited to the U.S. Snowboard Association National Championships last year, where he placed 21st in Slopestyle and 31st in Rail Jam. In February 2013, Cade was awarded the USASA HiChew High Flyer award for the most improved rider.
This season, Cade has received one first place and two second place finishes in Rail Jam and two second place finishes in Slopestyle. This is quite an achievement, since at age nine, Cade is competing in the 13 and under age category, snowboarding against many competitors four or five years his senior.
“The National Championships were an amazing experience for me and I hope to compete there again this year,” Cade said.
Cade attends around eight competitions a year. This season, it’s been a struggle to find snow to practice on, but the family gets Cade on the slopes whenever they can, David said.
Cade is raising funds to attend the USASA National Championships, held at Copper Mountain, Colo., and to attend summer snowboard camp in Colorado this summer. To see his snowboarding video and help him with a contribution, visit http://www.gofundme.com/6oidwc.
Cade’s love for snowboarding is contagious, David said. “He makes fans wherever he goes.”