Adrenaline & Ease

The Story of a Boy, Born to Ride

Justin Phipps took his first steps at eight months old, which might have been a hint of things to come for this snowboard phenom. From an early age, his lack of fear and uncanny agility proved to be heart attack inducing for his parents, albeit entertaining for all those around him. Born and raised in Arvada, in the shadow of the front range and less than two hours from multiple ski resorts, Phipps had the opportunity to strap into his first mini-sized board at just four years old. He then spent nearly every spring and winter weekend strapped in, as both he, and his snowboards, grew in size. 


Phipps went from exploring hidden terrain at Loveland Ski Area with his dad to tackling the ‘biggest of the big jumps’ in Breckenridge’s terrain parks in record time. While in elementary school, he started competing in USASA events, regularly taking home regional accolades at events hosted at local resorts. Phipps quickly shifted his focus away from the groomed competition circuit when he found his love of street riding - moving from structured courses to a progressive form of riding incorporating in-town urban features like stairways, handrails, walls and, yes, the occasional concrete. 


As a second grader, he filmed and released his first video part, catching the eye of snowboard brand managers and industry pundits and was soon after invited to Snowboarder Magazine’s The Launch, the industry’s ‘coming out party’ for young riders. Further invitations took him to new destinations, solidifying his love of both travel and meeting other riders from across the globe. Phipps has been featured multiple times in industry print publications, a goal that he set for himself at a very young age and achieved quicker than he could have ever thought possible. 


Growing up in Arvada also allowed Phipps to hone his summer passion - skateboarding. The surrounding area is host to some of the nation’s best skateboard parks including Arvada Skatepark neighboring the Apex Center. Just a 10 minute bike ride from his house, Apex became a second home for Phipps over the dog days of summer in elementary and middle school. He’s also one of the lucky few who was able to skate outside his back door when his family turned a third of his backyard into a professionally constructed concrete skateboard pool. 


Social media outlets have offered many an opportunity for Phipps to be widely recognized in a pursuit that has gained popularity steadily over the last two decades, but he has stayed humble and appreciative of every opportunity he’s been given. Says Phipps, “I once had an employee at the local Dairy Queen give me free Blizzards because he recognized me from my Instagram account and it made for the absolute best day.” His humility and candor is also reflected in his unique and flowing style on a snowboard. He rides as comfortably and confidently as most walk down the street. 


When he wasn’t hitting neighborhood drive-thrus, Phipps has had opportunities to check out multiple states traveling for his snowboard pursuits. That said, he didn’t go too far from home after graduating from Arvada West High School in 2020. He’s currently pursuing a Business Marketing degree at the University of Utah, hoping to ultimately work within the action sports industry he’s grown to love. The Salt Lake City campus offers a half dozen ski resorts within 30 minutes of campus, so hitting Woodward Park City after classes on a Wednesday is par for the course. 


If you ask Phipps, he’ll tell you he’d like to work his way through school over the next several years, while still allowing time to ride, film, travel and continue to make his mark on the urban snowboarding scene. Chances are, if you catch a live look at a rider dropping in at an Arvada landmark or spot a familiar location in a snowboard video, it’s Justin Phipps home from school catching a late season snow storm in his hometown.

IG: @justinphipps_

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