“We are really trying to support the riders and the culture here at the US Open. One of the reasons we love this event is because it has equal pay, equal purse prize, for both men and women,” Joey Steger, Director of Field Marketing at Clif Bar, said. “That’s really important to us here at Clif Bar. So we give equal pay on our awards too.”
This theme is the same in all events at this level. The X Games, Revolution Tour and Dew Tour all pay male and female riders equally. And this has a trickle down effect. Smaller events have also found success in equal pay. The Nate Chute Banked Slalom and Boardercross at Whitefish, MT, has paid men and women equally since it’s conception.
Blaming your unequal prize purse on participation numbers is archaic and outdated and perpetuates the small numbers. Paying women equally gives them more opportunities to grow in snowboarding, and shows them they have a place in the sport. If your only argument is “women aren’t going as hard,” you clearly are not paying attention.
“There’s always been good girls willing to push it,” Barrett said, “but I’ve never seen so many who could push—and stomp it—as I do now.”