Planks team rider Nico Porteous nabbed himself early birthday present today, when Red Bull surprised him with his very own customised helmet and welcomed him to the family atop a mountain in the Wanaka backcountry.
“It was a dream come true this morning! I’m beyond stoked to be part of Red Bull Family, I’ve wanted this ever since I started action sports.”
At just 14-years-old Nico recently became the youngest athlete in the world to land a Triple Cork 1440 at his local ski field of Cardrona. Today Nico thought he was being choppered in to watch a backcountry shoot only to dig and discover his very own Red Bull helmet buried in the snow and welcoming him on board the team as the very first Kiwi freeskier.
Skiing is a family affair when it comes to the Porteous’, and both his parents and brother Miguel were flown in for the big reveal and couldn’t hide their tears of joy when they finally saw the surprise come to life.
“I thought I was flying up just to check things out. I didn’t have a clue!”
Surrounded by the spectacular backdrop of the Otago mountains, Nico and Miguel spent the day shredding a pre-built jump and had a backcountry experience they will never forget.
“We're really excited for him - it’s been a dream for a long time.” Said Nico’s father, Andrew. “It’s also slightly nerve racking, as the jumps are really big. It’s quite daunting as a parent to look up and see how high they are.”
Nico’s 15th Birthday is coming up in November, but we think it might be quite some time before Nico comes down off cloud nine!