Growing up in the biggest little city in the world (also known as Reno, Nevada), Ross Baker started out as a skier. However, like most folks with a little daredevil in them, Baker quickly switched to one plank after seeing the neighborhood kids ride down the hill standing up on their sleds.
Refusing to ever sit down on a sled again, Baker began using the string to steer – unknowingly channeling the original Snurfer – and quickly progressed to trying jumps on the sled. His parents finally caved, buying him his first snowboard at the age of seven.
With resorts galore in the Reno area, Baker was able to refine his skills all winter long, hitting up Windell’s Camp in Oregon in the off-season to continue his progression (unlike most of us who sat back down on our sleds after the first time we bruised our tailbone). Mowing lawns and working at a ski shop to raise money for the first few trips of his professional career, Baker made the most of the outings, taking first at the USASA Nationals in 2003 and following it up with a halfpipe win at the Rev Tour’s stop in Killington in 2006.
And, after picking up top-notch sponsors such as Nike 6.0, Baker was named to the U.S. Rookie Snowboard Team for the 2008 season, joining the likes of Jamie Anderson, Dylan Bidez and Maddy Schaffrick on the roster.