Manuel Diaz

Born and raised by ski instructors in Farellones, Chile, Manuel Diaz first made his way to Stevens Pass, WA at the age of 14. Now 23, Diaz has made a name for himself through his humble demeanor and freestyle abilities in natural terrain—skills that brought him to Alaska in the spring of 2012 to film with Absinthe and Pirate Movie Productions. From the Andes to Alaska, Diaz is betting on the life he loves—and redefining Chilean snowboarding in the process.

The last time I saw Manuel Diaz on hill at Stevens Pass, WA he went straight to the top of the mountain and jumped off the biggest thing in sight—a cliff off the top of Cowboy Ridge. The one that everyone always said, “Wouldn’t it be sick if someone could air that whole thing?” Well, Manuel did—upside-down, with style. It was a formidable spine wall that only the most seasoned locals ever approach. Manuel decided the best entry point was 25 feet higher than usual and he dusted the snow off a full grown Douglas Fir mid-rotation.

Manuel’s roots in the Chilean Andes show in both his skills and his personality. The son of ski instructors and brother of two professional freeskiers, his mountain sense comes naturally. He’s genuine, funny, and, with a soft voice and thick accent, impossible to understand over a two-way radio. When he shows up at the hill, he’ll take time to shake every single person’s hand. Even if there are 20 of us, riding can wait…

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