Jen Hudak was born and raised in Hamden, Conn. She grew up learning to ski at Okemo Mountain Resort in southern Vermont. Her career blossomed after joining the Okemo freestyle team and discovering the halfpipe. Since then, Hudak has won five X Games medals and has taken home gold at the X Games, US Open, US Nationals, Dew Tour and World Ski Invitational.
She is a down-to-earth, family-minded gal that rips it in the halfpipe. OnTheSnow caught up with Hudak recently to talk about her upbringing and what lays in store for the freestyle phenom. Part Two of the interview is below. Click here to read Part One.
OnTheSnow: What’s a run you have to do twice?
Jen Hudak: High Boy at Alta. It's got tons of snow and consistent pitch. I love to get there early for two laps.
OTS: What’s on your iPod while you ski or train?
JH: Rihanna makes the cut 90 percent of the time. Lately a lot of Black Keys, Bon Iver, Matt and Kim, and Mumford and Sons.
OTS: Park or trees?
JH: Trees, if there's freshies. Otherwise I'm in the park and pipe.
OTS: Rocker or camber?
JH: Camber for pipe, a little rocker for general shredding.
OTS: Favorite trick?
JH: 720 tail grab.
OTS: Pizza or sushi?
JH: Sushi, unless I'm back in CT, then I have to visit "Bar" in New Haven for their mash potato pizza.
Surfing—I got to try it two falls ago. it was amazing... it's so natural. I spend a lot of time in a man-made halfpipe and they're pretty consistent. Each wave is a new challenge and a little bit different—it really made me appreciate the natural world.
OTS: Dog lover or cat lady?
JH: Both. I have one dog, Mylo and two cats, Bella and Buckey.
OTS: What's on your bucket list?
JH: Heli skiing in Alaska.
OTS: What's something you’ve always wanted to do?
JH: Surfing—I got to try it two falls ago. It was amazing... it's so natural. I spend a lot of time in a man-made halfpipe and they're pretty consistent. Each wave is a new challenge and a little bit different—it really made me appreciate the natural world.
OTS: If not on the X-Games podium, where would Jen Hudak be making headlines?
JH: Wow, that's tough. It’s hard to imagine my life in any other way. I'm passionate about photography and I did a lot of acting in middle and high school. Probably in some other sport or some kind of acting career.
Hudak has medaled five times at the X Games. Photo Courtesy of jenhudak.com.
OTS: What’s a major challenge or hurdle you’ve overcome in your career?
JH: I've had several knee injuries, surgeries and recoveries. Also, my dad was diagnosed with leukemia and underwent extensive stem cell transplant treatment. I was away from snow for a while during that. He’s the reason I got into skiing so it was a really hard season.
OTS: What or who was your inspiration?
JH: Family and the things that my dad has overcome. I've been a big inspiration to him during rehab, just like he's always been for me at competitions. He sat at home during the 2010 X Games, when I won Gold and he said it was the hardest thing to watch since he could't be there.
OTS: What advice would you give to young competitors?
JH: Trust yourself and be patient with the learning process. It doesn’t happen overnight. If you don’t get a trick dialed right away, don’t sweat it. It took seven years and lots of competitions before I won at X Games. Do it 'cause its fun and you love it.
Photo By Eric Seo