After a major wipeout, Aaron had to find a new way to be involved in his favourite sport

Vancouver, B.C. // Age: 27

One minute, Aaron Coret was a 22-year-old competitive snowboarder, getting ready for a routine jump run on Blackcomb Mountain, B.C. One hard wipeout later, he was a quadriplegic who would never board again. “I had to find something else to do for sanity’s sake,” Coret says. “How could I still be involved in the sport I love?”

The answer, dreamed up with his buddy Stephen Slen while both were University of B.C. engineering students, is the Katal Innovations Landing Pad. More than just a giant air pillow to bail on, the pad also allows boarders to ride out a successful trick. When Mammoth Mountain in California pumped up one of the crash pads last winter, it received an avalanche of U.S. press, and Popular Science named it an Invention of the Year. Coming soon: a grommet-sized soft landing for the family ski hill market.

This profile is part of our Top 30 under 30 feature.