Sarka Pancochova hails from a small, mountain-less town in the Czech Republic and how she pursued a snowboarding career is a mystery to many, even those within the snowboarding community. Early in her career she would travel to the Alps to snowboard because of an overall lack of resorts nearby and it set up the foundation for her future. Now, to make it easier for announcers calling out rider’s names, she goes by Sarka Panc at competitions.
After picking up her first sponsors in the 2005-06 season, Panc threw it all on the line and called her travel bag and team van home. In her first season competing on the Burton Global Open Series, Panc placed sixth in both the slopestyle and the halfpipe events at the 2009 European Open. This established her as a threat in both disciplines and earned Panc title of TTR Women’s Rookie of the Year in the process.
The following year, Panc’s consistency at big-name events – including top-10 finishes in both slope and pipe at the Burton European Open, US Open, Roxy Chicken Jam and O’Neill Evolution – earned her third place overall in the TTR world rankings as well as another rookie of the year honor, this time from Transworld Snowboarding.
Panc finished in the top 10 overall in both slope and pipe on the 2009-10 Winter Dew Tour. She started the season with a second-place finish at the Totino’s Open slope contest, her first podium. After battling weather conditions the entire event, her finish was even more impressive considering she missed out on her second run because of standing in the lift line and waiting to get back to the top of the course.
Panc is part of the One Life Crew along with fellow female riders Jamie Anderson, Chanelle Sladics and Kjersti Buaas, The four, who support one another while progressing the sport, have adopted the name as their slogan.