In Celebration of International Women’s Day
So here at SNOOKS we’re all about a bit of girl power, and with International Women’s Day, as we meandered over how to celebrate the awesome-ness of our favourite shred chicks out there, we thought what better way than to revel in all the badass glory of the 2018 Winter Olympics?
There’s no denying that right now the ladies are absolutely killing it when it comes to skiing and snowboarding. We couldn’t have been prouder watching some of our fave girls sending it and laying it down in Pyeongchang this past month. As creators of the UK’s first snow wear brand for women, by women, we wanted to spread some love for our gals and share with you our highs and lows from the comps this winter.
It goes without saying that we were GUTTED that Katie Ormerod injured herself in practice before the slopestyle qualifiers. As one of the most innovative British riders to emerge in the past few years we all had our hopes pinned on this northern hopeful. Alas it wasn’t meant to be, with Katie fracturing both her arm and ankle before competing, eliminating her from any hopes of a medal. This was followed by Aimee Fuller unfortunately having an absolute wounder of a crash in the Big Air contest, taking one to the face on her final run. As true believers in GB snowsports we were all heartbroken for the girls, but we’re sure they’ll bounce back and do us all proud in up and coming contests. If their social media accounts are anything to go by then these girls won’t let anything stop them progressing through women’s snowboarding, and that’s why we love them!
On a more positive note in women’s snowsports, we were all absolutely delighted to see 19 year old Izzy Atkin charge her way to medal glory in the women’s freestyle skiing. Atkin, born and raised in the US to an English father and a Malaysian mother, did us all proud when she nailed the contest finals going into her final run sitting in fourth place, but she triumphed when she finished with a score of 84.80 points to take the bronze. Not only is Izzy killing it when it comes to representing British freestyle skiing, she’s also the first Briton ever to win an Olympic medal for skiing! Now if that’s not girl power then we don’t know what is!
If there’s any two ladies we have to mention when it comes to these Olympics, it has to be Chloe Kim and Anna Gasser.
Now we always knew that Kim would be a tough one to beat when it came to the snowboarding halfpipe; at only 17 years old she’s not only got two gold medals under her belt from the Youth Olympics, but she’s also a four time X-Games medalist and, now, the youngest woman to ever win a snowboarding Olympic medal. Watching Kim sail her way through halfpipe is like watching a bird take flight; her amplitude and grace is second to none, and her fearless nature ensures that she raises the bar like no-one else. Dropping in with her infamous back to back 1080s we knew Chloe was going to give every other competitor a run for their money, but finishing with a massive high score of 98.25 we couldn’t have been more proud. (Side note – the fact that this girl was tweeting about being hangry before the contest just secured her a place in our hearts, when you need a sandwich, you need a sandwich.)
Anna Gasser has been astounding the snowboarding scene since she emerged as a professional contender in 2017….yes, that’s last year! This chick has the grace and elegance of a ballerina on the slopes; her gravity defying abilities are quickly becoming second to none and every time she drops in we excitedly await what she’ll turn up with. This year at the Olympics, despite having a disappointing start in the slopestyle contests, Gasser absolutely annihilated all competition in the Big Air final. She and American Jamie Anderson were, not surprisingly, battling out for gold until the very last minute, but it was Gasser’s final run, and her astounding double cork 1080s that secured her a gold medal score of 96.00. Our favourite part? Watching all of her peers, and competition, shower her with hugs and kisses as they celebrated her victory.
On that note, our highest point of this year’s Winter Olympics, on this International Women’s Day, has to be the amount of love and support that each and every female Olympian has shown one another on social media. No matter what country they represented, no matter what sport they competed in, us SNOOKS girls just loved seeing our favourite shred chicks spreading all the love for their peers on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. In this day and age that kind of sisterhood is something to really treasure, and we think it’s such a strong advocate of women’s snowsports to recognise the level of support, and consequently, progression that is encouraged within the industry.
And so while we can all celebrate the triumphs, victories and medals of Pyeongchang, isn’t the biggest win for women the solidarity and unity that was evident throughout the Winter Olympic Games? With some of the riding being described as the most progressive ever seen in competitions to date, we can’t wait to see what our favourite ladies will stomp next.
So, on this International Women’s Day, get your girls together, grab your skis, grab your board, just grab a cuppa tea or a beer, and value the solidarity of sisterhood.
At SNOOKS, that’s what we’re all about.
Life changing. Surprisingly satisfying
Okay so I am fairly new to this game but 3 months after not using a single tampon, I feel liberated! A couple of quick fire reasons before you ‘save for later’ or read the first 2 sentences and move on:
Comfort | No Chuff Chafe | Cost efficiency | The Environment | Screw you tampon tax* | Pelvic floor muscle work out | Be a trailblazer | ‘a more balanced microbiobe without tampons messing with your chuff’ | The planet needs saving | Love of the mountains | Happier microbiome | Decrease in risk of Candida
Got your attention? Allow me to explain:
We all know we need to be mindful of our wastage and reducing the amount of plastic that we use. Us SNOOKS girls became even more aware of this when we attended the SheExtreme film premiers in Bristol a few months back….One particular campaign and excellent adventurous documentary #PaddleAgainstPlastic left some really surprising stats at the forefront of our minds: every bit of plastic that has ever been produced, still exists. 38.5million single use plastic bottles are used every day in the UK ALONE!! WHAT!? How can this be sustainable? How can this be? It simply is not!
[Please note, at this point, I was sat next to Caly Major, who is leading the campaign, and filmed the most epic adventure circumnavigating around Isle of Skye solo on a stand up paddle board to raise awareness of plastic in our oceans…. whilst I was sipping a cider out of a plastic pint cup, feeling very guilty. I promised her I would re-use that cup as many times as I could…She was totally cool! And so right…it’s not about telling people off, or judgement, it’s about awareness, about taking the responsibility and understanding the consequences of our actions as consumers. Making people think. Changing behaviours. I have since invested a couple of quid into a re-usable coffee cup too!]
As a result of our time with Caly, we started to consider how our disposal of feminine products contributes to worldwide pollution and what we can do to minimise the impact individually in any small way we can.
On the very topical subject of environmentally friendly and sustainable living, using a Mooncup can absolutely be the small change you can take cutting down on your waste, whilst-preventing you from numerous risks associated with using tampons, such as TSS, Abrasions on the inside of your vagina due to dry foof (gross), disrupted bacteria and unbalanced microbiome of your mermaid’s purce, and even cancer, YES cancer! Okay – not to scare you but when you actually think of it outside of our ‘social norms’ it is quite an odd thing, sticking cotton wool up there! (And the ‘feminine hygiene’ industry is a mutli-billion dollar industry?!)
As the guardian explains: “The average woman uses roughly 11,000 tampons in her lifetime. The time it takes for a tampon or pad to degrade in a landfill is centuries longer than the lifespan of the woman who used it, particularly when wrapped in a plastic wrapper or bag. In addition, the process of manufacturing these products – turning wood pulp into soft, cotton-like fibres – is both resource- and chemical-intensive.” Can anyone argue this really makes sense!
I don’t know about you but my mind is blown thinking of this amount of plastic cups and this amount of tampons floating in our oceans!
This all leads me nicely on to introducing Mrs Mooncup. If you don’t know what a Mooncup, or other variant looks like. Here is the beauty:
And before this I thought. That’s for hippies, that’s gross. Mooncup themselves have written a great article on how a Mooncup is a backpackers best friend! I am totally sitting so far on the otherside of the fence now, I am a dot to the tampon! In fact, the Mooncup, used correctly is extremely hygienic and much better for your body than any feminine products on the market.
I would like to thank my Mooncup Mentor for first enlightening me to this. You know who you are! Whilst talking about changing the world, whilst having a merry old time at Boomtown Festival, whilst me being in shock at the realisation that I NEVER HAVE TO BUY A TAMPON AGAIN! And if a Mooncup really doesn’t take your fancy TOTM also agree it’s time to be kinda to your vagina and are better biodegradable
Being a woman, why should our menstrual habits be such a taboo!? As half of the population, there’s enough of us to talk about it. Let’s talk about it! Raise those cups up in the air and sing it loud! I use a moon cup and I’M PROUD!
Hey – and if you are a guy reading this, what would you do!?
Big thanks to all the wonderful other speakers and film premiers at SheExtreme festival, especially Bex Band from Love Her Wild for her inspirational words and interview! If you are looking at more ways/ideas to get involved in protecting our planet, head over to the POW: Protect Our Winters website – a passionate crew of diehards, professional athletes and industry brands mobilizing the outdoor sports community to lead the charge towards positive climate action.
*The tampon tax – government has said the tax will be scrapped, although the bill hasn’t gone through yet. In the meantime, the tax paid on tampons/sanitary products is being granted to 70 women’s charities in the UK. However… one of these charities is a controversial anti-abortion charity called Life!
Most of the big supermarkets have actually reduced the cost of their sanitary products by 5% to cover the VAT. (Tampon tax is actually an EU law, so the UK first began charging VAT on sanitary products in 1973, then reduced it from 20% to 5%, the lowest possible rate, in 2010).
And if you liked this post, don’t forget to check out the final few hours of our KICKSTARTER campaign, keeping the SNOOKS dream alive! T-MINUS 2 days to get your PRE-ORDER IN!
An Independent streak: We caught up with a few of our favourite UK independent ski/snowboard retailers…
SNOOKS is proud to be designed and made in the UK! There is so much snowboardery goodness to be celebrated here, the global success of our female heroes like Omerod and Jonesy is enough to put GB on the world stage – not bad for a country with very little actual snow! Not only this but we have some of the sickest independent snow focused stores in the UK. These guys have serious passion for the industry and are constantly innovating and finding their niches to stay in strong competition with the online beefcakes. It’s important to remember the people at the heart of the snowboarding scene so here’s why we are sharing our top hand selected independents that you simply HAVE to check out:
“The Funnest Place on Earth”. (And where a Yorkshire accent is considered posh!)
Here’s the thing. Our special little SNOOKS skier, Thea, has worked relentlessly at her form, her steeze, her performance is on top form, so we want to shout about it! At just 15, Thea is already awarded Backing the best by Sport England and SportsAid, SportsAid, last year winning her first European Championship, now she’s taking America by storm! Recently placing 4th place at the USASA Nationals!! Thea has her eyes firmly on the X-Games and her ambition is to become an Olympian.
Here’s Thea’s season round up, straight from the horses mouth 🙂
So this winter I got invited to go to Windells Academy in Mt Hood, Oregon. I felt so lucky to have been given the opportunity to do this and was super excited about it.
After starting my season with Why Ain’t You in Austria I travelled out to America in February. The journey was tiring but exciting. I landed at Seattle, had my fingerprints scanned and then looked for the Windells’ staff. Hannah and Michelle appeared like angels and we went straight to a coffee shop – typical Seattle!
When I arrived at Windells I was nervous but the place seemed so amazing I couldn’t help but be excited despite the jet lag. They took me on a tour of the campus which includes a big ass skate park called The Jungle, a super trampoline, 2 ramps and an airbag. I shared a cabin with five of the most special American girls you’ll ever meet.
I went up Mount Hood on my first day – it was sunny and you could see for miles but everyone warned me that it would be the only sunny day for a while … and they were right! The park at Timberline has rails that are so rad and the kickers are really mellow.
I skied almost every day at Timberline and the snow was extreme which meant there was fresh powder every few days so we could shred the sweet pow lines on our fat skis. Luckily, thanks to Snooks I was never cold in my Reviver jacket. *Thanks for the plug Thea ;)*
The other skiers and snowboarders were so sick – they all has their own cool styles and we helped each other try new tricks.
My coach at Windells was Wynn Berns, he helped me on and off the snow. I’ve been working on flat spins, underflips, Misty 5s and moving my tricks onto the proline.
I competed in the USASA series events at Mount Hood, Timberline and Snoqualmie and podiumed at every event. This meant that I qualified for US Nationals at Copper Mountain, Colorado. We drove to Colorado across Utah and stopped at The Arches National Park which was scorching hot and spectacular.
Competing at US Nationals was *horns emoji*. I competed in the Overall category and I threw down a switch 5 tindie, right 3 lead mute, left 7 safety and some steezy rails. I was stoked with my performance and final result of 4th overall which means I’ve qualified to compete in the Rev Tour next year which is huge. Next winter I also aim to compete at Youth Olympics and maybe step up to World Cup level.
In Summer I’ve been offered an internship at Windells Camp so I’ll be working in the Demo Store and on the Recruitment Team. I’ll also be working towards my cork 7 and doubles with pro skiers including McRae Williams, Nick Goepper, Jossi Wells, Tom Wallisch and Devin Logan.
The weird things about America were the fact they call scones biscuits, they don’t eat Yorkshire puddings and they thought my accent was posh! The things I liked most about America were thrift shops, corn dogs and the hot boys!
Honestly besides the jet lag and missing my family, this winter season has been the best I’ve ever had. I would tell anyone who wants to ski or snowboard in America to check out Windells – it lives up to its slogan – ‘the funnest place on earth’. Watch this space for photos of my summer at Windells Camp.
Ambition is our favourite word here at SNOOKS HQ and we will be supporting her every step of the way! Thanks so much for the write up Thea, you rock!
Here’s what we think about it…
Mind-numbing, vulgar TV adorned with a consistent sprinkling of flagrant language, performed by a bunch of promiscuous, binge drinking, 20-something Geordies. Cringe-worthy? Embarrassing? Slutty? Disgraceful? Over the top? Sure, that’s what the critics and haters say about Geordie Shore, and of course they are entitled to their opinion… most of which I agree with to be honest, however, I reckon there’s a lot more to be said for Geordie Shore, especially for the girls on the show. These Geordie lasses are a new kind of feminist – the sex celebrating, orgasm worshipping, strong independent women who literally don’t care what anyone thinks of them. No, really. We had a good old chat about it at SNOOKS HQ, and found this great article by Lucy Wood that we couldn’t help but agree with! Before you write me off as a loony, allow me to elaborate. And if you still think I’m a loony then we can agree to disagree. Even loonies are entitled to their own opinions. So, here’s what we think about them Geordie Lasses…
Before you write me off as a loony, allow me to elaborate. And if you still think I’m a loony then we can agree to disagree. Even loonies are entitled to their own opinions.
Let’s break it down. Essentially the show consists of: drinking, sex, arguing, more drinking, swearing, being dramatic, and yet more drinking. I think what people dislike about the show is that these girls are not showing us society’s fabricated ideals that dictate how a woman should behave. We are taught from a young age that blue is for boys and pink is for girls. Football is for boys, netball is for girls. Trousers are for boys, skirts are for girls. Working is for men, cleaning is for women. Strength is for men, submission is for women. Promiscuity is for men, monogamy is for women. Now, I’m not suggesting we all suddenly drop all our morals and standards of decency and go out binge-drinking every night and get jiggy with the nearest bronzed Adonis or Aphrodite. BUT, if that is something you want to do, who the hell is anyone to tell you not to? As long as you’re not harming anyone else, whose business is it but your own?
Why, in this day and age, is it OK for lads to go out on the lash, get ‘absolutely mortal’ and ‘tash-on’ with a fitty? They are revered as legends by their peers, not condemned to the fiery pits of slut-hell like a woman would be for the same behaviour. They see sleeping around as normal and acceptable (which is debatable in any case…), just the same as the guys on the show do. They talk about their ‘lady parts’ the same jokey, showing off way that the blokes on the show do!
The girls reclaim derogatory language for themselves. They have taken the word slut and absolutely owned it, unashamedly. In a vulgar way… that’s pretty empowering! These girls are flipping around soceity’s norms. This might not be the most conventional or inspirational example of feminism to use, but I think it says a lot about how society has changed in recent years.
The one aspect of the girls, that I’m sure a lot of women can relate to is their rejection of society’s sexist pressure for their bodies to look a certain way. They will not be told to be skinny, and nobody else should be either. It’s YOUR body to do with as YOU wish.
On Geordie Shore, the women and men behave the same. Equally as “disgraceful” as one another, but equal all the same! They all use similar language, they all go out and get hammered, they all put make up and fake tan on, yes the men too, and they all sleep around. These aren’t necessary aspirations we all want to be shooting for, but the sentiment is that they are equal and empowered to behave exactly how they want to. Unlike some reality shows, Geordie Shore isn’t showing it’s cast dressed up to the nines, airbrushed to the absolute limits of reality, quaffing Kale and Caviar Belinis from diamond studded champagne flutes. There is no Clarendon filter… Granted, we see the cast tangoed and plastered in make-up (the guys included) but we also see the cast looking rough, hungover and groggy, dressed in their Sunday chillout attire, make up smeared, laughing about all the ridiculous shenanigans they got up to the night before! They are unapologetic about who they are. If you don’t like them for it? They don’t care!
So we are raising a glass to the girls of Geordie Shore! We probably won’t ever hang out but we definitely appreciate how kickass you all are. Thanks for bringing a refreshing new perspective to our screens. Let’s get absolutely mortal… (in moderation)!
BOUNDLESS BETTY – PROMOTING THE PURSUIT OF ADVENTURE
Now we met Jenny in Barcelona last September at the Women in Board and Action Sports Conference and she had this amazing idea! This idea is now a reality, and Boundless Betty is ready to make waves in the predominately male-dominated, outdoor adventure industry by creating the first ever, online booking platform designed with female inspiration and participation at its core! Wahoooo goooo Jenny! Or should we say Betty!
The mission – to encourage, inspire and ease accessibility for women into outdoor adventure sports.
CHECK OUT https://www.boundlessbetty.com/ & BOOK YOUR ADVENTURE!
The concept was developed and evolved by founder, Jenny Tröber during a year of travelling and pursuing different sports in 2015/16. Her inspiration and passion was derived from the belief that participation in outdoor adventure sports has huge benefits including increased self-confidence and environmental awareness as well as a desire to encourage more women to get outside and get involved in the sports she felt had given her so much!
The operators on board have been carefully selected by seeking out passionate independent operators covering a number of different action sports, all in incredible places and all offering unique and real experiences! Boundless Betty will constantly be discovering and sharing trips and retreats, ensuring what’s on offer is fresh and inspiring for you guys! By showing the variety and depth of what is available in the wonderful world of outside action Boundless Betty opens the door and provides inspiration to those who might otherwise not have known where to look!
The website and booking platform will also be shouting out about awesome female driven adventures! Along with travel advice, inspirational womens’ stories, and a travel buddy feature so you can team up with like-minded ladies! Basically everything you’d need and want all in one exciting platform! Boundless Betty is now LIVE so go check it out, we cannot wait to see how this inspirational community grow!
SNOOKS Love x
“I found myself naked in a cave with a woman who spoke no English chucking buckets of hot water over me…”
Snooks Co-Founder, Sophie, took a solo trip to the High Atlas Mountains to make the most of the May bank holiday…
This year I thought I’d set myself a goal of climbing a mountain that wasn’t in the UK! Not that I am particularly experienced at climbing mountains in the UK, but hey, the challenge sounded fun! So on New Year’s Eve, when a friend recommended Morocco, I thought why the hell not and bought some flights for just little old me to see what this solo adventure thing could rustle up as an experience! Safe to say I did not know what I was letting myself in for!
After a brief, vibrant, crazy couple of days hanging out in the over-whelming souks of Marrakech, where the air is rife with merchant chants, snake charmers, street performers, henna artists, spices, perfume and enough street food to tease the tastebuds to the moon and back…. I tottled along to the foothills of the mountain to go say hey to the top of Mount Toubkal. The night before I left the hostel, I overheard a Candian Guy Jimmy speak about the Toubkal trek (this little hill I planned to conquer in the morning) and said “hey! I am leaving in the morning, want to come with!? He was super on board, and off we left at 7am the next morning…me and my new mate Jimmy! A bus ride away to the village Imlil where you begin at the foothills of the mountain we eagerly began the slow and slightly daunting ascent. Luckily we were stopped by some local berbers who almost laughed at our ill preparation and lack of gear and higgghly recommended we rent some crampons and at least a sleeping bag. Yes we thought this sounds like a good idea. Turned down the offer of a mule to carry our things and headed along the dusty and winding trail. We were on our way!
3 hours in I thought okay, a slightly tougher stroll than I had anticipated. Half time oranges:
6 hours later we arrived at a 5 star accommodation for the night.
Okay it looks VERY basic bus after a heck of a walk, the hot plate of food and open fire and prospect of a bed was hugely inviting! Back to basics and no wifi here and it was great! (Apart from the 60 year old german couple who coughed and spluttered next to me all night but I was just too impressed at the fact that they had summitted that day to even be annoyed!)
7am the next morning. Ohhhhh that’s what the crampons are for!
By 10am we were close to the top, hit with a bout of altitude fever, I had a little moment to talk to myself where I felt at this point I maybe couldn’t go on. The wind was against us and my head felt up my arse! The summit was so close but so far! Will power and determination and the prospect of a view over the Hight Atlas Mountain range and across North Africa dragged us through. Needless to say, despite the wind nearly blowing us off, the views were breath-taking!
Now for the long 7 hour walk back down to the bottom, where at this point, I decided I fancied staying another night near the foothills of the mountain, found a berber guide who said I could stay in his guest (ahem, mud) house near the bottom of the mountain, and Jimmy and I went our separate ways. See ya on your visit to England Jimmy you legend! Anyway, here I proceeded to have a lovely dribble of a hot shower, exquisite hosting followed by top notch food poisoning a traditional berber hammam where I found myself naked in a cave with a woman who spoke no English chucking hot buckets of water over me, (I also had food poisoning at this point but that is a WHOLE other story) I trekked on down the mountain feeling invigorated, refreshed and serene, (and slightly violated after the hamman, and a little bit sick from some real dodgy stomach situation, but I don’t think this is the general aftermath).
Ok so it’s not every everyday we get opportunities like this BUT everyday does have the opportunity to have an adventure. WE thought we’d some get some outdoors motivation for all you girls who just need a little nudge to hop across the garden fence. With the weather in the UK getting warmer, who says you need a whole week, a trip abroad or lots of money to get the adventure going!? Think about it, you work say, 9-5, there’s still 5-9 of time to go somewhere! Get lost! Explore what you are capable of!
You’ll be surprised how many new places you can find practically on your doorstep….
Adventurer, explore and motivational speaker Alistair Humphrey’s concept of the microadventure is certainly pioneering; he’s won awards for it! It’s all about encouraging people to get outdoors, explore and step out of that comfort zone because lets be honest, it’s a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there! Even it is half an hour away from your house, get off the sofa, and fill your lungs with fresh air,
grab a mate and go watch the sunset. If you are feeling super brave then get yourselves a bivvy bag and to hell with it. Sleep under the stars! Try it, you’ll feel invigorated. Life is not blessed upon you to pay the bills and die, ha brutal but it’s true!
We recently attended an event where we heard one of the best and cheekiest adventure stories from Squash Falconer on how she began her journey of exploring. She decided she wanted to motorbike to South of France, climb the majestic Mont Blanc and paraglide off it, making her the first female to do so. She told BMW she had this awesome adventure planned, supported by the BBC and the told the BBC she had this unbelievable adventure planned, supported by BMW. Before she knew it both were on board and she was off. You go Squash!
I mean YOU could even just have a quick googlemap to the nearest place where you can find water….and jump in! Get out there girl, there’s a whole there out there you know!
Snooks love x
Continuing the Guest Blog Series!! It is our pleasure to welcome one of our sponsored riders, Angelica Sykes, to the stage!!! Here’s what she’s got to say….
Occupation: Pro Freerider
Sports: Freeride snowboard, MTB
Skiing or Snowboarding: come on!
Hobbies: Snowboarding and working out- I love the gym. Other than that I am very much a family gal so hanging with family, friends and the dog is just what I love.
Worse Job: Holiday Rep for ski and snowboard holidays. You literally couldn’t make up some of the crazy things you see and hear. I learnt so much and I LOVE telling the stories to people!
Who inspires you: Kjersti Buaas is an incredible athlete. She embodies the image of female empowerment. She is strong and wise and I really look up to her in my career. Not to mention she is the nicest gal ever- well so I imagine. They say, never meet your hero’s but I think it would be incredible.
Secret Talent: I can twerk. Like upside down against the wall twerking. It’s my party trick. I look ridiculous but I secretly enjoy it!
Favourite Quote: “ Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. Albert Einstein”
Guilty Pleasure: New Girl- It doesn’t matter how many times I see it, I find it hilarious and I feel seriously shady watching it now for fear of being labelled a total loser! That and eating Lotus biscuit spread straight from the jar!
So it is that time of year again. We start scouting the internet for the best deals on new board boots and accessories, we’ve been to the ski show in London and we see what Netflix has to offer in the ski and snowboard movie department! We find ideas, pictures and videos on social media that give us that preseason stoke.
This winter, unlike last year, there is an element of suspense, an air of promise- after all, for us northern hemi riders, anything has got to be better than the terrible winter that was season 2015/16. I had a miserable time and I am not afraid to admit that. My career went come being British Freeride Champion to hurtling at 100mph into a pit of debt and boardem. I am very happy to simply right last winter off. In any normal “Career” people would expect to have low points and times of quiet reflection, well last season was that time for me. I have done some soul searching this summer, probably while I was working 5 jobs and not actually having a day off in 6months and I have come to conclusion – This winter is going to kick butt! I have saved money (and paid off the bank of mum and dad from last winter) I have reached a level of physical fitness that I am finally happy with and with a new positive outlook and some awesome people behind me (Like the snooks gals) I know this winter is going to be a success no matter where I place in the comps. I want to give this winter all the energy and resources to ensure I get to where I want to go; I am just not sure where that is yet, I do know I want to inspire females to take up freeride and become involved in this sport that I believe is so deeply empowering it its nature.
I am embarking upon filming my all girls freeride project too with two amazing filmers/photographers- I have every faith that these two will help me bring my vision to life. I want to show every stage of freeride day:
“The planning, the fitness, the equipment, the hike and everything leading up to that all important descent!”
This way I can show girls how incredible off piste riding is and why it teaches you about life as well as the technicalities of skiing and boarding. I find the mountains to be my place of worship, where I meditate and think about life and what I want from it. I can feel all the happy hormones released as I head down the mountain-riding the powder like a white wave. Most importantly, I would say is that Backcountry riding helps you feel strong, powerful and puts your knowledge, intelligence and patience to the test. Any stereotypes about females will surely be shot when people can see how we handle the pressure in the offpiste and end up on top like the total badass queens we are!
Anywho, follow me on Insta, Twitter and Facebook using the handle @angelicasykesuk and on snapchat- angelicasykes. Follow me on my journey, hit me up with your questions. I am out in the mountains as we speak and would love to hear from you!
By Angelica Sykes
Thanks Gels. Legend x
We are stoked to introduce, the first of our Guest Blog Series!! Check out these mountain moves from Sam Scott, content Manager at Snow+Rock Group! But first, a quick profile so you can get to know her, keeping it real:
Occupation: Content Manager @ Snow+Rock Group
Sports: Snowboarding, Surfing, Running, Cycling, Swimming, Yoga and Pilates
Skiing or Snowboarding: Snowboarding
Ambitions: My aim is to spend my summers teaching yoga at a holistic retreat somewhere hot by the coast, and my winters teaching snowboarding in the cold mountains
Hobbies: Writing, reading, music and sport
Worse Job: Data entry at an Engineering firm. Oh my! Watching paint dry would have been more entertaining
Who inspires you: Too many people to mention but someone who I met very briefly recently but follow her religiously on social media now is Squash Falconer. It’s not only because she is doing amazing things but it’s her attitude to life. It’s inspiring!
Secret Talent: I used to compete in tournaments in Martial Arts for the country when I was a teenager.
Favourite Quote: “I am not born for one corner, the whole world is my native land.” Senaca
Guilty Pleasure: Dipping sour laces into English Breakfast tea
Yoga for Skiers and Snowboarders on and off Piste
As a seasoned skier or a newbie, there are moments when you’re standing at the top of the mountain, whether it’s a blue or black run and feel overwhelmed by fear and doubt; you’re not alone.
As someone who spends most of my time near the city, I find that high altitudes can inhibit my ability to breathe calmly. Just like skiing, yoga requires focus and strength and can allow you to calm your mind when irrational fear kicks in. But also helps prepare the body for the up and coming winter season.
Despite my active lifestyle in my day-to-day life, burning quads, sore shoulders and cramp in my calves are my normal ski experiences. To counteract this I practise these following yoga poses before, during and after my daily runs down the mountain.
Before and Apres’ Ski Yoga
Whether you’re based in the mountains or the city, the following asanas are good for a before or apres’ ski yoga practice to help the body recover and get the blood, oxygen, and heat flowing back to the body.
Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
This series of movements is used mostly in hatha yoga traditions, practised 2-6 times in a row, traditionally at sunrise but can be lovely way to end the day..
Keep it slow and simple with long holds, moving with your breath.
2. Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1)
Hold for at least 30 seconds or more, Warrior 1 helps strengthen your shoulders, arms, legs, ankles and back as well as opening your hips, chest and lungs. It also improves focus, balance and stability whilst encouraging good circulation and respiration.
3. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
Does this one remind you of something? Showing similarities to skiing, the benefits of chair pose are toned legs muscles, strengthens hip flexors, calves, and your back. It helps to stretch out the chest and shoulders and stimulates the heart, diaphragm, and abdominal organs.
Try it with long holds, and add on a twist to the left and right with your palms together in front of your chest, or airplane arms (arms open towards the sky and the earth).
4. Gomukasana (Cow Face Pose)
One of the best poses you can do for opening tight shoulders and hips. It creates a deep stretch into the hips, ankles, shoulders, chest, deltoids and triceps as well as aiding chronic knee pain. It also strengthens the spine and abdominal muscles and helps decompress the lower spine during the forward fold variation.
5. Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
Eagle pose gives you stronger arms, legs, knees and ankles and opens the shoulder joints, helps to create space between the shoulder blades. It also allows for the hips and IT bands to open, whilst increasing circulation to all joints and improving digestion, balance and focus.
Squeeze the elbows to open the shoulders and raise the arms, and squeeze the knees together to feel the maximum effects of the opening effects of this pose.
6. Supta Baddakonasana (Reclining Butterfly Pose)
A great restorative pose to open the hips and the lower back. It’s benefits include the stimulation of the abdominal organs, heart and improve general circulation, whilst stretching the inner thighs, groins and knees. It is definitely one of my personal favourites.
For a modification of this pose you can use two folded blankets under the outer thigh for support.
7. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
In Savasana it’s essential that the body be placed in a neutral position. Lie on your back, let your feet fall out to the side with your palms facing up and relax.
Savasana helps calm the brain and helps to relax the body and reduce fatigue. Just what your body needs after a day of shredding the powder.
Yoga On The Slopes
While you’re on the slopes, you can stay focused and calm by using your yoga techniques:
1. Pranayama (One-To-One Breath)
Breathe in 2, out 2 (or 3, 4, etc.) By focusing your breath, you also focus your mind and help oxygen flow.
2. Uddiyana Bandha (Upward Abdominal Lock)
Support your core and your spine by engaging the muscles of the belly. This will help keep your lower back strong by strengthening your abdominal muscles to help support your lower back, whilst stimulating the blood circulation in the abdomen and blood flow to the brain.
3. Ardah Uttanasana (Half Forward Bend)
This is a great pose for stretching your torso, strengthening and relieving your back and legs. Use your poles with your arms fully extended, then fold halfway. Let the head hang and the neck relax. I promise you, this will come in real handy while waiting in the lift line. If you find your hamstrings to be too tight, a modification is a slight bend in the knee.
Photo credit: http://www.yogapaws.com/yoga-blogs-yoga-paws/
By Sam Soat
Thanking you Sam!
P.s Winter is coming eager beavers. YES! Snooks love x
With the season looming we are getting super excited to get out on the mountains! What else better to get you buzzing than some serious inspiring playlist tunage. We’ve put together a list of some of our faves so turn up the volume and imagine yourself, lungs fresh full of mountain air on a bluebird day, shredding till your heart’s content!
1. C2C – Happy ft. D. Martin
2. Disciples & David Guetta – No Worries
3. Boys Noize – Yeah (Original Mix)
4. Run DMC – It’s Tricky
5. Grits – My Life Be Like (Oooh-Aaah)
6. Rudimental – Not Giving In ft. John Newman
7. The Kooks – Bad Habit
8. Nneka – Heartbeat (Chase & Status Remix)
9. Alt-J – Dissolve Me
10. Major Lazor – Get Free ft. Amber of The Dirty Projectors
11. Chase & Status – International (Skrillex Remix)
12. Christine & The Queens – Tilted
13. Bomfunk MC’s – Freestyler
14. Adele – Rolling In The Deep (Jamie xx Shuffle)
15. Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Can’t Stop
16. Mos Def – Travellin Man
17. Skrillex & Diplo – Mind ft. Kai
18. Bob Marley – Is this Love (Montmatre Remix)
19. Jack Garratt – Suprose Yourself (Live)
20. Darkside – Paper Trails
21. Ed Sheeran & Rudimental – Bloodstream
22. Klingande – Jubel
23. Knife Party – Boss Mode
24. Gossip – Standing In The Way of Control
25. My Nu Leng – You’ve Been Gone (Chris Lorenzo Remix)
They’ll soon be more vids uploaded to our YouTube Channel so keep your eyes peeled. Enjoy!
ALWAYS. BE. PREPARED.
Despite the forecast heatwave this week, winter will soon be upon us! HURRAY! Last week, news broke from Mont Blanc that dozens of keen adventurers found themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place (ahem) on the cable cars due to a technical fault. Whilst most were rescued pretty swiftly by the good eggs from Mountain Rescue, at least 30 people were left dangling overnight as the rescue operation was halted due to darkness. Don’t worry, they all got down safely eventually, but it got us thinking… what if the worst happens and you find yourself in a seriously dangerous situation up in the mountains? We’ve put together a few suggestions to make sure that, like a good little scout, you’re always prepared!
1. Warm gear
Not just a hoody… actual technical warm gear. Compact puffer jackets that pack down to the size of a camera – either down or synthetic is suitable. Also remember warm waterproof gloves, warm hat, thermal base layers and a waterproof outer shell… (like a SNOOKS Jacket maybe). THE LOT. Even if you’re in the mountains during the summer, temperatures still drop dramatically after dark to below freezing!
2. A lighter or box of matches and a tampon
Providing you can find some dry tinder/twigs/bits of wood, lighting a fire can be incredibly helpful in a survival situation. Fires are also useful for sending smoke signals to alert rescuers of your location – ‘live’ leaves and branches create a lot of smoke! As for the tampons… they are very good fire-lighters!
4. Swiss Army Knife
These handy little wonders are incredibly useful. You never know when you might need to buff your nails, tweezer a bee sting, or cut the rope – ‘Touching the Void’ style.
5. Map of the area and a compass, or GPS system
…for obvious reasons.
6. Mobile phone
Being able to contact friends, mountain rescue and emergency services is a pretty big bonus if you find yourself in danger. And you can take some gnarly survival selfies. #priorites. Also remember emergency telephone numbers – mountain rescue, local police, resort, family, the local pizzerria… Y’know, the essentials. Always tell someone where you are going. Not just to be a show off, although that’s fun too… but if something happens and nobody knows where you’ve gone, it will be a hell of a lot harder to locate you!
7. Avalanche safety gear
If you’re going off-piste (not recommended unless you have the gear, and all the idea, and preferably a guide), then you should definitely take the right kit with you! This includes a transceiver, probe and shovel; make sure you friends have these also, otherwise it’s pretty pointless. Never go off piste alone!
8. Food, water, brandy (last one optional…)
Keep it simple with energy bars, protein bars, nuts, chocolate, Kendal mint cake etc. to ensure you fuel yourself. And brandy to raise your spirits… (NB despite common belief/movies telling us that a brandy bearing St. Bernard will warm you right up… alcohol is not actually a good idea in a survival situation as it can impair your judgement and decrease your core temperature, increasing the risk of hypothermia. ‘Beer Jackets’ are a myth, unfortunately.
9. Sun cream, SPF lip balm, sunglasses and/or goggles
The sun at altitude can be savage, especially when reflected off the snow.
10. Cash/credit card
You never know when you might need it!
For attracting attention or refereeing a spontaneous mountain-top kickabout.
12. Carte Neige and Insurance
A Carte Neige will get you off the mountain free of charge and drop you at the doctor/medical centre/hospital. It’s about 3 Euros a day, available from the lift pass office, so just do it. Your your own insurance won’t cover you for rescue off piste!! Remember to get wintersports insurance too however, as it will cover you for medical expenses if you get injured. You will also need your EHIC card if you’re a British citizen and travelling to EU destinations (well, for now at least). If you are unfortunate enough to get injured on the mountains, make sure you are protected, as rescue and medical costs could set you back literally thousands.
Whilst emergency situations can’t always be prevented, you can prepare yourself as best as possible to ensure you come out the other side. Always be cautious and mindful of the environment and hazards around you.
STAY SAFE OUT THERE, FOLKS.
As we wait for the Paralympics to commence, we’re still buzzing after an historic Olympic games for Team GB! Finishing in second place in the medal tables behind USA and beating China, Britain beat their medal tally of the London 2012 Olympics! We take a look at all the talented and hard working athletes that brought medals home from Rio 2016! But it’s not the medals hanging round their necks that makes these women so remarkable. It’s the journey they’ve been on to reach that moment. For each of these Olympians, it’s taken years of dedication and sacrifice, passion, ambition and sheer determination to achieve their goals. No doubt along the way they will have encountered a fair few Debbie Downers and Negative Nancies, doubting them and telling them they can’t do it, but each of them has the strength of mind to cast those doubts far in to the shadows and keep driving forward towards their goals. They’ve faced adversity, injury and illnesses, highs and lows, even love and loss. Something we truly live by at Snooks is the belief that if you want something badly enough, you will do everything you can to make it happen. So below is the definitive list of all of Team GB’s medalists from the Rio 2016 games! Here’s a huge high-five to all of our golden girls (and silver & bronze girls) for making it happen!
Sophie Hitchon Women’s Hammer Throw – BRONZE
Jessica Ennis-Hill Women’s Heptathlon – SILVER
The legend that is Jessica Ennis-Hill added a cheeky silver to her Olympic medal collection. Considering she gave birth to her son just two years ago, she’s managed to squeeze in a four year training cycle to ensure success at Rio! We salute you, Jess.
Rebecca James – TWO SILVERS
Britain is growing its reputation as a cycling powerhouse! Rebecca James scooped up two silver medals – one in the Sprint and one in the Keirin. She also overcame injury and a cancer scare in the last two years leading up to the Olympics.
Katy Marchant: Women’s Sprint – BRONZE
Katy only started cycling three years ago, and has managed to bag herself a bronze medal in the Sprint already! She’s one to watch!
Laura Trott: Women’s Omnium – GOLD
Women’s cycling track team Pursuit GOLD
Laura smashed records to win four gold Olympic medals, making her Britain’s most decorated female Olympian ever. And she’s just 24 years old. She tweeted this after winning:
“Who says girls can’t play sports?! I KEEP PLAYING and just won GOLD! #LikeAGirl”.
Charlotte Dujardin: Equestrian Dressage Individual – GOLD
Retaining her title from London 2012! And she got a cheeky marriage proposal from her boyfriend to top it all off! (one of FOUR public marriage proposals at the Olympics… two of which were same-sex couples! There must be something in the air in Rio! #lovewins
Amy Tinkler: Floor Exercise – BRONZE
Gymnastics Women’s Floor Exercise BRONZE
Team GBs youngest athlete! Between sitting her GCSEs last month, and collecting her results on her return, she managed to slot in a quick trip to Rio de Janeiro to casually pick up a bronze medal.
Bryony Page: Trampoline – SILVER
Twenty-five year old Bryony bounced her way to silver on the trampoline! She’s the first ever British athlete to win a medal in the event!
Sally Conway – BRONZE
Whilst competing in London 2012, Sally injured her shoulder ligaments in the first round and required surgery, but this didn’t stop her achieving a bronze medal at Rio!
Women’s Eight – SILVER
Katherine Grainger and Vicky Thornley: Double Sculls – SILVER
Helen Glover and Heather Stanning: Women’s Pairs – GOLD
Jazz Carlin: 800m and 400m Freestyle – BOTH SILVER
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: 200m Individual Medley – SILVER
Nicola Adams: Women’s Fly Weight – GOLD
Nicola was the first woman to win an Olympic boxing title when the women’s competition it was introduced to the games in 2012. She retained her title in Rio!
Women’s sailing team
Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark– 470 GOLD
Tae Kwon Do
Jade Jones: 57kg – GOLD
Vicky splashed, cycled and ran her way to a Bronze medal!
The Hockey girls brought home Gold in an epic final! About half the team are from Loughborough where Snooks is based!
With the summer solstice yesterday (20th June), summer has finally begun! We’ve put together a few fun suggestions to keep you snow-fit over the summer, so you can go charging back to the slopes like a woman on a mission when winter returns…
photo credit: Jean Stories LLC
As it’s Go Skateboarding day today, we’re kicking off with the four-wheeled action sports staple. Not only will you be keeping on top of your balance, coordination, cardio and coolness, but you’ll also be outside catching some rays (always wear suncream folks)! If jumps and tricks aren’t your thing, head down to a beachfront to cruise along the promenade or go and explore your nearest city!
Bouldering is climbing low level walls without a harness and ropes. It’s super fun and a great strength workout for your whole body. It’s also very relaxing – focussing on your next move and making sure you don’t fall off means you don’t have any headspace to think about anything else; work, woes, money and relationships – forget them all and go bouldering! There are loads of indoor bouldering centres around the UK to get you started before you tackle the outdoor boulders, and it’s really inexpensive; perfect for rain-ruined summer days!
Stand Up Paddle-boarding. Relaxing in a “looking into the distance imagining I’m on a beach in Honolulu philosophising about life and pondering the magic of nature” kinda way. Also great for your core muscles, balance and arm strength; all pretty important for shredding! With SUP clubs popping up allover the UK and loads of places hiring them out, you’re sure to find some water nearby where you can get your SUP on.
Yoga is an ancient practice, originating in India, focussing on physical, mental and spiritual relaxation and strength. You can do yoga anywhere; the gym, the beach, in a park, on a mountain, up a tree, in your bedroom… literally ANYWHERE. There are online yoga classes you can do too, check out this awesome lady – Lucy Foster-Perkins. Lucy makes brilliant “yoga for surfers” videos. You could even combine Yoga and SUP for a spot of Yoga Sup (or YUP…) for the ultimate in relaxation, strength and flexibility training.
5. Wild Swimming
The UK is FULL of incredible natural spots where you can cool off from the summer heat and get some invigorating exercise in refreshing water! If you’re missing the mountains then wild swimming will remind you of the beauty that lies under all that snow in the mountains during the winter! Make sure you don’t go alone though and always check the water is safe before you take the plunge. This UK website is great for finding all the best wild swimming locations and has some important safety advice too. Why not head outdoors and take the plunge?
Britain’s beautiful landscapes are bursting with epic hiking locations! Get your walking boots on and head off the beaten track to explore the hills, mountains and forests. Hiking is great cardio exercise and builds killer-calves and quads of steel. If you’re worried about not having time, the long summer days are perfect for a quick overnight trip to some nearby countryside. Enjoy a few hours exploring then get the BBQ or fire going and cook up a feast, camp out or sleep in a camper van (if you’re lucky enough to have one), then head back home early in the morning in time to get ready for work! If you need inspiration, head over to Alistair Humphrey’s website which is full of wicked micro-adventure ideas!
If hiking doesn’t tickle your pickle, why not jump on a bike and explore the countryside? You can easily include cycling in a busy work-life schedule; why not ditch the hot traffic and sweaty, crowded public transport and take your bike to work instead? Cycling is a seriously good cardio workout and great for building up that all important leg strength in preparation for getting back on your skis/board. It’s also amazing for anyone recovering from knee injuries (like me!) as it’s low impact but gets your muscles working and builds your fitness back up.
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!!