At this point, it’s pretty safe to assume Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club snowboarder Nik Baden could be the next big thing.
Just 13 years old, Nik’s resume already includes a USASA Menehune Boys Overall National Champion title at the 2010 USASA Nationals, and a gold medal in slopestyle. In 2010, he also placed third at the U.S. Open Junior Division in the halfpipe.
Nik isn’t yet sure of the direction he wants his career to take — whether he’ll compete competitively or try to star in snowboard videos.
But starting today, Nik gets a chance to experience the cameras.
He’ll be one of four young athletes featured on Disney XD’s “Winter Next X” series.
The series was shot entirely in Aspen and had the athletes working with professional skier Sarah Burke and snowboarder Danny Kass.
Nik spent several days with Kass — a two-time Olympic medalist — shooting segments.
The show premieres at 2 p.m. today on Disney XD. New episodes will air daily at 2 p.m., culminating in a recap of the series Feb. 7, when one of the four athletes will be named Winter Next X.
Disney XD can be found on Channel 122 with Comcast or Channel 174 for DISH Network subscribers.
Episodes also will air on www.disneyXD.com after they air on Disney XD.
“It was really cool,” Nik said about the experience. Kass “was real nice and real funny. I got to work one on one with him and he supported me. It was cool to see what it’s like to be more with somebody filming for a show and television, rather than filming with you and your friends.”
Nik got into snowboarding when his parents got him a lesson for his fourth birthday. From there, he’s taken off.
After the show, Nik will continue to be one of the youngest competitors in big events. He’ll attend the U.S. Open in Vermont and nationals at Copper Mountain, where he’ll compete in slopestyle and the halfpipe.
“His future is pretty up for him to choose,” said Ashley Berger, who coached Nik at the Winter Sports Club.
“He has the opportunity to be a pro snowboarder if he wants. He can be the best in the world in the next five years if he wants to.”
— To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@SteamboatToday.com