WEST LINN, Ore. (KOIN) — Ava Paul has been snowboarding since she was 3 years old. As a freshman at West Linn High School, she convinced her friend Kyli Miller they both needed to join the Lions snowboarding team.
“I was like, come do snowboard team with me, I want you to come do this, like, come, like I want another girl to do this with me,” Ava said.
Kylie admitted she “joined not knowing how to” snowboard. But she said she and Ava are “probably more like sisters than friends.”
Ava agreed. “Something happened and we just kind of clicked and I feel like we just kind of became best friends like that.”
Kyli may have been a later learner but she was a quick learner. “I got really good really fast and I really liked it.”
“I’ve never really seen someone kind of, like, be able to learn that quickly and be able to stay up that well,” Ava said. “I was, like, wow, she actually is really good at this.”
The two rode through high school together, brought home the state title in the Sato Cup their junior year.
“We just planned to always, like, do stuff together I feel like,” Ava said. “It was, like, let’s go up to the mountain or let’s go do that. We just always kind of were close I guess”
This year, the Lions girls team was poised to repeat.
“We were really excited to try and get the Sato Cup again since we got it our junior year,” Ava said. “I totally feel like we’re going to do it this year, we’ve got it.”
But everything changed in the middle of the week-long state championship event. The pandemic hit.
“We got this email saying the competition’s cut down, seasons we’re not doing anymore, nothing. No slopestyle, no halfpipe, no award ceremony and we’re just. like, what?” Ava said.
“Just kind of a bummer,” Kyli said. “The previous years were so fun and we got old seniors and our old friends to come up, too, and then we had, like, a cabin and we were having fun and then it kind of just got shut down and then it wasn’t fun.”
A bummer end to their senior season, but the snowboarding stoke will shred on in Bend for the best friends and future roommates.
“I find it really amazing just to be living with my best friend. I mean, I kinda do sometimes, but, like, actually be living with her and being able to just be sitting at home, if we’re done with school be like, hey today’s a nice day, want to go up to the mountain?” Ava said. “Just like the best life.”