By ADAM DRAPCHO, LACONIA DAILY SUN
GILMANTON — The Baldwin brothers, who last year earned an invitation to the USASA Snowboard National Championships at Copper Mountain, have been invited back to Colorado for the championships and will compete Sunday through Tuesday.
Will, 17 years old, and Finn, 15, are Gilmanton residents who attend Gilford High School and work at Gunstock Mountain Resort. They both compete in the boarder cross events and the slopestyle snowboarding events in the state's division of the United States of America Snowboard and Freestyle Association, this year both brothers landed in the top three in statewide rankings, earning them a ticket to Copper Mountain.
Will placed among the top three New Hampshire snowboarders in the 16-17-year-old bracket for both slopestyle and boarder cross. Finn, competing in the 14-15 bracket, broke his arm during a slopestyle event earlier this season, but was still able to place in the top three for boarder cross.
Rob Baldwin, the boys' father, said the family is feeling more confident this year after the experience they gained in the 2015 championships.
"Last year, my wife and I had a bunch of anxiety about the altitude," he said.
Copper Mountain is 9,712 feet at the base and 12,313 at the summit, about 10,000 feet higher than Gunstock. So, the Baldwins' pediatrician prescribed a medication to help. Unfortunately, the pills also had the side effect of fatigue.
"They both competed under stressed circumstances," said Rob. This year, the family is flying out a day early so that Will and Finn can acclimate naturally.
While Finn, a freshmen, is more focused on the few years ahead than what lies beyond, Rob said that Will is beginning to think of a way for him to keep a foot in snowboard bindings for the rest of his working years. Will has a mind for design and engineering, his father said.
"He'd love to work for Burton."
Finn Baldwin, seen here at left, competing in a boarder cross event, will participate in the USASA Snowboard National Championships in Colorado starting on Sunday. (Courtesy photo)
Will Baldwin, shown here competing in a slope style event, is a junior at Gilford High School and will be competing in the USASA Snowboarding Championships for the second time. (Courtesy photo)