Adam Seger has been in the game for 25 years, 30 if you consider that he started skiing when he was four. He’s won practically every contest there is in snowboarding, but more importantly, he’s coached and inspired countless others to “dig deep” and realize their potential. But who is Adam Seger? You may know him as the “snowboarding coach,” a guy who’s always got a hungry pack of up-and-coming rippers at his heels looking to learn from one of snowboarding’s original icons.

But Seger is more than that, and he’s a husband and father, a nordic skier, an artist, a musician—a man who wakes up with a smile on his face, ready to enjoy the gift of another day in paradise.

Seger is the kind of guy who will take you out on your board for an afternoon and explain everything you need to know about turning, jumping, carving, riding switch—basically, he’ll help you understand what makes snowboarding work.

Enjoy our Q&A with Seger below and get a feel for what makes him tick…and how he got to be so good at his sport.

Snowboarder: How did you get your start in snowboarding?

Seger: I started skiing when I was just four years old, but somewhere along the way, I switched to snowboarding. Around 1980 or 1981, the ski shops here had just started selling Burton Snowboards, and that’s where I bought my first board. It was a Burton Performer with Super-7 inserts, Stingray bindings, and Tracker Trucks.

Snowboarder: Who were your snowboarding influences?

Seger: Gerry Lopez, Mike Chantry, and Tom Sims.

Snowboarder: When did you start teaching snowboarding?

Seger: I started teaching skiing first, back in the mid-’80s at a place called Ski Snowstar. I was going to college at the time, and they needed instructors, so I jumped on board. It wasn’t long before a friend of mine asked me to teach him how to snowboard, and it came pretty naturally, and it went from there.

Snowboarder: Did you ever work in a ski shop?

Seger: I worked at a few different shops over the years but spent most of my time at the original K2 Snowboarding Shop located on Main street here in Park City. It was pretty much where all the locals would meet and hang out, and it was a great place to start getting your feet wet with all things related to snowboarding.

Snowboarder: You’ve been involved in national-level coaching for years—what’s the most important thing you’ve learned?

Seger: To give people more than what they expect.

Snowboarder: What are the greatest things about teaching snowboarding?

Seger: The greatest thing about teaching is seeing someone improve and achieve a goal that was once thought to be unattainable. I also love it when people come up to me months or years later and tell me how much I taught them helped, whether in the streets, backcountry, park, or just general riding. It’s a great feeling to know that you might have had even just a tiny part in helping them become who they are today.

Snowboarder: Who are some of your favorite people to coach?

Seger: I’ve been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to coach many people over the years, some of them only for a few days or even just one day. But honestly, I’ve never met anyone that I couldn’t help in some way. Either they have what it takes already but just need an extra push in one area, or they’re lacking something and need to be brought up to speed. No matter what, teaching is teaching, and I love it just as much today as the day I started.