Girl On: Clair BidezMar 25 2007 / Los Angeles, CA
If you want to have fun at a Snowboard halfpipe competition, you just need to find a spot close to Clair Bidez's personal cheering section. Her parents, Earl and Patty and two Boston Terriers, Zoe and Wilbur, are typically the first spectators on the scene and are, more often than not, the life of the finish area party.
Clair's family, including her younger bother Dylan, who is also a member of the US Snowboard Team, are in no small part responsible for Clair's contagious attitude of spontaneous energy and fun. Whether she's training for an upcoming comp or exploring a new city abroad, Clair is always willing to try something new and different and everyone around has more fun because of it.
Her rise to international status started with a 4th place finish in the 2006 Winter X-games Superpipe, continued with another 4th in a FIS World Cup in Lake Placid, NY and finally a win at Junior World Snowboard Halfpipe Championships in Korea. She made the women's halfpipe finals at the 2007 US Open of Snowboarding, finishing seventh, but at 19 she was the youngest finalist and showed she has many years of competing ahead of her.
Born and raised in Minturn, Colorado, Clair has spent her entire life in the mountains and has been in love with snowboarding since her brother Dylan converted her from skiing in 1997.
Lat34: You had a really solid season last year, you feeling pressure to repeat this year?
CB: I feel a little pressure. I’m not too worried about it though.
Lat34: Your family plays a big part in your personal and snowboarding life. What’s it like to have parents that are so involved and a brother on the US team with you?
CB: I truly don’t think that I’d be snowboarding for a career if it weren't for my family. My parents support me in everything and have been just as dedicated to helping me do what I love as I am. They got up at 6:30 every Saturday and Sunday morning to drive my brother and me to Copper Mountain all the winter… That’s dedication!
Lat34: I’ve seen you and Dylan doing everything from head-butting each other to dancing together at the top of the pipe. Tell me about your relationship with him.
CB: Dylan is one of my best friends. I’m so lucky this year to be able to travel with him and ride all the time. He’s the only person who can tell me that a trick sucks and I need to fix it, but also the only person who can tell me something is good, and I can believe him. Aw, I know I know, so heart warming.
Lat34: Speaking of dancing, you’re a trained dancer aren’t you?
CB: I received dance training for 13 years. It’s the other love of my life.
Lat34: You have any top secret dance moves?
CB: Yes. Yes I do. But I cannot reveal them or they wouldn’t be top secret
Lat34: You’ve been traveling since you were 14. What has it been like growing up on the road traveling internationally?
CB: There’s no way I could have had a better education in any classroom. The opportunity for travel is definitely one of the reasons I love snowboarding so much.
Most of the time the competition schedule is super hectic and I don’t have enough time to explore like I’d like but whenever I can I book an extra day or two. On my last trip to Switzerland this year I spent a couple extra days Zurich just walking around and exploring.
Lat34: You recently filmed a commercial for State Farm. What was it like having a whole production crew there just to film you?
CB: It was pretty crazy! I thought it would maybe be a crew of 5 or 6. Instead State Farm flew out probably 50 or so people to Copper for a few days. I thought everyone was going be all Hollywood and make crazy demands and everything, but actually they were super chill with whatever I wanted to do and just went with it.
Lat34: What else have you been up to this season?
CB: Contests! Mainly I’ve been spending a lot of time at home in Colorado and had a couple trips to Switzerland already. There was a big Helly Hansen shoot to start the season.
Lat34: Tell me a little about that.
CB: Helly brought most of the team together - snowboarders and skiers. We learned to weld and built a huge steel HH logo with a box rail on top. We took the giant thing up to Copper Mountain and a bunch of the team sessioned it the next day. So that was really new and fun!
Lat34: Speaking of sponsors.
CB: Thanks to Flow, Helly Hansen, Rip It Energy, Bolle, Copper Mountain and US Snowboarding
Lat34: Last question. Anything you’d like to say to the imposters out there making Clair Bidez Myspace pages?
CB: Yes. I’m not a fan of Fallout Boy, don’t think my brother is a butthead, and that list of sponsors is VERY outdated. If you’re gonna do it, do it right. Thanks.