Graduates launch first British snowboarding and ski brand for women
Loughborough Alumnus Susie Beere and Sophie Kelly are set to launch Snooks, the first British snowboarding and ski brand designed specifically for women.
Born in The Studio, Loughborough’s creative hub, Snooks offer female riders well-fitting and uniquely designed outerwear that combines protection, freedom of movement and style.
As keen snowboarders, Founders Susie and Sophie identified a gap in the market for quality, high performance outwear designed with women in mind. Blending British heritage with modern urban styling, the new range includes waterproof, windproof, breathable and warm technical jackets and trousers, designed to keep riders comfortable while looking great on the slopes… [click here for full article]
Why are we doing what we are doing I hear you say? Take a look at this image I came across during some Instagram market research…
Now why has this real and ambitious woman, who clearly has a passion for snowboarding, been influenced to think that she needs to fit into these ‘cute **insert said brand name** snowboarding pants’? Two things here to highlight:
Firstly, and most importantly, there is a negative and detrimental message that has been supported by the industry and media to encourage a stereotypical perception of women in the sport. Why is it her goal to fit into these pants, when surely her goals should be to better her ability, have fun and be proud of her decision to live an active and healthy lifestyle? This is rapidly becoming an outdated representation of women in sport thanks to many motivating campaigns and successful international sporting prowess… but there is still much to be challenged!
Secondly, she comments ‘I always have to buy men’s size snowboarding pants’. This also roots our inspiration to design stylish women’s snowboard wear that fits superbly. I would consider myself and our immediate snowboarding crew to be fairly athletic young women, so why is it we find ourselves, along with a large proportion of girls in the sport doing the same: buying men’s snowboarding gear! Why? Because it’s all we can find to fit. Why do I find a women’s large not lengthy or roomy enough when usually I’m a pretty solid Medium? Who are these mini skinny snowboarders?!
“Who are these mini skinny snowboarders?!”
I am not ashamed to say that when we are on the mountains, we intend to give the guys a good run for their money: not by sauntering down the slopes but riding fast and high, confidently and ferociously no matter what level and ability we are (please note I am by no means a pro snowboarder). Now, with this level of action, the female gear that is all too often overly short and tight just does not cut it! We need that higher level of maneuverability and fit just like our male counterparts. I’m sure you will agree there are some other brands that do this well and that we commend – what we’re saying is, in a heavily saturated and male dominated market, let there be more of it!
“what we’re saying is, in a heavily saturated and male dominated market, let there be more of it!”
A very interesting old Whitelines article has just attracted some attention and it seems to have sparked some controversial comments. It seems there are many people out there, both male and female, who are happy with the ‘pink it and shrink it’ technique, who love the “furry kittens and aztec patterns” and aspire, or think women should aspire, to be able to fit into those ‘cute **insert said brand name** snowboarding pants’ and others who absolutely don’t. Personally, we are solidly of the latter opinion and therefore want to support the call for better fitting and functioning snowboard gear for women!
We want to, not only be able to provide clothing for what we see as a call in demand, born out of our own and our friends frustrations, we want to – Just like campaigns such as This Girl Can, Board of Media, and Women in Board and Action sports, provide a platform for women to express their inner adventure, and to spread a positive message that challenges an outdated female stereotype. And give the rest of the industry a little…hello! Yes we are here, and yes us British can snowboard!
Back to why we are doing this……..We want to help advocate the cultural shift in perceptions about women’s sport and encourage more women to get on board!
We’ll be launching our outerwear this winter so keep your eyes peeled!
SNOOKS love x
Points of views and comments welcomed!
In Honour of International Women’s Day 2015
We thought we’d kick off our first ever blog post with a selection of women in snowboarding who kick ass! From the inspirational to the talented to the downright cool, all of who definitely stoke our stoke!
1. Jenny Jones
Of course it would only be right to start with Britain’s very own Jenny Jones. The lady who tore up the history books and stomped her way to Great Britain’s first EVER Winter Olympic Medal in a snow event. HEROINE.
The Bronze Babe from Bristol has been tearing up the women’s circuit for years however – with THREE X-Games gold medals under her belt, along with a ton of other precious metal accolades and snowboard movies to her name.
A toast to “the Jones” – Cheers!!
Watch below: Stance – the full movie in all its glory, starring Jenny and a bunch of incredible female shredders including Australian rider Torah Bright and Californian Kimmy Fasani.
2. Emma Shoesmith – Board of Media
We had the pleasure to meet Emma recently, she’s heading up a powerful project called Board of Media, which is:
“A social movement celebrating gender equality in action sports.
Our mission is to increase the visibility of women in action and adventure sports and to portray both men and women as equals, no objectified images or photoshopped files. Inspired by the lack of positive female role models, not only in action sports media but in the mass media too. We believe that it is our duty to support future generations in respecting one another, regardless of gender, race or riding stance. By covering fascinating personal narratives and showcasing positive female role models, Board of Media brings you videos, articles and empowering imagery that aims to inspire whilst communicating our core values, solidarity, equality, safety and freedom.”
If you haven’t heard of Emma and Board of Media you NEED to go the their website and get on board! http://www.boardofmedia.com
3. Katie Ormerod
World’s FIRST woman to land a Double Cork 1080. And she’s 17. And she’s British. Watch out for this future star! Check out THAT TRICK below:
4. Amy Purdy.
This lady lost both her legs below the knee when she was 19 years old. Didn’t stop her becoming a pro-snowboarder however. Watch her inspirational Ted Talk:
5. Annie Boulanger
Awesome lady. Watch her 2014 full part:
“The domains of halfpipe and slopestyle riding have seen women advance in skill and style with calculated regularity over the years. Yet in the more complicated arena of backcountry freestyle snowboarding — a field still dominated by men, where sometimes just getting there is a feat unto itself — few women have crossed the gender lines as successfully as Annie Boulanger has.
“There was a time when there were no girls going into the backcountry in Whistler,” says Boulanger. “As a professional girl rider 10 years ago all I could do was competitions. But I didn’t like the rules. I didn’t like being judged on two runs.”
Whistler legends Martin Gallant and JF Pelchat started taking her into the backcountry to film. “With the years, I got more confident,” says Boulanger. “But it was hard to pull the filmer away when he’s getting all this footage of someone like Romain De Marchi or DCP. That took a lot of confidence.”
Boulanger’s fortitude has led to a respected career as one of the only women who regularly gets segments in big mostly male snowboard movies, which has in turn given a new generation of up-and-coming female shredders the confidence to follow her footsteps into the backcountry instead of the contest circuit.”
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!!