Many of you knew her as Julianne Brackett, but now she is Mrs. O’Neill (Sorry gentlemen… haha). She was born and raised in South Lake Tahoe, California but now resides with her husband in Frisco, Colorado in the middle of Summit County. Flow Snowboarding had a chance to catch up with Julianne O’Neill and talk about her roots riding in California, to her new life with Kevin in Colorado.
What was your first introduction to the mountains?
My family and I have always been interested in board sports, so snowboarding was automatically more attractive then skiing. I started snowboarding when I was 9 years old. My Dad and older brother convinced me to go snowboarding with them. I thought it was a ridiculous idea and a waste of my time when I first went out, but then I ended up not wanting to go home.
Where was the first place you went snowboarding?
The first place I went snowboarding was Sierra-At-Tahoe. That mountain turned into my home away from home. Sierra-At-Tahoe will always be my home mountain. That resort is like family. No matter where I am, I always have to make time to visit.
What’s your current board, boots and bindings preference?
The Flow 146 Jewel is what I prefer to ride. It is a playful board with just the right amount of pop. I like snug boots that are a little stiffer than most. I ride so much that most boots break down faster than I’d like if they are too soft. I only ride with Flow bindings. All of them are great so you can’t go wrong. Each one is comfortable and snug. However, I usually choose to ride with the ISIS binding.
What was your favorite memory from last winter?
Well, after a successful snowboard season I married my best friend, Kevin O’Neill. That is hands down my favorite memory.
Congratulations! Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Thanks! Married life has been a dream! Kev and I snuck away to the hot springs at Strawberry Park in Steamboat. It was perfect.
Any plans for little groms of your own down the road?
You have no idea how many people have asked me that question. Being that my parents popped us kids out right away and that I’m from a large family myself, most people ask if we’re having kiddos right away too. It makes me smile. I think 4 or 5 would be the perfect number, but only God knows if Kev and I will have kiddos of our own. I sure hope so! I truly look forward to that season of my life! How great will that be!
Other than snowboarding, what other kind of sports or hobbies do you participate in?
I have been slacklining a lot lately. It is great balance training and I love the creativity it offers. I like to skate and stand up paddleboard as well.
You were recently at the Race the Lake of the Sky SUP event in Tahoe, and took 1st. What was that event like?
Race the Lake is by far my favorite Stand Up Paddleboard event. Everyone is able to participate in something. You are either racing, being a cheerleader from the beach or volunteering to help the event run smoothly. Every morning begins with the National Anthem sung by Sammi Bender. There is great camaraderie along with the excitement of winning the races you are in. Everyone is out on the water at some point, whether you are 60 or just a little guy, you are having fun. There are super competitive people, people who are in it for the fun of it, amateurs, and elite athletes. There is a beach filled with lots of smiles and happy people working hard at what they do. At the end of the day the sky catches fire with an amazing sunset. I try my best to go to the event every year. I wouldn’t want to miss out!
Anything else you’ve been up to this summer?
I have been up to many other things, but my favorite is just being with my husband and going on adventures with him. Kev is a photographer, so he always ends up taking me to the most beautiful places. I love it.
Anywhere you are looking forward to riding next year?
Honestly, I am looking forward to riding Park Lane at Breck most. The jumps are perfect. The only down side is that you get spoiled on such well made features.
Where was the furthest you’ve ever traveled in order to snowboard?
The furthest I have traveled for snowboarding was to the Czech Republic. I went with a team from ASC (Auburn Ski Club) for an FIS event. I was able to get my top 24 for the Olympic Qualifying events, so I was pretty content with having gone.
Where was your favorite place to travel to not related to snowboarding?
My favorite place to travel unrelated to snowboarding is… THE BEACH. I couldn’t live without water.
What kind of music do you prefer riding to?
I prefer listening to innocent girly music when I ride. If I ride with what I normally listen to (Pop or Country), I end up becoming too into the music and then I forget what I’m doing. I know that sounds funny, but its true.
Anything else you’d like to say to the Flow support or customers?
I mostly just want to say “thank you” to all of you who support Flow and my riding. It means a lot! Everyone, find your flow and stick with it! XOXO!
From South Lake Tahoe, California to the peaks of Summit County, Colorado, O’Neill is living the dream. With all the slacklining, SUPing and skating, O’Neill is keeping her shape on point for the upcoming winter season. What are you all doing to strengthen your balance and core over the summer? Let us know. Connect with us at Flow Snowboarding via Social Media and hashtag #FlowSnowboarding.