Ladies Room: Insight into the female mind.

Ladies Room

Insight into the female mind.

By Robyn Hakes

Hopefully by now you’ve read up on all six of these ladies in the February issue of Snowboard Life. If not, check it out. The following is more insight into who these girls are, what they think about, and how snowboarding has affected their lives.

Megan Pischke<br>

Years Riding:

10<br>

Resides:

Vail, Colorado. <br>

I got into snowboarding about ten years ago. I had seen a photo of a friend on a Barfoot, flying through the air. That definitely looked like something I would love to try. I did love it, even though for a while the only place I few to was my ass.

Accomplishments?

<br>

I think the biggest accomplishment for me has been everything I’ve accomplished to be where I’m at now. All of my experiences, good or bad, I feel successful. Although there’s still so much more, I and to experience and accomplish.

Motivation? <br>

What motivates me to keep pushing myself? Probably French Canadians. As well as … the feeling I get after a day of riding or while riding. How good it feels to accomplish something and how good it feels to fly through the air on your snowboard. It’s a cool feeling to do a trick that you’ve thought about for so long and you’ve been scared to do or to do a line that you’ve looked at that you originally thought "no I can’t do that" but then you end up doing it and having the confidence. Plus there’s so many friends that inspire me and so many riders that get you all excited and stoked. Our sport is just so fun.

Learning something new–not only just trying something new but working really hard to dial it in. For some riders, it seems learning something new might be easy. I’ve got to work hard for some things, when you get that way, you want more.

Obstacles?

<br>

Learning the business side of things the hard way. I’ve often just jumped into things, or signed a contract without reading it or understanding it and not having enough confidence in my self to tell somebody that I’m worth a certain amount. The whole business aspect has been an obstacle for me. As much as I just want to cruise around and ride, there’s also that aspect of it that if you do want to be in this profession and be where you’re at, you have to be able to work it into a job.

I think the only real obstacle has been myself. Whether it’s been fear or insecurities or just not knowing better. I’ve experienced these things in all aspects of my riding and business. Yeah, most likely I’ve created my own obstacles. I guess the adversity I’m trying to overcome would be never being content with things. I mean, I’m content sometimes, but not enough. I know that it’s good to always push myself, and want more, but I think I need to be content with where I’m at a little more often. Patience, yeah I’m learning patience. Enjoy the moment.

Injury? <br>

Injury is definitely a head trip because I’ve been there and I’ve been in the position before where you get hurt and it holds you back for a long time because it hurts really bad to get hurt. It kind of puts that little mental block in your head. You don’t really realize it’s there sometimes until all of a sudden your put in that position again and on that same type of situation where you got hurt before and you’re like "oh shit." The mental aspect of it first of all, being patient when you’re hurt and understanding that it happens to everybody and that’s probably not going to be the last time the way you snowboard. Yeah it happens for a reason, either to tell you to slow down or maybe there’s something else worse that could of happened. And another thing is being patient to let your injury heal so you don’t go out and reinjure yourself. Being injured has taught me more about my body and prevention and I’ve always thought out sources to try and prevent injury and now I’m really into streching and yoga’s been a really big part of my training the last few years.

Definitely as you get older and you start to feel it more. But I know 19 year olds who say the same thing, out sport’s at such a level that you can’t be a half-ass lazy boozer athlete you either have to be 100 percent, I guess some people can pull it off but not for very long. If I’m not feeling it or I don’t think I can do it, I don’t. There may be times when I know I can physically handle it, but if my mind isn’t there too, then I don’t even go there. Through my injuries I’ve learned this: I truly believe all things happen for a reason. When I get injured now I take the time to stop and figure things out, I think about how I can avoid the pain next time. I would say more than half of my injuries were from not thinking. Then there’s just being at the level our sport is, inherits risks.

I try to eat sensibly, mellow on the booze and what not, and definitely indulge in yoga. Plus I think the other sports I love to do are sort of cross-training for snowboarding. The gym thing is cool sometimes, but I’d much rather be outside.

Overcoming injuries for me it has been more mental than anything. I’m really fortunate to have a pretty strong body, unfortunately my confidence level hasn’t been as strong. But I’ve had enough injuries now to know that I can come back just as strong physically (so far) therefore it’s created more confidence in me mentally.

Opportunities?

<br>

I think there’re more opportunities for all snowboarders now, not just women. Although there aren’t as many women, the cool thing is he women at the top of our sport are all pretty damn good. So when women are chosen for certain opportunities they represent snowboarding well. It’s not just a "she’s good for a girl thing."

I’m not really sure if I have a "specialty" but I don’t focus on freestyle for sure. I love all areas of snowboarding. If I have a chance to go heliing and have a chance to do some lines and jump some cliffs then I’m extra happy and I’ll work at that. Then the next day if it’s not happening in the heli or snowmobiling and I have a chance to go to the park and ride the pipe I’ll go do that. I’m passionate about whatever I do in snowboarding.

I think back in the day they used to just sponsor you if you were a girl and if you were flying throught the air. I think now it’s a little more selective and the level of women riding has really come up. But as opposed to the men’s field there isn’t a whole lot. Although there is a lot more now, I think that we have more opportunities as women, being where we’re at now. If they’re going to do a commercial or whatever and there’s sixty guys and ten girls there’s more of a chance. I feel pretty stoked to be in our sport. There isn’t a lot of women but the women that are up there on top are really good and plus there’s some good up and comers. The women who are good in our sport are really good. There’s just a lot of opportunities through that.

Who do you admire?

<br>

There is one person who I will eternally admire and that would be my friend Bob Redmond, because he showed me so much about being an individual and being strong and healthy and doing things for yourself first and foremost. I think he really showed me the way of being physically healthy and happy and from when he was 50-60 when I knew him he was strong, healthy, paving the way to where I want to be when I’m 50.

I think just about everyone I know has a little piece of something that I admire. I especially admire people who work hard to overcome adversities and setback
s then shine.

Support system?

<br>

That would be my close friends and family, but ultimately I look to myself. I’ve always had a sort of independence. And I’ve been raised to know that if you can’t give yourself something you won’t get it from someone else. But hugs are always good.

Fear?

<br>

I try not to really think of scary things. But I am faced with scary situations from time to time. It seems like when something scary happens it happens so fast, and most of the time I feel really lucky, like it could’ve been worse. Overcoming fear I think is learning from your mistakes and not letting fear make your decisions or run you life.

Best travel story?

<br>

Probably that I get to travel so often … I remember this one time in Alaska, I learned the g-chord and everyone was jamming on their guitars. I met a cool dog in Turkey that the military gave me, a musk ox snorted at me in Greenland, and oh that rainy summer in Whistler (J’aime le pluet).

Is there a comeraderie among women snowboarders or competitiveness? <br>

I’ve never really seen a competitiveness. I wouldn’t exactly say that everybody’s up there broing down before they drop in. But I don’t think I’ve ever felt any like "Oh god Megan’s here," I don’t think it’s anything like that with me. There’s a couple of girls with that kind of attitude but I don’t really know them that well. I just stay away from it. Most of my friends, everybody cheers each other on. It’s pretty cool in our sport like that. I’ve seen it before in the guys too they’re high fiving each other.

Has your personality influenced your snowboarding or the other way around?

<br>

I think both. I’ve always been a really aggressive person, agro and kind of a spaz so I’ve always started out like in snowboarding as a hucker. But through the hucking I’ve learned you can’t just be a hucker. I kind of like having a little more control. Snowboarding has also humbled me and I realize that snowboarding can be a big powerful thing and it’s kind of put me in my place in a lot of situations, and taught me a little more self control and self reliance. Relying on your mental and physical ability is one. It’s taught me a lot about holding back at times. If I really want to go for it but I know it’s not good or vice versa, kind of like the fear thing. I think it goes both ways for sure for me.

Joanna Laajisto <br>

Years Riding: 9<br>

Resides:

Half year in Helsinki, Finland, half year in Lake Tahoe, California. <br>

My sister started first. We both were skiing with our family a lot. We went skiing every weekend and I got just bored. She saw somebody with a snowboard and she thought that was her thing and she wouldn’t let me do it. She’s actually younger but very powerful, very determined.

So I had to wait for a year for her to let me start snowboarding too. At first it was so hard because there was no one to tell me how to do it. There weren’t that many people snowboarding yet in Finland.

Accomplishments?

<br>

I think to have made my hobby into my job. I really still love it and I’m very happy about my life right now. I think being able to snowboard with the people that I really looked up to when I was a kid, when I started snowboarding, and to feel I can be at their same level and do the same tricks, I think that’s my biggest accomplishment.

Who do you admire? <br>

I remember watching Nicole Engelwrath winning the world champs in Ispo, I don’t even remember year it was, but I was so totally into snowboarding already and I thought she was so rad. And she was totally my idol. I think I’ve always looked up to women who are very determined and believe in themselves and do their own thing. We just had a woman president in Finland a month ago and I think that’s rad.

Obstacles? <br>

The biggest are injuries for sure. There was a long time when I didn’t get hurt at all. I think I was just young and my body was made of rubber and I could land on my head and I wasn’t even hurt the next day. I broke my acl two years ago and that was my first big injury, it totally stopped me from doing any sports for six months. I think it was a big turning point in my life and I had to think is it worth it. But I really felt like I still wanted to snowboard and I had to go to the gym a lot and after that I felt stronger. Sometimes you have to think about how your body is going to be when you’re 40 years old. There aren’t that many examples yet because there aren’t that many people who have snowboarded their whole life.

Injury? <br>

I work out a lot. I use braces on both of my knees and I listen to my instincts. If I really feel that I’m doing something that I might get hurt or it’s above my limits then I won’t do it. That’s something I learned I think after getting hurt. Some days I feel like I can do anything, but when I’m scared then I do get hurt.

Fear? <br>

I’m scared of avalanches a lot. I think people who are not afraid of avalanches are just stupid. It’s just mother nature and nothing is more powerful than mother nature. I’ve triggered a couple of big avalanches but nothing has ever happened and I’ve gotten out of there, but it’s just something that’s very scary.

If everything looks good but the cliff is big, like if I know there’s no rocks underneath or anything, then I like the feeling, I like the little butterflies in my stomach. I think that’s one of the reasons I snowboard. It just has to be something that makes sense. I don’t want to have it 50/50 percent that I might hit that rock and I might get hurt. Because then I can’t concentrate on the trick or whatever I’m doing. But I like the feeling and I like that I feel a little shaky afterwards.

Motivation? <br>

All the girls that snowboard at the moment are so good. Everybody’s pushing, there are so many girls out there who don’t ride like a girl. You really have to push yourself and there is just so much to learn. I think this is the ideal way of living for me right now, I can travel I can be outdoors, I can hang out with amazing people, its something that I don’t want to give up. The price to pay is to learn the tricks that you have to learn. And so I think that’s worth it.

Is there a comeraderie among women snowboarders or competitiveness?

<br>

I think now, because I haven’t been doing contests almost at all, I don’t see that competition anymore. I definitely saw that when I was doing contests, people change on the contest day a lot and I didn’t like that. But now I think everybody, all the girls that I’ve been riding with, they’re so happy when they see some of the girls doing something new. And girl snowboarders talk about a lot more things than just snowboarding.

Support system? <br>

I would say my friends back home. They are very important to me but they don’t snowboard that much so they don’t understand what’s going on here and it’s hard to talk about. They say "Your life is so great," but they don’t see that sure its great but there’s a lot of pressure and there’s a lot of other things, like sitting on an airplane half of your life. But when I’m home I don’t talk about snowboarding and I just live my city life Helsinki. But when it comes to snowboarding I think it’s the Finish snowboarders. Some people say the Finish people have a certain pride. If your Finish and you belong in that crew they really want to h
elp you and teach you. Like Ami Voutain and Alexi Vanninen and those guys I feel like they’re my big brothers here in the states. They really take care of me. And then of course my boyfriend Neil, he’s a big support for me.

Goals? <br>

I want to keep on doing this, snowboarding. I don’t want to say how many years because you really don’t know, but at the same time I want to find what I really want to do in the future. You meet so many incredible people all of the time and I think the more you snowboard the more you get opportunities in your future life to start something that you really like. And now when I said I’m very happy about my life and I’m doing exactly what I want to do, I think it would be so hard to go to a normal job and be working under somebody and have an 8-4 job. I really want to find my own thing and I kind of have found it already, I do snowboard camps in Norway. I want to be maybe working more on TV and stuff like that. I have a certain picture of what I’d do in the future that is not like ready yet. But I think it’s going to be something good though.

Disappointments? <br>

Sometimes you get disappointed when things don’t go your way. Sometimes I feel in this industry there are a lot of empty promises. But then you kind of learn to understand that if someone says something is going to happen it might not happen at all. So you don’t get that disappointed any more. I think you just have to find the right people to work with and then it works out. I think right now I’m working with very good people and I feel good about if everything happens then it’s meant to be. It could be frustrating especially in the very beginning. But I think if you just hang in there it’s worth the while.

Any advice for girls getting into snowboarding? <br>

I think to ride a lot. As long as you like what you do then you’ll progress. And don’t take it too seriously. Even though snowboarding is just a sport it’s odd too. You have to be creative and when you’re a good snowboarder someone will notice you for sure. I think let your riding speak for itself and for sure it will work out. Believe in yourself even if people put you down. If you know that you’re capable of doing it then for sure you are. It’s a long way but it’s worth it.

 

Cara Beth Burnside<br>

Resides:

Lake Tahoe and Encinitas. <br>

Years Riding:

ten<br>

I was going to UC Davis at the time. I’d been skateboarding a lot and so a lot of people would say "you should snowboard because you’ll catch on to that really fast." It was a lot harder for me than I thought because I just went by myself.

I started going up on the weekends and I got hooked on it. I saw the opportunities for women in contests and women were traveling. There were way more opportunities for women in snowboarding than skateboarding at the time. I always wanted to get good at skiing, but I always sucked. So it was a good opportunity for me to get something out of a new sport. I’d go up and clip tickets in the parking lot, stay at my friends place, I did whatever to snowboard. But I saw that there was an opportunity and I was determined to get good at it because I always wanted to travel. And I liked it, it was so similar to skating. It was cool to see other girls excelling and it would only push me more.

Accomplishments? <br>

I don’t know if there’s any one thing. Going to the Olympics was never my intention but now that I look back on it, it was good because I felt like I rode really good there. It was pretty nerve wracking because all your sponsors are there. It was a lot of pressure. Not just for me, I think for a lot of people. And then to go there and ride well and have solid consistent runs and get fourth, I’ll have to be good with that because that’s what I wanted to go there and do. I tried not to trip out about it too much, a lot of people were super stressed. Everyone in their uniforms, walking around, it totally changed my perspective about snowboarding. That’s not why I snowboard, to go to the Olympics. I do it because there are a lot of aspects to snowboarding. Halfpipe’s my thing but I just hope it doesn’t gear snowboarding in such a way that you’re just training and you’re on a team. There are so many people that are into that, which is fine, it’s just not my thing.

Also pursuing what I want to do has been a big goal of mine. I’ve worked really hard at it and stuck with it and when I look back now I go "Wow. I couldn’t do that now." A lot of people look at professional snowboarding as just traveling around, and hanging out but you have to be your own business person at the same time. Your working your own little business. You’re not just focused on your sport there’re so many aspects of it.

Motivation? <br>

I hope to inspire other people to snowboard, other women or even guys, I hope it’s inspiring for them to be stoked on girls snowboarding. Or if they see me maybe they’ll be stoked on their girlfriend doing in. A lot of times girls don’t have enough support doing their thing so I think the more girls there are out there pushing it and being seen doing their thing helps validate the whole thing of women in sports in general.

Obstacles? <br>

Well, I think it’s really hard to go on photo shoots or filming with a lot of guys because they’re really good, the level is completely different. Without the support, working with the guys can be intimidating. I think for a lot of girls it’s intimidating. If you were to go out to film with someone and then all of a sudden you’re kind of in the back seat all the time, "We had to film this guy …" I think that’s a hard thing for girls. Because if girls had people following them around all the time who just wanted to film them they’d be ruling it. A lot of guys have their buddies following them around with cameras, pushing their level because they’re just filming them the whole time. It’s not like that for a lot of girls and I know because I’ve talked to a lot of the girls about it.

Do you think there’s a camaraderie among women snowboarders or a competitiveness? <br>

I like riding with a lot of the girls because I think everyone can kind of be stoked or pushed by someone else’s ability. I’m stoked on it, and I think everyone’s pretty good friends as compared to other sports that I know of. I’m pretty stoked that it’s like that. Back to the Olympics it felt like everyone was real competitive but if it’s just a contest people are competitive but stoked at the same time. But for me I’m really glad to have every one of my friends everywhere. Instead of vibing that person out or whatever, I’m not into that at all.

Goals? <br>

One of my goals right now, besides snowboarding, is the skate issue and girls in skateboarding. I hope to direct girls in skateboarding in a positive way and see more support for the girls.

In snowboarding, just to keep riding and try to film and do some more video work. And try to lessen the contests I do and not put such a big emphasis on that. I want to do other things like take more photos and that part of snowboarding where I can be more visible and show my snowboarding and skateboarding instead of just competing so much.

Injury? <br>

Sometimes you do not want to do the trick you fell on. Sometimes I’m not even into doing some tricks that I know how to do. I have to make myself do it. Even just doing baby steps toward it by doing half of what that trick is and then doing the whole trick. If it’s a 540 or a
720 or whatever, just do a 360 and work your way up. But definitely if I take a slam on something and I’m ok, I just get up and make myself go do it because if I’m ok and I leave on a slam I’m really intimidated when I come back.

 

Scariest memory? <br>

When I had a concussion in France. I was going off an icy kicker on a photo shoot. I hit my head and I didn’t know really where I was or what was going on. I ended up in the hospital for a couple days and I was pretty sick from that for three or four months. I didn’t really leave my house for a while because I was really emotionally messed up. I try to wear a helmet because I’ve had so many concussions. I just get them easier now. It’s awful. If you’ve ever had a couple good concussions you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s not good to feel so unstable like that and be so depressed, it’s awful.

Support system? <br>

My family, my mom she’s always supported my snowboarding even when I was in school and stuff. Both my parents have always supported the sports that I’ve done.

I think my family and some friends that I have. You know you call some people when your bummed on whatever and they can reinforce the good things. But I always have my mom come to my contests and she’s so stoked on it and excited about it. She’s so into it.

Who do you admire? <br>

There’s quite a few people, not just one specific person. I think those people are the kind that are pretty productive, they’re out there snowboarding and they’re fun to be with but they’re also really productive and smart. They’re making things happen. I’m so inspired by that and it makes me want to work harder in those ways, to make things happen.

There’s quite a few, like Michele. She’s pretty inspiring to me, I think she’s pretty on it. I’ve been hanging out with Shannon Dunn quite a bit and she’s pretty inspiring. She’s a good rider and she’s focused on what she’s doing. Positive people are inspiring to me.

Has snowboarding influenced your personality or vice versa? <br>

I would say my personality drives my snowboarding because I’ve always been a determined kind of person. If I set my mind to something then I want to do it. But then being in any kind of environment someone’s in is going to change their personality in some kind of way. You’re just shaped by your society so much. It just depends on what path you went down. But I think it’s just determination, how I’ve always been. If I say, "I want to do this" then I want to be the best at it. That’s the mission I get on. That’s my goal and I’m like tunnel vision toward that goal.

Disappointments? <br>

Oh for sure. Contests are really disappointing for me. I always do bad at the US Open and it’s a big Burton contest. I hate that because everyone’s there and then I don’t make the finals. I’m not really good at being like "All right, I didn’t make it." It affects me so much that I can think about a contests for two weeks. It’s like an obsession. If I don’t do good I’m obsessed with that thought for a while. It’s kind of gross. I just get so hard on myself sometimes. I guess it’s just my personality, I want to do good. I want to be top three. So competition can be good or it can be bad for me. I want to freeride and stuff but I’m so competitive, in a good way. I like to be there with all the girls and it pushes my riding. Whereas sometimes if I’m just riding or I’m riding with guys but there’s no girls there it’s not as inspiring. If I was just freeriding and had six girls to ride with and someone following us around I’m sure it’d be insane. But there’s no hope for that right now.

Any advice for girls getting into snowboarding? <br>

I think it’s really important for girls to surround themselves with people, with friends who are really encouraging and positive. I think its really important that they have that really good feeling. The best is when you have people saying, "You can do this." I was geeking it hard but I just had that determination and when they’re other people going, "Well you skate you can do this" just for that frame of mind of "Oh yeah they’re telling me I can do it" well, that was all I needed. Don’t hang out with people who aren’t fun to ride with. Hang out with people who are fun to ride with and are telling you can do it.

Opportunities? <br>

I think it’s so mainstream for girls now that when guys see all the girls on TV snowboarding it’s embedded in our society that girls can snowboard and girls can be good. Now that they see it I think that could also happen in skateboarding too. Once the perception has changed a little bit all of a sudden people are like "Oh you can do that, come on let’s go do that." Than all of a sudden girls are feeling good about themselves. When you don’t feel good about something, in whatever you do in life, it’s not fun. But when something feels good and pushes your limits a little bit and then you push your limits.

 

 

Barrett Christy<br>

Years Riding: 10<br>

Resides:

Vail, Colorado. <br>

I had just moved from Pennsylvania to Lake Tahoe because I wanted to be a ski bum and just have as much free time as I could to hike around the mountains and explore the west. I figured out pretty quickly that I actually sucked at skiing and I didn’t even have the skills to be a ski bum. I started snowboarding. That was the first time I had ever seen snowboarders was in Tahoe. I couldn’t believe how much more fun it looked, and I wouldn’t have to worry about getting my legs twisted up with my skis and poles stuck in the powder. It looked so much more effortless and graceful. I was probably looking for the easy way out but it ended up being a lot more fun.

I grew up in Bucks County Pennsylvania. After high school, I just wanted to go somewhere so I saved up a little money and packed up my car and said I’m going to go for a drive with my friends, Mom. She knew I was going to drop someone off in New Mexico and we had a little plan to visit some friends in Tahoe and go to Colorado on the way and sort of explore. I didn’t have a whole lot of money and I thought it would go a long way. I think my Mom didn’t worry too much because she figured I’d be back in a week without my 500 bucks begging for a place to come home to. But I just made it work.

We kind of picked our way through the country and I ended up living in Santa Cruz because I thought that I’d learn to surf and hang out on the California coast and everything would be really cool. It wasn’t that cool because I couldn’t make enough money to survive and I ended up just moving to Tahoe because I had friends from high school that were up there and I’d go visit all the time.

So three months after I settled in Santa Cruz I moved up to Tahoe. I lived in a house with 5 or 6 guys who called themselves team THC. They were skiers. Anyway, after a couple seasons there, I moved to Crested Butte, Colorado to try riding at a different mountain, and to try going to school.

I went to Western State, and rode at the mountain there for a couple of years and that place really made me a better rider, got me in shape being high up in the mountains, in the altitude, mountain biking in the summer and snowboarding as often as I could. I really can’t say enough about Crested Butte. I think it’s a great mountain.

I went to my first contest after getting hooked up with my first free board from Matt Remine,
who worked, and still works for Mervin. And from there when I started to travel and do stuff for my sponsors I couldn’t live in Crested Butte anymore, it’s too far away from the airport and all the other resorts. That was back when jibbing was really cool in Summit county, before jibbing was cool this time when it was cool last time. There wasn’t much jibbing going on in Crested Butte and I thought I’d move to Vail and learn how to jib. I did learn how to ride a halfpipe a little better and slide a log here and there, but Vail was alot of fun then and I stayed there because of the friends I made more than the riding.

Accomplishment? <br>

I would always say my biggest accomplishment is making something I love this much my way of life. I felt a lot of pressures through high school like "What are you going to be when you grow up?" And I never had a clue, I always felt like I should have some sort of major goal and purpose to my life. That’s probably part of the reason why I ran away from the East Coast. I didn’t think I was going to find it there. I didn’t think I should have to figure that out until I had a chance to explore. I have always kind of trusted that things happen for a reason, and I feel really fortunate that events in my life have unfolded the way that they have. I think that is my big accomplishment, making fun a priority. The rest of snowboarding came easy, as long as I was having fun.

What part of snowboarding you love? <br>

I think the part of snowboarding I love the most would not have allowed me to make a living snowboarding. Because there aren’t any cameras around and there’s nobody judging my run and my tricks and all that. I’ve done a little of what I’ve had to do and a little of what I love to do and I’ve had a good time at both. I think there’re certain responsibilities that you have as a snowboarder being paid by your sponsors, and it’s really not so bad. I’m not really sure what my ‘specialty ‘ is, but I still get to do a little bit of everything. I get to go on heli trips, and I get to go on East Coast halfpipe trips, and almost everything in between. I think those are on opposite ends of the spectrum, but they are still part of snowboarding. I really don’t want to see snowboarding become so specialized that riders don’t get to experience the freedom of snowboarding. Being contained in a manmade park, on machine made snow, is not all that free. I’m lucky, my sponsors still think that one of my specialties is riding powder.

Disappointments? <br>

My disappointments are usually that I’m not as good as I think I should be. That’s what always driven me from day one. I wasn’t as good the first day I snowboarded as I thought I should be and so it got me up to do it again even though I had a broken butt, and whiplash, and everything else that started hurting after my first day. I will always feel like I can do better, but I don’t think that is a bad thing. I’ve been competitive with myself, long before I started competing against anyone else.

Motivation? <br>

I’m motivated each year because there is so much I still want to do in snowboarding. But as long as I feel a challenge, I’m going to continue to push myself. And there is no shortage of challenges in snowboarding. I’m motivated by my friends that I ride with. There are so many good riders now … male and female. Little kids with no fear motivate me. Seeing other girls do stuff is always motivating. There is always a little competition there, but it’s like "if she can do it, I should be able to do it, too." Being around good riders helps me push myself alot of the time.

Fear? <br>

If I have serious butterflys there’s probably a reason. It’s good to listen to yourself when you are scared. I’m definitely not afraid to back down and say no to stuff if my gut feeling is giving me a stomachache. I’ll get butterflys at contests, but that’s different than the butterflys I get in the backcountry. It’s about getting to know your butterflies and knowing when to listen to them.

Injuries? <br>

I feel like I’ve been pretty lucky with injuries. I haven’t had anything take me out for a super long time. Usually when I get bumps and bruises and minor tweaks I feel like it’s an opportunity to take some time off to stretch and get balanced and get my body back into shape again. Chances are when you are forced to rehab, you probably end up in better shape than you were to begin with. Snowboarding doesn’t necessarily build strength, if anything it beats you down, you have to do something else to keep in shape and stay strong.

Goals? <br>

I’m really proud to say that I’ve been snowboarding for ten years. I’ve seen the sport and the riders grow a lot, and been a part of the progression on the snow. I know I want to continue to be a part of it. I’ve learned a little about the other side of the industry from working with my sponsors, and I enjoy that too. I think the riders do have some control over where our sport is going and I want to do what I can to be involved. For now my goals are to ride more, ride more powder, and ride better.

Is there a camaraderie among women snowboarders or a competitiveness? <br>

Since day one my experience with women in snowboarding has been good. We are pretty supportive of each other. There’s definitely competition, though, I mean women are like that. We might not always admit it, but it’s there. I really like all the girls in snowboarding that I’ve gotten to know and ride with. And I can honestly say that they rip, but I totally get fired up to ride and learn more tricks, and be more aggressive when I see another girl ripping.

I think Tina and Michele were some of the first girls I met at my first ‘pro’ competition and we were instantly friends. With all of us I think the competition is more from within. The vibe thing is funny, though, because girls totally check each other out. Outside of snowboarding it’s like that too. But we’ve all been girls our whole lives so we are used to it!

Obstacles? <br>

I can honestly say that being a female has not been a setback for me. I know that being recognized as a good snowboarder was easier for me because there were not as many girls riding or competing seven or eight years ago. People are always kind of overly impressed by girls doing a boys sport. I hope we’ve done a lot to change snowboarding into a girls sport, too. Libtech was my first sponsor and Mervin has supported me ever since. I think I got into the industry at a good time, when companies were spending alot of money and riders didn’t have to do much! Big TV competitions didn’t exist until ’97 when the winter X-games started. That changed everything. Luckily, it worked for me. Snowboarding, as an industry has been pretty supportive of it’s girls. We’ve had signature boards, boots, clothes, shoes, etc. And we’ve created a market for women’s specific products. Anyway, I know I’m fortunate. I haven’t had to overcome many obstacles to be where I am right now.

Who do you admire? <br>

I admire my friends. I’ve ridden with Michele for a while and have always looked up to her since I started snowboarding. She’s so positive and supportive and has a really healthy attitude on life and snowboarding. And she’s fun to travel with! Megan, beyond just snowboarding I’ve known Megan for years. We’ve been the best of friends and we’ve traveled a lot together too. I admire Megan’s attitude with life. She has a lot of confidence and is not afraid to speak her mind. I admire my friend Morgan for countless reasons. Morgan is not afraid of power tools! She is not afraid of
much … on or off of her snowboard. And she has no problem saying what’s on her mind, either. I could go on and on about my friends. Rhonda, she is the most positive person I know, and loyal … and those are just my girlfriends …

Support system? <br>

I think I’ve been working on making my own support system. Not that I don’t depend on my friends and family, to be there for me at times, but I think traveling around, a lot of the time there’s nobody you can really count on but yourself. Ok, I’m not really that tough, and I know my boyfriend thinks I’m a crybaby, but I’ve learned to be a lot more self sufficient. I have to be my best support system.

Do you prefer to ride your home mountain or to travel to new places? <br>

I love going home and riding there. I have a lot of stuff there, my home base is there and I like to go back and reacquaint myself. It just feels good to unpack my suitcase for a few days. I like exploring different mountains for sure. It always depends on who I’m with. Who’s showing me the way. I really can’t say what I like the best. I’m glad I’m in the position where I get to call a couple places home. I would get bored with one mountain.

 

Michele Taggart<br>

Years Riding:

Twelve<br>

Home:

Salem, Oregon and Lake Tahoe, California. <br>

My brother’s kind of the one who inspired me although there’s a few snowboarders in Salem, namingly like Rob Morrow, who’d been snowboarding for a lot of years before. I’d been skiing for a really long time. I tried it and it sucked the first day. Actually my third day snowboarding I entered a contest. It was fun but that was back when a halfpipe was it was just a mound of snow here and there, strategically placed. You’d just b-line it and haul butt and go flying off this mound of snow and land in the flat and then go hauling toward the other mound of snow. I was a lunatic and it was a really good time.

I’ve grown up my whole life in Salem, I’ve lived there always. I went to college at Oregon state, that’s like 20 minutes away from my home town. It’s pretty pathetic but I’ve traveled a ton through snowboarding and it was always nice for me to go home. Anytime I’m done traveling, even if I just have a few days off, it’s nice to go home and see my high school friends or see my family. Not being at a mountain, not even seeing snow or talking about snowboarding or anything, and then I’d getting back on a flight to jet out. It’s really neat to have that. Last year I blew my knee out and I wanted to be really close to the mountains so I could recover and since I wouldn’t be traveling all the time just be in one spot and snowboard and freeride and get my knee back in action. Jason Ford and I bought a house together, we’re partners, so that works out really well. I just love it and I’m enjoying my first time living out of the state of Oregon.

Injury? <br>

First of all most anyone who’s really good in snowboarding, or any sport I’m sure, has been injured. You can’t just keep pushing yourself and pushing yourself and not get hurt. Knock on wood for those people who haven’t. I didn’t for years and years too but there’s going to be a time when you just push it a little bit too much. That happened to me three years ago. I first broke my leg, I flew off a jump and landed basically in a tree. That was my first major injury. And after the whole thing was done I realized that it was actually a good thing for me because it made me sit down, it was a pretty short injury too I think I was back on snow in about two and a half months, but I had to sit on the couch for December and January, the best parts of the season, and just jones. Before that I think I was getting burned out. I was in my eighth year snowboarding, every day day in day out summer and winter, snowboarding. When I broke my leg it made me realize how much I love what I’m doing and how much I didn’t want to stop and I wanted to get back on it 500 percent better than before I broke my leg. So that’s why I think injury’s a good thing because it’s almost like a little paid vacation and it gets your mind back into snowboarding and why you love it. I mean, snowboarding’s great but when you do it all the time as a business you can get burnt out.

So I had a broken leg and this past year I was just a mess, going like a maniac trying to do everything I could and I knocked myself out cold up in Switzerland. I had to spend the night in the hospital. The next week I dislocated two fingers. The next week sprained my ankle, the next week sprained my other ankle, and three days after that I blew my knee out. So I think it was like fate saying sit down for a while, take a little break. I don’t think spending nine months on the couch with a blown out knee has been super fun but I know I’m just starting to ride again and I’m so excited to be 100 percent and be doing what I’m doing. I love it all the more. When it gets taken away from you, you really want it back.

Just basically try to keep strong, keeping in shape, going to the gym. Also after a day of riding if anything’s sore it’s really important to ice it, take Advil, massage it, take care of it. Pay attention to what’s hurting, listen to your body.

Accomplishments? <br>

Personally, when I look back on my snowboarding days, I just like the days of going up to Mt. Hood and spending a couple weeks in the sun with great friends, good or bad pipe it doesn’t really matter, but just having a great time because I’m up there with friends and trying to learn tricks. Even if it’s a horrible pipe, I’d go and shovel out one hit with a friend and just fly upside down or try whatever trick and just picturing myself like that. I also have great memories of helicopter riding in Alaska, getting dropped at a point and just me, by myself looking out over a billion white mountain caps and it’s just peaceful. In the distance you can hear the chopper–those have been some pretty serene, peaceful moments in my snowboarding career so I like that.

Just traveling with friends, that’s the best part. Meeting people from all around the world, meeting their families their cultures, and I have so many great friends that I’ve met through snowboarding.

Motiviation? <br>

I think injuries have a lot to do with it. Just because when you sit down it makes you want to get back all the harder. So when you actually do get healthy again you can give it your all. Just seeing other people progress and seeing someone doing a trick and wondering what that feels like makes you want to go out and try it. Although the first time you try it usually doesn’t feel like that, but it eventually comes around and it’s fun.

Obstacles? <br>

Snowboarding as a career is hard, you have to deal with a lot of business stuff, changing sponsors. I guess that was a big step for me when I went from Burton to Salomon. It was a hard decision because though I liked where I was at and I knew I needed to move on or do something different for me. I’m super happy I did but I know that transition time was a difficult time. When I actually decided to leave Burton I was in a transitional period where I had no sponsors for almost a whole season. But I kind of made the most of it and when to thrift stores and got all these funky thrift store outfits and would wear those in compeitions and stuff but it was fun, a little bit scary because you don’t want to hurt yourself when you have not sponsor.

So that was kind of different. I think some interesting things in snowboarding, as far as contests go, all the political turmoil that’s happened the past few y
ears, with the Olympics and the FIS and the ISF. That was kind of strange because we had one solid traveling group, the ISF, and the FIS came in and some people went over to that tour. It was hard because some of your friends that you’ve traveled with for years are now traveling on a different tour, you don’t get to see them anymore, and there’s the conflict of "What should I do." So that’s kind of interesting challenges. And the whole Olympics thing in itself was strange.

Opportunities? <br>

For me, I look at like Tina, I think she’s a huge inspiration to all women in any and ever sport and especially in snowboarding. She pioneered such a path for women in snowboarding. I think she was the first to come out and start clothing for women and I don’t know who got the first pro board but she’s always been a hero in my eye for women in the sport. I think now that we have women such as Tina and people look up to her and buy her product and she’s a marketable person. That makes it easier for other women to come in and actually make a living off snowboarding. Lots of people can do the sport of snowboarding, any woman can do the sport of snowboarding. It’s a fun, easy, graceful sport to do, but now you can actually go in and make a living of it. I think that’s great. Tina’s been one of the women to create that path. There’s other people but I personally feel that she’s the one who carried the torch in a way.

Who do you admire? <br>

It seems like everybody I meet has a quality I like or that I would like to take on. Pretty much everybody that I meet has something that I don’t have but I appreciate. I can’t say who’s the most because everybody has different points and I really enjoy that.

Goals? <br>

Outside of snowboarding there’s a million things that I want to do. And I don’t even know what I want to do when I’m done snowboarding. But there are lots of things I enjoy, I like remodeling homes, I love to garden. I love to do surfing activities, going on surf vacations, lay in the hammock and reading books. I like real estate a lot, I don’t know if I’d ever want to be a real estate agent but I love to tour around the country and finding cool houses and saying "Oh if I had the money that’s what I would buy." I don’t really know what I want to do after snowboarding but I know I have a lot of interestes.

In snowboarding I want to get my knee healed and be 100 percent again and be able to try some tricks that I’ve never tried before. There’s some upside down tricks that look fun to me and I’d like to learn them. I would like to do more traveling like I have been doing, maybe try to do the Olympics again, that’d be a good thing to focus on. And then continue to help design the Polo clothes. I have a lot of fun experiencing that and have learned so much through that. And also with having a pro model with Salomon. It’s been so much fun learning about the board Not jus getting on it and riding it and saying "This board sucks" but actually saying "This board sucks because … let’s fix it here."

Disapointments? <br>

No major disapointments. I’m one, a thinker of everthing happens for the best so even injuries, changing companies, that’s meant to be. I havent’ been truly disappointed with what I’m doing. I love it.

What part of snowboarding do you love? <br>

I don’t even know what I’m known for. I just do what I love to do, I freeride, I love to do halfpipe, and I even like to do contests. Sometimes contests get a little difficult because maybe you’re standing in pouring down rain and you have to show up and you half to do this contest. That’s the hard part of competition. But for the most part I like to compete because I’m out there with my friends, we’re high fiving each other and we’re having fun. A lot of people say oh, I compete so I can get a chance to freeride but I really enjoy the competition time too. But I love freeriding. Freeriding’s the ultimate, and heli trips you can’t beat. They’re really not once in a life time but when you’re on them you feel like, you really sieze the moment and take the day in because of that pretty cool feeling to be in the helicopter going to untouched areas.

Mainly I just freerinding and do halfpipe. I used to race and I miss that a little bit sometimes but my real love of snowboarding is freeridng and halfpipe. And parks, I want to learn parks a little bit more. So that’s a goal also, to learn some tricks off the park jumps, get some balls.

Fear? <br>

Lots of things scare me. But actually I think fear is a huge perplexity, you have to have it, it helps in so many ways. Without it you wouldn’t ever push yourself, you wouldn’t ever feel good about yourself after you overcome the fear. That’s what makes you, after you’re done with something, say "Yeah I did it!" Without it you wouldn’t have that feeling. So I think it’s a good thing. And I think everyone should take the fear and rather than push it away say "oh my gosh I’m afraid of this, but you know what I’m going to try to do it anyway." But within your limits. You’ve gotta know what your limits are or else you’ll be busting yourself up all over the place. If it’s really just a fear factor then use it. Use it to your advantage, make it more of an excitement factor. Do it and stomp it and be proud of yourself. Or whatever it is, I don’t know, I just imagine jumping off a cliff but I’ve been afraid of entering a contest. Right before I drop into a contest sometimes and into a halfpipe which is easy and you’re not going to get hurt, but for some reason the fear kicks in.

Scariest memory? <br>

It was a long time ago, probably 92. It was my first time up to Alaska. I got off the plane and shuttled over the helicopter pad and got in the helicopter so it was my first 30 minutes in Alaska and I got in a slide. I was hiking up the mountain and the snow just broke right where I was standing. It wasn’t a super thick avalanche but it was a slide and it carried pretty fast. I had no board on so I was just tumbling and tumbling. The scariest thing I remember was there were jagged rocks about 200 yards below me and a really large cliff after that. But I just thought I was going get to be a little bit of chop suey on the jagged rocks. Each time I tumbled backwards I saw these rocks coming closer and closer and I thought I was a gonner for sure. I just pretty much just gave up, closed my eyes and tried to dig my hands into the snow. I thought, "Ok this is going to hurt." But somehow I captured a lot of snow right here in her arms and it hooked. I was probably about ten or fifteen feet from where the rocks began. I was a mess, in shock just shaking and crying. That really was an eye opener. I’m almost glad that happened so quickly in my Alaska trip because every time I’ve been there since then I know what can happen how easily it can happen, and I’m scared to death and that’s a good thing because you need to be on your toes. If your not scared your not on your toes and you’re just out there galavanting along. So it’s good to be scared when your up there because you’ll take precautions.

Best travel story? <br>

I’ve kind of kept a journal throughout the time I’ve had and it’d be really cool to have a compilation of everybody’s memories like that in a book. The one that cracks me up the most, it was my first time to Europe and I’m with the Burton team. I had just gotten on the team and everybody else was vetrens and they’d been there a billion times. We had a
new team manager with us and there was Craig Kelly, Keith Wallace, Brushie, Jason Ford, myself. We got a van in Munich and we’re driving to this place called Garmish. The cars are diesel over there and our team manager put regular gas in. We get back on the Autobon, start cruising around, and eventually our car dies. We pull over and all the teenage boys are like "Ahh I’m sleeping, you guys figure it out." So it’s my first time to Europe and my team manager’s first time to Europe so we’re like "What do we do?" So I decided to run into the town and see what I can do. I’ve never been to Europe before, I don’t know a stitch of German. So I go running into the town and play carades with this old man and woman "Can I use your phone? The car went dead." So I call the number on the key, the Hertz people and I try to explain to them "Our car went dead can you come get us?" So they ask "Where are you?" I didn’t know so I tell them I’ll call back when I find out. I run like half a mile out to the Autobon again and I see the sign and run back to these people’s house and call again. I’m like "Ok were in Ausfahrt." And they don’t speak English very well and so I’m like A-U-S-F-A-H-R-T! I’m getting all pissed off and so I say I’ll call them back. So I run back out to the highway, I make sure, I go back and call again, "I’m at Aushfart," the old man and the old woman were just looking at me like I’m nuts so finally I’m so frustrated I hand the phone over to them and they have a major conversation with the rental car people. I say Thank you, Dankashen. So I go back to the van and wait there for an hour, I have no idea what to think and they came up finally. They give us a new car, we’re on our way, and as we keep driving mile after mile I see Ausfart, Ausfart, it means Exit. I don’t know how long it took me before I figured it out. But can you imagine some German people E-X-I-T I’m in Exit!

Support system? <br>

Mainly my family. My mom, my dad, my brother, my sister-in-law, my niece and nephew. They’re my main family. I talk to my mom all the time, we’re always on the phone. I’m completely grateful for all my friends, I have friends that I’ve had since I was three years old. We’ll spend times apart, sometimes months when we won’t talk to each other some times and I come back and we won’t miss a beat. Those are my true friends and I’ve had them for my whole life. I’m super grateful for them, they’ve gotten me through and to and we’ve shared so many experiences that I don’t know what I’d do without them. And I’ve met a ton of great friends through snowboarding that we’ve traveled together and shared a really cool lifestyle.

Where do you prefer to ride, home mountain or a new place? <br>

I don’t really have a home mountain. I grew up skiing at Mount Bachelor but ever since I started snowboarding I’ve been pretty much hopping around the globe. Its kind of different that way too because when you’re always going to a new mountain you can’t get a set group of people that you ride with. A lot of times you don’t know the terrain, you don’t know the secret jumps and the cool places you want to go to. You’re always on your toes going "Where do I go what do I do" and It’s best to just grab a local and have them show you around.

Would you say you’re snowboarding has influenced your personality or the other way around? <br>

I think a little bit of both. I do what I like to do and that’s how my personality influences my snowboarding. Even today my personality and Cara Beth’s personality is to maybe panic and feel like "Oh my gosh I gotta get out of here," but maybe I’ll end up somewhere tomorrow riding really good somewhere else. Everybody’s personality kind of dictates what they’re doing in their snowboarding career. And as far as snowboarding influencing my personality I think it’s been tremendous because of the people I’ve met, the places I’ve been the languages, I’ve learned, the cultures I’ve been introduces to, foods Iwould have never ever tried, that’s completely shaped me.

Tina Basich<br>

Years Riding:

15<br>

Resides:

Coalfax, California and Sandy, Utah. <br>

In 1985 we saw one at the skateboard shop and everyone was checking it out. My mom had called up to Soda Springs to see if they rented them and they said they did. When we got there they only had one and it had been rented already. Then we didn’t go until the next winter where we went and they actually had two to rent. We went to Soda Springs, California and they wouldn’t let us on the lifts so we hiked right next to them. My mom was there, me and my brother had moon boots and and Guess jean cords and my new wave hairdo and when I’d fall my feet would come out of the board with my boots still stuck in the straps and my mom would go get it and bring it up to me and id just sit there in my socks.

My mom thought that we would like it so it was actually my mom’s suggestion to try it. We had tried the family ski vacation package deal where you get like a bag lunch and a lift ticket and ski rentals, at Boreal, we went like twice and skied and right away when we started snowboarding we didn’t try skiing again. Even though it was a rough first day, we went out and bought boards the next day.

I’m from Sacramento, Calfornia. I moved to Utah in 1991. The Kemper team had a photo shoot out here in 1990 and the snow was all-time so we vowed to come back for a winter. So we did, we came back for a season in 91 and I’ve been here every winter since. But it was ver temporary and I still feel like it’s temporary but all of a sudden it’s been nine years. I just live here in the winter for the snow and go back to California in the summer?

We live in Colfax now which is right up the hill from Sacramento.

Accomplishments? <br>

I think there’s a couple things that I’m very proud of. One of them’s helping start boarding for breast cancer. And maybe being a part of pushing women’s abilities to the next level in snowboarding.

Motivation? <br>

I always set goals for myself and once I reach one then I set a new one. I set goals to learn this trick or ride this mountain or to save this much money or buy a house or whatever. Whenever I reach my goals I set new ones. I set ones that I may never make, but I’d rather aim high than aim low.

The accomplished feeling that you get from succeeding in something like that inspires the goals. It feels good to be a professional snowboarder for this long and feel accomplished by it and know that I’m not done giving my all to snowboarding. So there’s more to give so I’ll set more goals in snowboarding.

I’d like to get more into artwork. I’m going to release my first lithograph next year and one of my paintings. I want to get into that, maybe release a painting each year. I always choose to get involved with my sponsors so any more stuff that comes up, there’s lots of internet stuff coming up like jester.com I’d lke to get involved with that. And Tinabasich.com, I think I’m going to start it and have an art gallery and sell my lithographs through that.

I set goals to stay healthy and take care of myself and not over work myself and get burned out. To have vitamins and eat well. Being healthy isn’t just not being sick it takes a lot to be healthy in your mind as well as your body.

Injuries? <br>

I think the best preventive thing is to strech out before you go snowboarding. I think that’s helped me a l
ot because you definitely have to bend all directions when you crash so being flexible helps. I went through an injury last year so that was my major injury. I broke by fib and tib down by the ankle. That taught me a lot about my body and how it reacts and how it heals. My leg definitely healed faster than my mind healed from it. That really showed me a lot about how much of it is really the mind and having the confidence to do it. You have to have the strength to do it but you have to have your strong mind to do it too.

Actually, having an injury was the first thing that slowed me down in fifteen years of doing this so you really have a lot of time to evaluate what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Going through that in my head last summer being laid up it made me realize how bit a part of my life snowboarding is and that it’s not going away. It’s part of me. I couldn’t wait to just go snowboard anything. Sometimes it’s easy to get spoiled and go out on powder days. But snowboarding’s snowboarding all the same.

Obstacles? <br>

I think that I haven’t had too many obstacles. The being a woman in snowboaring thing has always been easy to me but I think that’s hard for a lot of people. I’ve never really been hung up on being a woman in snowboarding. I think I’ve had opportunities because I’m a good snowboarder not because I’m the token girl on the team at all. I also got into it early so I think its hard being a professional snowboarder period or trying to get into it. But I think women really get better with more experience. One of the harder things for me is to film. That’s been the hardest challenge for me or get people to film. The filmers really have their people that they stick to and when you go out and film and you’re with a group that’s all the top guys, they’ll want to build an 80 foot jump where I’d rather build a 40 foot jump. So that’s always been tough, trying to film. I think one thing I always try to do is I think "Ok I’m going to go out with this group of people and I’m not going to be intimitaded by what they do, I’m just going to concentrate on what I’m going to do and what my goals are." And I’ll go out and do it. I’ll try not to get intimitated by the group I’m with or what they’re doing. You kind of got to find your own niche and what you’re good at.

Do you think that there’s a comeraderie among women snowboarders or a competitiveness? <br>

I think there’s a comeraderie for sure. Just at competitions and when you see people there just so encouraging because it doesn’t take just one person to get the point across it takes a group of girls pushing the sport to make the point bigger. That’s how it happens, all the girls are encouraging each other instead of being competitive. I think there’s a little bit of competitive spirit but it’s in the spirit of competition, not win, win, win. Somebody does a new trick at a contest or whatever, that’s pushing women so that’s what’s enouraging for everybody.

Who do you admire? <br>

I’m inspired by people who follow their dreams instead of just doing the average. It’s a hard thing to go for what you really want instead of settling for something that will work. My brother really inspires me for the person he is and my mom and dad.

Fear? <br>

I’m really thankful for fear. That feeling of fear makes you hesitiate long enough to evaluate what you’re doing. If I didn’t have that fealing of fear I’d just be jumping off everything and probably killing myself over it. That feeling of fear is a good thing and it makes you take a step back and reevaluate what you’re doing and the risks your taking. You kind of calculate them and push through the fear and do it or step away from it because it wasn’t a good idea anyway.

I think you just feel it out as it comes up. Snow conditions and avalanche risk is one thing that really scares me because it’s so unpredictable. When that creeps up on you it kind of freaks you out. You’ll be in the backcountry or whatever and you’ve been there before, you’re evaluating it as you go up or checking out stuff and then all of a sudden, you might be in a position where it’s like "Woah, should I really be here?"

Scariest memory? <br>

One of our scariest times was in Alaska, we were in the helicopter and we had all scoped out our runs that we were going to do and got dropped off at the top. The heli took off and he instantly started radioing us to not move so we sat there. The pressure from the helicopter had released an avalanche that fractured like seven feet from our feet, seven feet from where we were standing. It had ripped the entire mountain and slid like 3,500 feet. It was all lines that we were about to drop in. Nobody even said anything. We stood up and radioed for them to come back to get us. Nobody even talked about it ‘till later, we were all so speechless as to what had just happened under our feet almost. We just thanked our lucky stars and then went and rode the bunny runs in Alaska. That was my scaries. That was 1999. I left Alaska the next day.

Support system? <br>

All my friends and my family. I depend on them a lot for support. I talk to my mom and dad every day, even when I’m traveling. I talk to my brother everyday when I’m traveling. Luckily we have cell phones so it’s easier to keep in contact with everybody. I think I have an extra large group of friends. Some people choose to just have a small group of friends, but I think I choose to have lots of friends.

Disappointments? <br>

I don’t think so. I get a little dissapointed in politics stuff sometimes. One thing that kind of upset me was Janet Matthews wasn’t invited to the US Open and I think it was politics. She’s maybe the snowboarder type, she comes from a skier background, but she’s out there trying to push it just as much as anybody else and I she’s going after her dreams and goals and accomplishing them and having great results in big air compeitions and stuff. I was just really embarassed by the politics of snowboarding because she had called me and asked me my advice on how to get into the contest. She said they lied to her and said it was full, and blamed it on results or whatever and she had results that people in there didn’t have so I was a little embarassed by that. I’m stoked when I see people enjoying snowboarding no matter who it is or where they came from because they’re supporting snowboarding which is making it all possible for me also. Even though skiers that are snowboarding in their ski outfits still, whey’re giving snowboarding a chance and that’s all good.

Is your specialty in snowboarding the same area that you love? <br>

I think my love of snowboarding is freeriding backcountry stuff, not resort stuff, hiking around in the quiet and it’s a bigger feeling that you get from that rather than at a resort or jumps or whatever. So that’s kind of odd because I did big air stuff and that became my specialty but I’ve been doing a lot of freeriding lately and going back to what I like.

Where do you prefer to ride, home mountain or new place?<br>

Home mountain range. I really like riding places I know. I like riding backcountry the best and knowing the backcountry is even better because you know where stuff usually slides and you can stay away from stuff. Being here for ten years in Utah you kind of know the hazerdous areas so after a snowfall we’ll go up and we’ll hike exactly where we know a run is that we want to do. I like going to new places if I have someone with me wh
o knows the area.

Would you say snowboarding has influenced your personality or vice versa? <br>

I think that snowboarding has been an outlet to express my personality. I think snowboarding does that for people. You look around and there’s so many artistic people in snowboarding that I think it’s a way of expressing yourself. For me, being able to do everything that I love to do in my snowboarding career kind of allows me to have that all come through snowboarding. Definitely holding a snowboard doesn’t make you a snowboarder. It doesn’t give you character. It’s being established as a "Yo" here so you can be anything you want to be in snowboarding?

Opportunities? <br>

I think that there’s lots of opportunities for women in snowboarding now because of how many more women are getting into it and there’s events like the gathering of the goddesses and specifically to educate women as to what’s going on in the industry and that there’s women’s secific equipment. And there’s Boarding for Breast Cancer which isn’t only about women but there’s definitely women taking key positions in the industry that are strong women and are getting their point across and making their mark. I think it’s more that women have something to follow or lead them into what part of snowboaring they want to be in, where before there was no body to look up to yet. When I got started I looked up to Kelly Jo Legaz and Petra Musing and Carry Hannen and Jean Higgins Amy Howat, but they were doing the same thing as I was. But they were just my peers so now I think people can look up to the lady who’s running this television show or running a company that started Roxy or stuff like that.