Jay Rawe, Killer Skiing & Incredible inspiration

 
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When I saw Jay Rawe ski in the new film Stomping Grounds from Match stick productions I was blown away, I knew we had to speak his ability on a sit ski is mind blowing and inspiring.

Jay Rawe grew up in Bradenton, Florida. He moved to Twin Falls, Idaho in 2012, where I learned to BASE jump. It was there, in 2013, that he broke his back during a BASE jump with a buddy. He spent the next 3 years trying to figure out the new direction my life was going to take. He was introduced to sit-skiing at Snowbird, Utah by the Wasatch Adaptive Sports Center. He realize pretty quickly that this was something that he could really get into, and made plans to move to Tahoe shortly after. The idea was to spend the winter learning how to sit-ski, but after winter was over he found it hard to leave. He is starting on his 5 th year out here. The first year he learned to sitski, he gravitated toward the park. As a kid he was involved in gymnastics, skateboarding, and wakeboarding, and as a BASE jumper he loved doing aerials. When he was riding the sitski, he began to wonder what all you could do on this thing. he started experimenting with jumps and boxes and rails, landing several tricks late season including a backflip, leaving me itching for the next season to come around. In the following years he kept pushing myself to see how far I can go. I was able to build up my spins to land 360s, 540s and 720s. He is now working on getting those tricks dialed in so that he can take them out of the park to natural features in more of a free-ride setting. He didn’t realize when he started riding the impact that it would have on the adaptive community. He thinks that it has helped to give him a sense of purpose in a way. People reach out who are excited about what he is doing with all sorts of questions or just general positive feedback. It’s made me want to push that much harder, to keep finding the next boundary and blow past it. He remembers when he was first recovering from my accident, the feeling that he would be back to 100% in a few months. It was depressing, seeing the timelines he had set to being “back to normal” and not reaching the goals when the time came. Slowly I started to realize that he may never be back to 100%. He started looking at all the things he was not able to do any more, the dreams he had kind of fading away and he was left wondering if he would ever be able to do anything the way he used to. Sit-skiing gave me that freedom and more. On the snow, he dosen’t feel less than or incapable. It has given him confidence that has spread to other areas of his life. He just wants to share that with everyone who is going through what he went through, that life is still fun. You can still have real joy and share meaningful experiences with your friends and family, even find a new path and explore in a way that might have felt lost for a time.

Follow him at @jayrawe1695

check out his part in stomping grounds:

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