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The Women Who Run Snowboarding

by Eli Andrews

The evolution of snowboarding is constantly one upping itself. Never been done tricks in your browsers history only to be forgotten the next full part drops. Yet in the shadows of snowboarding the fairer sex is often forgotten. The P.S. series, Mischief, Peep Show and the Too Hard crews are working to push female snowboarding to the masses. With the addition of the X games and the Olympics the ladies are gaining some momentum and media coverage that has a few making even more money than some of their male counterparts.

It seems that for most of the early 2000s women’s snowboarding remained stagnant with little to no progression. Ladies like Barrett Christy and Circe Wallace had already set the bar with tricks like 360s and backflips. Around 2005 the progression of park building and snowmobiles became lighter and easier to handle for ladies. Almost overnight the girls started upping the ante with 5s, 7s and double back flips. Now it’s 2014 and tricks like cab doubles, back 10 dub corks and a plethora of tech rail maneuvers have made womens riding relevant more than ever. So being the hard hitting investigative journalism that YOBEAT is known for we tracked down some of the women who run snowboarding and asked them:

“What do you think it takes to infiltrate an industry predominantly run by men?”

The Riders

mfrmainMarie France Roy Hana BeamanHana Beaman
leannemainLeanne Pelosi

Behind the Scenes

barrettBarrett Christy circeCirce Wallace maryMary Walsh

Nick Lipton’s East Coast Investigation

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Plenty of snowboarders believe I have the wrong idea about the East Coast. A few lines of prose here or there may have even ruffled the feathers of my East Coast boardin’ brethren. I don’t feel bad. I don’t even care enough to apologize. But, I do see where these icy-hill-riding, snowboard-school-having, pipe jock/fun box aficionados could feel insulted, and for that, I felt I owed them something. This story might not sooth any souls, but it’s a story none the less. A story that begins in Burlington, Vermont.

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Burlington was an obvious first choice for an East Coast education. Burton is there, Rome is close by, there were two premieres last week, a college full of radical rippers and everyone I met seemed born and bred to rip and shred.

The Burton headquarters is neat. Not super neat, but neat. They have a gallery of boards from past to present, a really colorful store, dogs, a ramp or two, and happy looking employees. I also took two shits there. Once during the day. Once during the night. The bathrooms felt clean, safe, and private. I didn’t feel awkward or embarrassed at all to be pooping so close to the plethora of cute employees.

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Burlington felt like some sort of East Coast Portland, but without the bullshit weather, tall buildings or homeless people. I ran into Pat Moore. He was skating and throwing gang signs. I went on the annual Art Hop. That was fun. It was a very pretty city. The nightlife could use a real shot in the arm. Oh, and about the glorious mountains of Vermont, I didn’t see any. A text message to Mary Walsh went something like, “I’ve seen asses bigger than these hills.”

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Rome Snowboarding’s Ron Faverty (right), one of my humble hosts using the night life to persuade me to embrace East Coast snowboarding. Great effort, fun night.

p1000692Mary Walsh basically convinced me to visit Burlington. She acted as my tour guide too. Any push towards a positive relationship between myself and the mountains of the East can be attributed to this hard rockin’ young lady.

p1000857One of the Burton receptionists. I think she was a receptionist. If this is a massive insult I’m sorry.

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I visited a rave. Maybe not a rave. More like a large party in an auto shop. It was cool. But some powerfully-caffeinated, under-respected, over-bullied and power-thirsty cop decided it was time to bust some skulls, write some tickets and shut the party down. It killed a good time, but the party moved on, and snowboard kids offered me a ride to another good time, which was a good bonding experience.

christeneBurton’s Summer Demo dominatrix Christine Savage came all the way up from New Jersey to prove that the East is a beast. Unfortunately for her, Mary Walsh and others informed me that New Jersey isn’t really the East Coast, it’s just New Jersey.

After a few days in Vermont I needed to move on. I heard Maine, New Hampshire and some other little state had a “scene” or whatever, but I figured it was just a more rural version of Burlington, and I wasn’t up for it. I headed to NYC next.

p1010428Jimmy Fontaine used to live in Portland and shoot photos of dudes on rails, now he lives in NYC and shoots photos of models who are as thin as rails.

An old pal from Portland living in NYC, J2, a Facebook friend named Scott Gallo, a Burton store, a giant RedBull snowboard contest and a bunch of other factors had led me to believe there was some sort of snowboard situation in NYC. This wasn’t my first trip to the big apple, but it was my first with snowboarding on the mind. I quickly realized powder days and park laps were light years from the minds of any of the snowboarders I met up with though.

p1000930Matty Ryan, Eric Fernandez and his nipple hanging out at some bar, not talking about snowboarding.

p1010422Some old guy with a flashlight earring looked like a mountain man. I considered it evidence of a thriving mountain culture.

p1010434Corey Smith, Jimmy, myself and some ladies went to the bar that inspired “Coyote Ugly.” It was neat. That guy in the hat wasn’t friendly. No one wanted to talk about snowboarding.

I noticed in Burlington that everyone snowboarded, talked about snowboarding, was enthusiastic about snowboarding, thought the local hills were epic, either loved or hated Burton and wanted to visit NYC. I noticed in NYC that plenty of snowboarders come to live or visit. Those that live don’t snowboard anymore, those that visit don’t snowboard as much as they used to, the mountain is a million miles away and jibs and jumps are largely traded in for powder, bumps and rails.

I still wouldn’t move to the East Coast to snowboard, or advise anyone else do so, but I have more stops to make. I’ll be visiting Massachusetts, home of plenty of Think Thank kids and Todd Richards, New Jersey (apparently not the East Coast?) and Pennsylvania to get a more well rounded view of things. Up to this point though I can credit the East with this: they’re passionate as hell, fun to drink with and great at making a lot out of nothing.