Olympic Snowboarding Coach on Training Challenges, Technology

BY Tom Bearden  February 12, 2010 at 6:07 PM EDT

He bears little resemblance to Sir Walter Scott’s Rob Roy and the cocktail isn’t named after him. This Rob Roy’s day job is building affordable housing projects for senior citizens in Oregon. But that’s not all. He’s also spent the last quarter-century coaching ski and snowboard teams, and has led them to numerous U.S. and World championships. This winter he’s been coaching Chris Klug, the “old man” of snowboarding, who will be competing in his third Olympic games this month.

Roy says there’s been a surprising amount of technical innovation in snowboarding equipment, but unlike skiing, where most product development is done by large manufacturers, individual snowboarders experiment with their own modifications. He says these “garage tinkerers” are responsible for boards that not only look different, but are easier to control and go faster.

Below, watch Roy discuss some of the recent changes in snowboarding technology and techniques. Tonight on the NewsHour, watch our profile of Chris Klug, the man Roy coached back into the Olympic Games.