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Ambassador Spotlight: Meet Yura

Ambassador Spotlight: Meet Yura

Living his BAÏSTLife.

We are continuing to highlight our BAÏSTLife Crew, made up of several talented athletes who push our brand to the limit and always live their BAÏSTLife. We recently highlighted Morgan Dinsdale, and next up is Yura Kostiukevych, a free ride snowboarder from Seattle, Washington. Yura has been skiing since he was just 2 years old and doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon! Formerly a member of the under-16 Ukrainian national racing team, Yura was constantly looking for something new and became a free ride snowboarder instead. Want to know more? Read on and get a peek into Yura's life:

How long have you been skiing/riding?

Skiing since the age of 2, riding for the last 16 years.

How did you get started skiing/boarding?

My dad brought me to the local mountain, put on skis and let go. You know, almost like birds when they push their young out of the nest. Fly or die.

Do you have any funny stories or special memories of being on the slopes?


Upon moving to the U.S., I went riding to Mount Hood in July. It’s a typical time for High Cascade Camp, and I was very impressed by the level of riders, or at least one particular rider there. I knew that American snowboarding is more advanced than Ukrainian (my home country), but didn’t except such a dramatic difference. Well, later, I realized it was Scotty Lago, who just took Olympic halfpipe bronze medal a few years before.

What is your first memory of skiing/riding?

During my first run I was crying. After the run I said, “I want to do it again.”

How many days do you currently spend skiing each year?

Have no idea. Maybe 40?

What is your favorite memory of being in the snow/in nature?

Climbing big mountains. There’s something inherently great in spending weeks approaching, acclimatizing and slowly climbing any of those majestic beauties.

What does your perfect ski day look like?

Sidecountry, because I prefer lift access over hours of splitboarding. With a few friends, because riding out there alone is stupid, even though I often do so.

How do you start each day? What does your morning routine look like?

Wake up late and pray for that morning latte.

What makes your riding style different from others?

My background is in racing, at some point was in Ukrainian national junior skiing team. That makes me comfortable with speed and steepness, but less so when it comes to spins and flips. Unfortunately, latest competitive freeride trends pretty much require you to put down backflip or at least 360 to get the podium.

What is your home mountain and what are your favorite parts about it?

Alpental. Absolutely sick backcountry terrain and as close to Seattle as you can ever get from a big city.

What is the best ski day you’ve ever had?

I love most of them, actually. For example, yesterday in Nendaz and Verbier was a blast!

Where is your favorite place to ski?

I love Alps, they are beautiful, cozy and put ski lifts in some very good places. Sankt Anton is  one of my favorites so far.

What’s the furthest you’ve ever traveled to ski?

From the States to Switzerland and back.

What’s the most challenging mountain you’ve ever skied?

The line is more important than the mountain. Sometimes you put really good lines in, otherwise, very manageable places. The most challenging moment was riding down Mount Hood, when my board lost traction in icy conditions and I began sliding towards crevasses 600 feet below. Luckily, I had ice axe ready and could self-arrest before accelerating too much.

Tell us about your most memorable ski trip or run.

I remember all my Freeride World Qualifier runs, even the bad ones. Athletes are so focused to remember and visualize their line, that you pretty much get it memorized for quite some time.

What do you do in the off-season to stay in shape?

Mountaineering, rock climbing, kitesurfing, surfing, running, and snowboarding wherever there’s still some snow.

Do you have any wellness tips for people who want to ski on your level?

Rather mental tip: you can do more. Think, analyze risks, gradually push the limit and learn from it.

You are headed out to the hill: What's in your pack? Tell us your 5 must-haves.

Beacon, probe, avalanche airbag, showel, snack. Maybe 10 essentials.

If you use BAÏST products, why do you enjoy using riding with them?

Just check out the quality and attention to details, and you won’t ask this question anymore.

What made you decide to try/use/work with BAÏST?

I have an awesome experience working with local brands, who aim to create the highest quality products. Such companies have a luxury to start from scratch, aren’t spoiled by mass production tradeoffs, and focus on creating the product they truly believe in. BAÏST stands to that mental image.

What hobbies do you have other than skiing?

Not sure if these are considered hobbies, but I do have a beautiful wife, 9-5 job, and a severe adrenaline addiction.
Our BAÏSTLife Crew is comprised of avid skiers and boarders who are always looking for the next best challenge on the hill and the newest product to conquer the elements.

Want to know who else is living their BAÏSTLife?

Get to Know the Crew

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