Jake Blauvelt is a highly-respected and accomplished snowboarder with a career spanning 16 years, constantly captivating audiences with his smooth, creative, and effortless riding style. Born and raised in the Green Mountains of Vermont, he's our hometown hero, so we asked him some questions so you could get to know Jake like we do.
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in Waterbury Center, Vermont, moved out west for ten or so years to chase big mountains and snow, and now I find myself back where it all started in Vermont, chasing my 3 kids with my wife.
When and how did you start snowboarding?
I started snowboarding during the after school program at Bolton Valley in 5th grade. I was already dabbling with skateboarding at that time so it seemed like the natural thing to do in the winter in Vermont.
When did you realize snowboarding was going to be more than just a hobby?
Either when all I could think about was next time I was going to strap in right around that first year I started snowboarding, or a couple years later when I started competing in the local USASA Northern Vermont contest series and had some good results and realized I could maybe take it somewhere.
What's your favorite thing about living, riding, and raising your family in Vermont?
It’s where my wife’s and my heart is. It just feels like home here. Everything about it. The weather, the trees, the people. There’s no other place in the world I’d rather be raising my family. Having the kids be raised around all their grandparents and relatives is great.
Congrats on the birth of your third child, Bodie! How old do you wait for your kids to be before you have them out on a snowboard?
Thank you! Hah, with our girls we waited until they were about two to take them up to the resort and that was pushing it a bit for sure. But they’ve definitely had some good snurfs in the backyard with dad at just a couple months old.
What's your favorite place to snowboard in Vermont?
Bolton Valley Resort or my backyard glades.
You’ve had the opportunity to live in different locations with epic places to snowboard. What brought you back to Vermont? What keeps you here?
My family and the people who live here in Vermont brought me back and keep me here. There’s nothing like a good solid Vermonter. A real Woodchuck!
We hear your dad does sugaring each year. Is it true that you used to take his maple syrup with you wherever you went?
Haha yeah, I’d always travel with a little bit to spruce up my coffee in the morning wherever I was in the world. If there is one taste that grounds me and gives me a sense of home no matter how far away I am, it’s maple syrup off my folks' land.
We’re passionate about keeping our manufacturing in Vermont and supporting the community we have here, which is why we love that you hold Blauvelt's Banks right here at Bolton Valley. Can you tell us more about the story behind Blauvelt's Banks and why you picked Bolton as the location?
Bolton Valley holds a special place in my heart. It’s an independently owned resort and has a great down to earth, family atmosphere, and is where I learned how to snowboard.
Blauvelt’s Banks is a banked slalom race, and 100% of the proceeds will be donated for the construction of a brand new concrete skatepark in Waterbury, Vermont. I really enjoyed hosting the first race in 2020 and giving the shred community a fun event where we could all get together, have a blast racing and raising money for a good cause.
It feels good to have everything come full circle after all the years of travel and host an event where it all started for me, at Bolton Valley. We had to take last year off due to COVID, but we are back in planning mode for 2022. Set your calendars for race day on March 5th!
What are you proudest of as you look back on the last several years?
I’m proudest of my family, first and foremost.
In regards to snowboarding, I’m just happy to have contributed some solid video parts and helped develop some innovative gear, including my pro model Berzerker with RIDE® snowboards and the Backwoods sock with Darn Tough.
Also, hosting the Blauvelt’s Banks and being able to give back to the community that has given me so much over the years and raise money for a good cause, that feels good too.
What are your favorite socks for… snowboarding? Lazy days at home? Gardening? Epically sliding across the floor?
For snowboarding, the Backwoods, which I was lucky enough to help design. Lazy days at home and gardening either the Tactical or the Hiker socks, and for sliding across the floor definitely the Element Crew athletic socks.
Have you changed your laundry patterns to align with your socks yet?
Hah, not yet I guess? The socks don’t need nearly as many washes as you’d think. The Merino Wool keeps them smelling fresh.
What are your thoughts on sleeping with your socks on?
Go for it if you’re cold, but I run hot and can’t handle the heat!
Besides the socks themselves, what makes you a fan of Darn Tough?
I grew up in Vermont and have always heard people swear by Darn Tough ever since I can remember. The Darn Tough name is highly regarded around here and knowing that they support much of the community, make amazing products in Vermont, USA, and treat their workers well was plenty reason enough.