Elena Hight

Connective Tissue: Elena Hight and the Joy of It All

Elena Hight has a seat at snowboarding’s head table. Travis Rice, Jeremy Jones, Jamie Anderson, Danny Davis—they’re all down with Elena. 

Indeed, Elena’s been rolling with the elite since she was a teenager. Her path to prominence began with a surprise appearance at the 2006 Olympics at the age of 16, which led to Vancouver 2010, then regular spots on the podium at global halfpipe events. She picked up support from nonendemic brands—Toyota, GoPro, Clif Bar and the like—alongside backing from industry heavies such as Volcom and Smith Optics. Even now, with her contest days officially over, Elena’s social media reads #sponsored and features strategic branded content on the regular. 

Despite Elena’s contest-kid career trajectory, she didn’t come from money. Her dad Mike, a ski bum, worked the night shift in South Lake Tahoe, CA so he could enjoy days on-slope with Elena and her younger brother, Mika. Elena made a name for herself at a young age through contest results, earning coaching, a travel budget and the like through sponsorship. She sees snowboarding as a metaphor for life, and snowboarding is the life she chose as a preteen…


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