Summer Fenton masters the winter slopes 

A San Franciscan named Summer, raised a block from Ocean Beach, is poised to be on the 2014 USA Olympic snowboarding team in Sochi, Russia.

“When I started at 4½-years-old, I would beg my parents to take me up to Tahoe with them to snowboard,” Summer Fenton said. “The first time I strapped into my bindings on my snowboard, I was hooked.”

Now 15, Fenton has spent much of her life in the skies, either catching “big air” above a snowboarding halfpipe or superpipe, or jetting across the globe.

Each year from 2000-06, Fenton earned a spot on the podium for her age group in the USA Snowboarding Association national championships. Her personal best, though, came during last month’s victory at the Gatorade Free Flow Tour finals in West Dover, Vt., where she scored a nearly perfect score of 92 in the superpipe event.

Fenton beat her nearest challenger by 17 points with a ride that began with an “Indy,” a board-
grabbing move that demonstrates midair control to the judges.

Other tricks included a backside 540 Stalefish, an aerial spin with 1½ rotations, and she also landed a Front 5, a full rotation plus a half rotation to the opposite direction.

With the victory in Vermont, Fenton earned a spot to compete against the best in the sport in the first stop of the 2010-11 Winter Dew Tour.

“I eat, sleep, breathe snowboarding,” Fenton said. “It’s my life.”

She also devotes time to hitting the books as well as the slopes.

“In my family, education comes first,” she said. “Independence High School allows me to snowboard and get a good education at the same time.”

Fenton is currently training with coach Dustin Linker in Ogden, Utah.

As part of Linker’s Wasatch Project, the 5-foot-3, 103-pounder commits six to seven hours, seven days a week to practicing her craft. She spent last summer snowboarding in Argentina and has competed in Canada and New Zealand.

Fenton’s personal travels have included China, Japan, England, France, Italy and Mexico.

At home, Fenton prefers to shop on Haight Street with her friends or practice on the skateboarding halfpipe in her backyard.

Linker sees in Fenton the drive, motivation and heart of an

“At the end of a full day of snowboarding she has that ‘one-more-run’ attitude,” her coach said. “She always lets out a big sigh when it’s time to go.”

Summer Fenton basics

What: Sixth-generation San Franciscan

Snowboarding: A superpipe has higher walls than a halfpipe, thus allowing the athlete to fly higher in the air.

Next season’s goals: “Huge Back-to-Back 540s with grabs, 720s in the pipe and a big backside 360 with a grab off jumps”

Sponsors: SFO Snowboarding, Burton Boards, Roxy Outerwear

Tidbit: Fenton has never skied, but she’d like to try it one day

Wasatch Project: Nonprofit organization for “up-and-coming” snowboarders


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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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