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Cody Townsend
Athletes  / 

Cody Townsend

Big Mountain

If you’re going to sport, bouncing between skiing at Lake Tahoe and surfing around Santa Cruz, is really the perfect combo of exciting and enlightening. And Cody Townsend is a perfect specimen to represent that California split lifestyle. A lifelong skier with plenty of respect in the ski world, Cody really made a name for himself in 2014 with Matchstick Productions, skiing a sheer, needle-nose couloir in Alaska—basically pointing it straight down and into the world of viral sensation. The clip from Days Of My Youth dubbed “the most insane ski line ever” has somewhere north of nine million YouTube views. Cody appeared on daytime TV to talk about the line. He also cleaned up at the annual Powder awards winning three categories including Line Of The Year, Best Male Performance, and the Full Throttle Award.

But the gnarly lines are just one piece of the multidimensional man. He’s a writer and intellectual, a startup belt-hawker with Arcade Belts and a fan of neuroscience, linguistics, history and other topics that make him a favorite interviewee. The kicker though is the perfectly Squaw sense of humor that, combined with Townsend’s smarts, means that whether he’s laughing at himself, at you or with you, he means well and gets the bigger implications. In the mountains and on the snow, his peers know Cody has calculated the risks of a line. More importantly, they always know he’s having fun because he’s clearly the best skier on the mountain.