Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine
a path forward PA S S I O N P R O J E C T:
Adam Dowell wants to carve a bright future for low-income youth
Jeff Musselman’s son Ryder won a Travis Rice pro-model board at the gear sale.
WORDS: ROBYN VINCENT
ometimes dreams crystallize in unlikely places. For Adam Dowell, his path to snowboarding began miles from the mountain, in one man’s plush leather seat at the now-defunct Reid’s barber shop in Jackson. Dowell’s late mother Terrie Dowell owned Reid’s. It was the spot for family haircuts, beard trims and, of course, plenty of chitchat. One day a frequent Teton traveler, at Reid’s for another trim, glimpsed photos of Dowell’s three siblings on their snowboards. “Where is Adam?” the curious traveler asked. Did 10-year-old Dowell snowboard like his brothers and sister? “No,” Terrie replied. Money was tight and Dowell was the youngest of four, she explained. Keeping all the kids busy with several different activities meant they couldn’t afford snowboarding equipment for Dowell. Curiously, the man was compelled to change that. After Terrie swept up the man’s hair clippings, he handed her a $500 check. “Go buy your son a snowboard,” he said. Almost as quickly as the ink dried, Dowell and his mother were out dutifully buying a board. It was a fruitful shopping trip. That purchase spurred Dowell’s lifelong love of snowboarding. It also helped him carve a 15-year professional snowboarding career. Now, Dowell is realizing his next dream: to be the (not so) mysterious man in the barber shop for other kids. Because for Dowell, snowboarding has always been more than a sport. It was his release when his brother Levi died and when his mother Terrie died two years later. Dowell, 16 at the time of his brother’s death, struggled to cope with his grief. He got into trouble, suffered anxiety, depression. “I really had nothing else going for me except snowboarding,” he said. “So, I buckled down on what I wanted, to be a pro and travel the world.” In the summers, he worked seven days a week, 14 hours a day “to literally save every penny I had for winter.” It paid off.