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The Salary of Pro Snowboarders
Most professional snowboarders make more money teaching others to snowboard than in professional competitions. Led by Olympic and X Games champion Shaun White, the top 10 snowboarders in the world make more than a million dollars per year, primarily from endorsement deals with companies such as Red Bull, Oakley and Head skis. The average pro, though, makes $17,000 per year, as of 2015, according to the jobs website Indeed, while Indeed puts the average professional snowboard instructor salary at $31,000.
Sources of Money
Pros have several sources of income. Among the most lucrative are the World Snowboarding Championships, which pay out $100,000 to the top 20 finishers in each event. First place receives $40,000. The X Games also pay five-figure prizes to first place. In addition, pros at the level of the X Games usually have corporate sponsors that pay them an endorsement fee and often their travel expenses and entry fees as well. Even pros who compete at the regional level get free equipment from manufacturers.
Figures for Shaun White range from $8 million to $20 million per year, possibly depending on his television exposure in the Olympics and other competitions. Although professional snowboarders’ salaries are not broken down by region, snowboard instructors make an average of $30,000 at Lake Tahoe, California, and $32,000 at Red River, New Mexico. The average in New Hampshire is $30,000 per year, and $32,000 per year in Washington state, as of 2015. Most ski resorts do not pay as well: $18,000 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and $16,000 in Breckenridge, Colorado.
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Nate Lee was senior editor of Chicago's "NewCity" newspaper and creative director in a global advertising agency. A playwright and published poet, Lee writes about the arts, culture and business innovation. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Tulane University.
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