Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sandpoint Brothers Are Well Grounded Nationally Ranked Snowboarders

Ask brothers Kix and Dash Kamp about their life, and they will tell you they are just a couple of kids who have fun at what they do. But dig a little deeper and you will find that the secret to their success lies in the combination of hard work, perseverance and positive attitudes.

Their names are unique. Kix, 12, was named after country music star Kix Brooks. Dash, 17, was named after the small community in which he was born – Dash Point, Wash.

The brothers are avid snowboarders and compete through the United States of America Snowboard Association, attending competitions throughout the western U.S. and Canada. Their names can be found in national rankings. Dash is ranked 17th in the nation in slope style open class and Kix is 26th.

Kix said the greatest moment thus far in competing was when he placed third in the country at age 9.

Although fun, it doesn’t come easy.

“It is definitely a never ending ladder. You have to set your goals and work up from there,” said Dash. But more than anything, he said, “Kix and I are really in this to have fun and do it for as long as we can.”

To help accommodate their lifestyle, the boys have been home schooled most of their lives and say they prefer that to the traditional school setting.

“It’s a great program and easier because sometimes the noise in the classroom can be distracting,” said Kix.

“We start at 8 and are usually done by 11:30, eat lunch and are out on the mountain from 12 until closing,” said Dash, who with a smile adds “but if it’s a really good powder day we will go right out to the mountain and do our school work that night.”

It is a schedule that has served them well. The two are excellent students with grade-point averages around 3.50.

For the past six years the boys have lived at Schweitzer Mountain Resort with their mother, Paula Kamp. Their dad, Slate Kamp, also lives in the community and although their parents are divorced the boys say they have both been there for them and supported them all the way.

“We all come together as a team,” said Dash.

Each of the boys is sponsored by a variety of international and local companies. Among them are Oakley, Litehouse, Batwaves, DC Shoes and Union Bindings.

“And, of course, mom and dad,” adds Dash.

Sponsorships help cover most of their equipment cost, which includes four snowboards for Kix and five for Dash.

“It is very cool to be sponsored and to have people want us to promote their product,” said Dash. “Our sponsors are also very proud that we keep a high GPA. They like well-rounded kids representing their product.”

The boys have grown up on Schweitzer Mountain. Kix started skiing at age 3 and boarding when he was 6. Dash began skiing at 2 and boarding at 4. Although they both enjoy skiing and boarding, when it comes to competing they strictly board. Dash has been competing since he was 11 and Kix since age 8.

In the summer months they travel to Mount Hood, Ore. for at least two weeks to keep their skills sharp.

They support and encourage one another, with Dash often giving tips to his younger sibling. The boys don’t get nervous when it comes to competition and say that it helps make them stronger.

“I like everything about snowboarding and competition,” said Kix. “You may not always agree with the judge but you just have to move forward.”

His older brother agrees. “The competition part is what makes snowboarding a renowned sport,” said Dash. “The judging builds character.”

Up until last season the boys had a full time coach who also lived with the family at Schweitzer. They both say they cannot imagine growing up anywhere else.

“It’s an awesome place to live,” said Dash. “It is so peaceful.”

“It’s like Red Bull,” said Kix with a smile. “You can’t get enough of it!”

As for the future, the boys would both like to go as far as they can with snowboarding and build it into a career.

“I want to do my best and go pro,” said Kix, who has played soccer in the past and also now plays lacrosse and football. In addition to snowboarding, Dash plays on the Sandpoint High School tennis team.

Dash is entering his last year of high school and is looking into colleges in Colorado where he will continue to compete. “I want to get a degree in business and come out with my own snowboard line one day,” Dash said.

Of his days on the mountain, Dash said he has some great memories, and heavy snow days were some of the most memorable.

“Waking up to realize it has just snowed 2 ½ feet, the Internet is down so you cannot do online school that day and the public schools are closed and all my friends are coming up to the mountain is the best,” he said.

Something else that makes the brothers cool kids is not just the snowboarding, but what they choose to do with it. They are both members of Boarders for Christ, a group of young Christians who enjoy sharing their passion for boarding and their values in life.

“Boarders for Christ is about snowboarders going out and showing the personality of a Christian,” said Kix. “If people ask for help we will help them.”

When asked who has influenced them the most in their years of snowboarding and competition, the boys both agree. It has been their mother.

“There is really no way we can ever thank her for all she does for us,” said Dash. “She is definitely one of the biggest heroes in my life.”

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