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When people talk about how kids these days are on another level, they’re talking about kids like Zak Hale. At nineteen years old, he’s got the technical ability of a seasoned vet and standards for his own progression that keep the older guys looking over their shoulders. First sponsored at just nine years old, Zak has spent fully half of his life in the snowboard game. Brought up on the soft and sunny slopes of Southern California’s legendary Bear Mountain, Zak was a true local lapping daily in the epicenter of park-riding progression. A never-ending influx of the sport’s top pros to his home mountain exposed Zak to proper style, cutting edge tricks, and helped him make important industry connections. But Zak’s success is not just a case of being in the right place at the right time. Zak’s skills are what got him recognized. A recent recruit onto the elite Burton Snowboards team, he’s spent the past few winters filming and traveling with established pros expanding on his balanced blend of urban and park proficiency. He was featured in Burton’s 2011 feature film Standing Sideways and was also the youngest rider invited to the exclusive Nixon JibFest, a legendary event hosted and attended by only snowboarding’s best.