Bulldog of the month: snowboarder Kayli Hendricks
As a senior graduating after three years at UMD, Kayli Hendricks knows a thing or two about balancing school and snowboarding.
“I’ve been working super hard to graduate early,” Hendricks said. “I did PSEO in high school so I could snowboard more now.”
Hendricks is a sponsored snowboarder. Her work has been published by “Snowboarder Magazine” and “Method Magazine,” two prominent snowboarding publications.
“I ride for Rome Snowboards, Sandbox Helmets, Vans, Common Apparel, The House Boardshop and the group I’m a part of, Too Hard,” Hendricks said.
Too Hard, which is a ladies snowboarding collective, has helped Hendricks secure sponsorships and her place in the industry. Hendricks believes that Too Hard has a much more straightforward mission at its core.
“For me, Too Hard is just getting girls together to go ride,” Hendricks said. “Getting more exposure on ladies riding street is great too, considering it is still pretty uncommon in the sport.”
Growing the spotlight for women is also something Too Hard is about, according to Hendricks.
“We want to grow the women’s side of the industry,” Hendricks said. ”I’d say it’s more fun riding with girls anyway, so when they come to town I get really excited.”
In the Midwest, a very popular type of snowboarding is street snowboarding. Riders go out into the city to find as many spots as they can, sliding down handrails most other people would use for climbing stairs.
“You learn a lot out there, it’s hard work but it’s so much fun,” Hendricks said.
In the mind of snowboarders, Duluth is a mecca for street riding with the whole city on a hill.
“There are so many street spots here, it’s all on a hill so that is very handy,” Hendricks said. “We also use winches and vehicle tow-ins too.”
Casey Pflipsen, also a student at UMD, often goes out to the streets of Duluth to board with Hendricks.
“She is so good at sliding backwards down a rail,” Pflipsen said. “It is almost if she is not scared at all.”
A marketing and graphic design major, Hendricks also works in the Labovitz School of Business and Economics for LSBE internship services.
“Within LSBE, I’m trying for sure to grow the internship program and market it well,” Hendricks said. “I do marketing, graphic design, photography and some event planning for LSBE internship services.”
Angie Soderberg, LSBE’s internship program director, said she was astounded by Hendricks’ work ethic.
“I give her work that I would give a full-time employee,” Soderberg said. “She is extremely flexible, hard working, and driven. Kayli is a real gem.”
Before she came to Duluth, Hendricks had a tough time deciding on a college.
“I chose between UMD and the Twin Cities, and there was also a third college that offered me a snowboarding scholarship,” Hendricks said. “Had I taken that scholarship, I would be doing more contests, less street riding, and I would be very far away from my friends back home, so I stayed here.”
Hendricks is originally from Osceola, Wisconsin, in the heart of the St. Croix River Valley. She grew up as a rider at Trollhaugen Outdoor Recreation Area, a hill known for its many tow ropes and over-the-top rail features.
“My parents called Trollhaugen my second home,” Hendricks said. “I would always go there right after school.”
Trollhaugen and their ropes instilled a passion for snowboarding in Hendricks at a young age, something she does not take for granted.
“I was fortunate to find my passion at a young age,” Hendricks said. “There are so many people still searching for that.”
The escape snowboarding offered was very valuable to Hendricks, something that adds to her love of the sport.
“Snowboarding runs my life, and I love it,” Hendricks said. “I think it’s just the best thing. If I’m upset about anything, I just go and ride. Snowboarding never fails to put a smile on my face.”
Hendricks and Too Hard’s latest video edit, From Duluth With Love, is now playing on Snowboarder Magazine. *contains mature language and some graphic injuries*