Corbin Selfe’s DIY approach to his sport helped him get through school, though his journey to be among the best is still just gaining traction.
On Friday night, Selfe was seated on a bus with his fellow Eagle River Secondary grads, bound for a little celebrating at the West Edmonton Mall. Earlier that night, he received numerous bursaries and scholarships related to his planned post-secondary pursuits, as well as his athletic passion: Selfe is possibly Sicamous’ sole freeride slopestyle mountain biker.
Selfe’s private practice course has evolved over the past year, with a new layout and new jumps, including numerous wood structures, all of which he designed and put together himself. The course represents not only the result of will and determination, but also part of the body of work upon which his grades were based.
As part of ERS’s independent directed studies (IDS) program, Selfe was able to make his passion a focus in his schooling and pick up credits along the way.
“Every one there I made…,” says Selfe, pointing to the wooden ramp structures pointing skyward. “In that there’s carpentry, budgeting, math because it’s all angles to get a good ramp.”
Selfe was also required to keep a log of all the work he put into the course, provide a presentation on how he did what he did, and even a video (another of his passions, typically used in conjunction with his sport). He says Eagle River’s IDS program – a unique offering in the school district – helped him to accomplish a great deal on the course.
“It just gave me a lot more time and resources to be out here,” says Selfe of the program. “You need 100 hours minimum, and I most definitely put in more than 100 hours out here.”
Those post-grad plans include some business courses through Okanagan College. Selfe says this will allow him time to continue riding while giving him additional tools to help reach his goal of riding pro.
“I don’t know if I’m going to make it with this or not – It’s pretty hard to ride in the top level without any big sponsors,” says Selfe. “That is how it all runs. So I want to get my name out there big enough that I can start riding professionally, as a career.”
Selfe will have a number of opportunities to “get his name out there” through the various events he plans to attend.
“This summer I’m going to be going to Colarado, Whistler… one up at Kelowna, and one at Silver Star,” says Selfe, noting he funds all these trips. “I’m going to have one in San Francisco next November, and at Mt. Washington on (Vancouver) Island.”
Asked where he hopes to end up, Selfe says this his something he’s been thinking a lot about as of late, and that he’s going to give it to maybe next winter to figure it out. He is, however, leaning towards Kelowna. Not just because of the freestyle scene there, but also because of the city’s proximity to the town he calls home.
“Well, this is pretty big for me, and just being closer to my parents and all that,” says Selfe, explaining the importance of Sicamous to him. “Honestly, I’ve been all the way down to California, and there’s not too many places I’d rather be.”