Interview courtesy of Diana Sciandra for www.shredbetties.com
Home Mountain: grew up at Mt. Baker, usually at Northstar-at-Tahoe.
Hometown: Mt. Vernon, WA. Land of the tulips!
Years Riding: 10
Results: Nothing too impressive, a couple of Burton Am wins and a lot of losses. Sponsors: Burton, Exit Real World, Smith Optics, Pow Gloves, Coal Headwear, Skullcandy and Bench Clothing.
Kumara is a unique name is there a story behind that?
My dad found the name at some hippie Hindu meditation workshop in the 70’s. Growing up he told me it meant royalty and innocence, and that’s true, but it’s also the name of a Hindu warrior god. And it’s what they call sweet potatoes in New Zealand. I swear my name means something in every language.
What are you up to in the off season? Any big travel plans?
I recently applied for a fashion marketing internship in Sweden and I really hope that pans out. Otherwise I am working on getting my business marketing degree, which is a slow-going process. Also doing some design work, a little modeling, biking lots, yoga, jumping off things into water and being tan. I’ll also take a couple summer snowboard trips to Mt. Hood.
How are you making going to college and snowboarding work?
Not very well, I take classes when I can (mostly during fall quarter) and during winter I focus completely on snowboarding. It’s hard to excel at both and snowboarding is the bigger focus right now, but I know if I keep plugging away at my degree I’ll get it. I love school and look forward to one day being a college grad. A lot of people go to college for seven years.
Where do you go to school?
University of Washington
What do you want to do with this degree?
Eventually, down the road somewhere, I want to start my own fashion brand. A brand inspired by snowboarding, surfing, traveling and all things awesome. I have a lot of creative energy that needs an outlet, I’d like to funnel all that energy into that little grey area where snowboarding meets skate meets surf meets music meets fashion meets high fashion meets art.
I understand you have website, do you use this website for the purpose of funneling your creative energy?
Yeah my website (http://www.kumarakelley.com) started out as a snowboard travel blog and has become a smorgasbord of everything I do; snowboarding, modeling, writing stories and vignettes, making silly lists, putting up various things I find funny, posting videos, showcasing my more fashionable days.
What are your plans for the upcoming season?
What advice do you have for girls who are just starting to do competitions?
My advice? Keep up on other things that you love outside of snowboarding, it makes it easier when you lose and better when you win. I perform my best at contests when I am maintaining my yoga practice. Not only because it helps me physically and mentally but also because it reminds me that I have loves outside of snowboarding and that, well, it’s just snowboarding you know.
Most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you on a snowboard?
I obnoxiously and uncontrollably sing when I snowboard, and I have a horrible voice, so that’s embarrassing for anyone who hears me.
What tricks are you working on right now?
I’m trying to dial all four fives. I also really want shifty front five.
What’s your process for learning a new trick?
Haha, ummm, process….. I just kinda throw it and hope for the best. Usually I fall a whole bunch, get super pissed off and scream and stop trying until some later point, and then it usually comes together at that later point.
breakfast cereal: Cheerios
snowboard shop: Exit Real World in Oregon, the absolute best. ever.
movie: Big Lebowski
park feature: A perfectly shaped 50-ft table top
snowboard buddy: Erika Vikander and Megan Littleton
inspiration: Zach Galifinakis. My friends. Youtube. Travis Parker.