We work with a lot of exceptional women, both as athletes or photographers.  I thought it would be good to get a better understanding of skiing from their point of view.

How

did the past season go for you?

Steph:

Pretty great!  I was living in

Breckenridge and gained a ton of experience in competitions.  It ended early when I sprained my MCL at the

Big Bear Open in March.  I had a ton of

fun and started riding with some Breck girls who kill it!  It’s fun to ride around the mountain with a

crew of badass chicks.  I also met some

awesome people at competitions.

Kenzie:

Really well with an exception to a

broken back, blown knee, and full time school schedule. It was a fun time

and a progressive season.

Jen A: Delightful, I enjoyed it.

LJ: It was great-some knee difficulties kept

me from competing as much as I normally would, but every season is always a

little better than the last.

Jenn H: Well for starters I guess you can call

any injury free season a successful one.  Beyond that I can honestly say

that it was a blast!  I learned a lot, and not just as far as tricks

go.  Met a lot of new great people who have ended up being amazing

friends.

Carrie: This past season was incredible!

Being my first real season in freeskiing I took every opportunity to get more

comfortable on my skis. I did a lot of rail jams which gave me great experience

and some cash in the pocket. Spending time in hood and able to ski Windells was

probably the highlight of my season. Overall I feel extremely blessed that I

was able to ski every day and have great people in my life to open up new doors

for me!! Thanks Jibij, Helly Hansen, Scott goggles, Windells, and my family!

Julie: This winter

went really well for me both from the skiing and photography perspectives. I

got to shoot more big mountain than I have in the past which was great. I love

shooting park, but sometimes it gets too repetitive. And, the season is still

going for me as I’ve been in Hood since late May shooting up at Windells. On

the ski side of things, the season started off incredibly with an amazing trip

to Silverton around December 10. They had gotten 100 inches in two days, so we

figured why not check that out. I got a few other big mountain trips in later

in December and in January as well to Alta, Jackson and Taos. With shooting

park events, however, the hard skiing for me quieted down after that. I also

wound up coaching the University of Colorado Freestyle Ski Team which was super

fun.

How

do you feel about the current state of skiing, specifically womens skiing?  Are you happy with where it is?  Where

do you see it going? 

Steph:

The state of skiing is amazing, it’s grown so much since I started riding park

in 2002.  More and more girls are

progressing and pushing the sport in a positive direction.  The ladies are also very motivating and

supportive of each other.  Sara Burke

winning the ESPY in 2007 and throwing down a 1260 in 2008 blew my mind!  The future of skiing may be bleak, in my

opinion.  The ski industry will be

significantly affected by global climate change.  I don’t think people realize that there might not be snow in

Colorado in 30-50 years!  I want to

still be skiing a lot when I’m old.  Our

children’s generation may not have the great snow we’ve experienced.

Kenzie:

I would like to see more women than just

the popular 10 names, there are lots of girls out there that kill it and are

unknown. I think there is still a lot work needed for womens skiing

to get to a more competitive level but it is slowly getting there.

Jen A: I feel that women are not progressing as quickly as men are in difficulty of tricks and terrain.

LJ: We have a long way to go. So no, I'm not

truly content with it as it is - in the future I see the technicality gap

closing considerably - every year new ground is taken. I see womens freeskiing

becoming much more equal whether it be skill level or prize money or

recognition. We have some work to do though and we are rising to the challenge.

Jenn H: The progression of the sport right

now is insane!  Watch any video even three years old and it blows your

mind how far its come sooo quickly!  I don't know if I'm happy so to

speak, but I'm definitely more than impressed and proud to be a part of it. A

far as us girls go I think we are killin it!  It's so sick everyone who is

out there pushing it and progressing girls skiing more and more.  I think

that it is showing the whole snowsports industry that not only can we keep up

but that we can set new standards.

Carrie: Womens skiing is incredible but

still has major room to grow. It’s awesome to see girls like Keri Herman,

Angeli Vanlaanen, Kim Lamarre, and Ashley Battersby pushing womens skiing to

all new levels. I’d like to see girls start to get more technical on

rails, and get more experience in the backcountry. With freeskiing getting

more and more involved with backcountry jumps and drops it would be dope to see

girlys getting more involved with all the oppurtunities mother nature has to

give. I'm stoked to see where womens skiing is at and love watching more and

more chicks get involved. I see womens skiing starting to dip into areas not

too many chicks have gone before and begin to have more of an influence on the

ski industry and media.

Julie: Skiing is

finally moving in the correct direction. We are starting to see more styles

instead of everyone looking the same. The women are starting to step up as

well. Whereas we used to see a handful of sponsored women who could really make

money in skiing, we are seeing more and more sponsored females who really

deserve to be sponsored. That said, the women still need to step it up more.

Too many people in the industry are still saying things like “She is good for a

girl”. We need to get to the point where it is just "She is good"

regardless of sex. I know the women skiers are pushing themselves and each

other to get better and better. I think the guys need to help push more with

out being abrasive. And, to all the women reading this, stop worrying if

someone is going to laugh at you if you fall!

Did/do your parents question your choice to pursue skiing?

Steph:

Of course!  They used be more skeptical,

thinking I was going to spend my 20s as a ski bum, but when I won the Vermont

Open in 2007, that all ended.  They have

been really proud and supportive! 

Initially they were concerned with me finishing college, and then being

able to support myself with a normal job. 

Now that I’ve done that; gotten my life together, they are very

supportive. 

Kenzie:

My parents support me, but

they definitely question the fact that I ski,

and especially in the park because of the risks involved.

Jen A: Never, they fully support any direction that I choose to take my skiing. They are a little nervous about the backcountry, but they trust my judgment.

LJ: Yes. My mom was rising quickly through

the ranks of alpine racing when she suffered a debilitating injury during

competition - she never got fully back in the game - which was her dream. 

So naturally she's afraid of the same thing happening to me - and granted I

have had a lot of injuries over the years in this sport - but to me it's all

part of the game - if you're going to push yourself and try new things every

day and progress - you're going to deal with those consequences sometimes.

My ma is great though - still an amazing skier and she even comes to some of my

comps when she can. Haha. She questions it but still tries to support me as

well as she can.

Jenn H: I think that my dad is jealous of me

to be honest... ha ha but every now and then they hint at me that maybe it's

time to get a real job!

Carrie: Haha nah because she knows I

wouldn’t be who I am today without skiing.

Carrie and her brother.

Julie: Absolutely.

And, they still don't get it. I had them watch Steep, hoping they would

understand passion for sport, particularly my passion for continuing to ski

backcountry after losing friends year after year. My dad simply thinks I have a

death wish. Unless parents have the same love of a sport that you have for a

sport, they are never going to fully understand how you can devote your life to

it regardless of how dangerous it is or how little money you are making.

What was your first set up? 

Steph:

Some really crappy skis I got on E-Bay for $100.

Kenzie: My first pair of skis were these

plastic rossignols with plastic feet straps for small snow boots. I took them

down the gravel driveway next to my house all summer long and slid around on

the carpet in my house till I was about 4. 

Jen A: Kneissel, 85cm.

LJ: My first pair of skis ever were Tecnu

Pro SC Juniors - they were royal blue with hot orange letters - I thought they

were rad. My first pair of twin-tips were Dynastar Concepts - the ones with the

jungle print - that'll bring you back, huh.

Jenn H: my first twins were the OG BC

scratches.  Orange and black naked ladies baby!

Julie: My first

camera was an all manual black and white film camera that I got for school when

I was 13. I was taking a photography class to fulfill an art requirement my

high school had. As for skis, I have no idea. I do know they were bump skis,

though! My first twins were the original 1080.

What is your current set up? 

Steph:

Major Upgrade!!  The 2008-2009 women’s

LINE skis.  The Celebrity, Shadow, and

the Pandora.  I am stoked to ride the

Pandora!

Jen A: Seth Vicious 169 with some sweet dangerous old school bindings!

Jenn H: rockin the diabello boots right now

and am about to get on a pair of shiny new k2s :)

Julie: I take pictures

with a Canon EOS 1D Mark IIN camera, a couple of flashes and four different

lenses. I make turns with a variety of K2s.

What’s a great day of skiing to you? 

Steph:

Most days are really great, but I’m just hooked on skiing.  It’s about having fun and being with

friends.  All my ski days have been

great since I started rolling with such a fine crew of people.  If you see me on the mountain, I usually

have a huge smile plastered to my face. 

Some of the best riding that I’ve done lately has been in the

backcountry on the snowmobile, with my brother, Jon, and other Jibij guys. 

Kenzie:

Blue Bird Powder Day....

Jen A: WAIST DEEP POW ON THE STEEPS WITH CLIFFS AND IN THE TREES!LJ: Every day! Sometimes I like to ride alone and really focus in on what I want to do that day - other times it's great to be riding with a crew cause we all push each other.

Jenn H: Anyday skiing:) haha but really

if you need something more specific a day out with my best friends, preferable

one where I get something new - like finally land a new trick or hit something

I’ve never thought I could before.  Oh and powder, any and every powder

turn.  Props to the fat ski innovators!

Carrie: Being on my skis with the homies.

Julie: My ideal

day of skiing is neck deep powder at Alta, Jackson or Silverton under bluebird

skies with temps in the 20s. Since I can’t always be in heaven, I always have a

great day when I’m out there with my friends (shout out to TPT).

Who

are your influences?

Steph:

My parents, my brother, and my friends. 

I am influenced by anyone who is doing amazing and original things, and

there are a lot of people like that in the skiing world.

Steph and Chris ripping the BC.

Kenzie:

Seth Morrison, Simon Dumont,

Brandon Becker, Charlie Lyons.

Kenzie didn't list it, but she's influenced by my mustache as well.

Jen A: Initially my brother as a young teenager, but once I moved to Colorado my influences became the guys that I would ride with and the new coaches I acquired.

 LJ:

Definitely some of the guys I grew up riding with back on the East Coast -

Tyler Conway and Nick Lyons especially - we made a little team - NBN crew and

traveled and competed together early on - they definitely pushed me and are

still really good friends. Some of my favorite skiers are Mickael D, Ashley

Battersby, Pollard, Pep, Mahre...definitely style riders and unique.

Jenn H: I’m inspired most by the people who

I ski with...

Carrie: Ange because she shows girls to work

hard, Alex Martini cause he kills it all without a jacket, Jenn

Hirsh who I couldn’t live without and my mom cause she teaches me to

balance my life out.

Julie: On the

photography side, I’ve been looking at a lot of skateboard magazines lately.

Since they don’t always the beautiful backdrops we have in skiing to work with,

they tend to come up with unique angles to shoot things that would ordinarily

be dull. Chris O'Connell is currently my favorite ski photographer because of

the diversity in his shots. On the ski side, Seth Morrison is my favorite

skier. It's amazing how we can watch the evolution of his skiing in pictures

and on film as he went from simply trying backflips to stomping rodeos in the

BC.

How

long have you been skiing?

Steph:

Since I was 3 years old—I got started at the legendary Snow Trails ski hill in

Ohio!

Kenzie:

My dad would carry me around in his

backpack when I was 1 and I started as soon as I could walk. 

Jen A: 20 years

LJ: Since I was 6.

Jenn H: Since I was 3

Carrie: Well I had never

slid a rail or hit jumps until this last year but was put on skis when I was

like 4.

Julie: I've been

skiing since I was three, and taking pictures since I was in my mid-teens.

How

many days do you get to ride per year?

Steph:

About 40-50.

Kenzie:

Last season due to injury I only got

60-70 days in. But normally over 100.

Jen A: Around 70 or more.

LJ: Pretty much every day - which is

awesome.

Jenn H: This season 140/150ish... plus water

ramps, plus NZ in two weeks!  But the real question is: if you ski at

least once every month of the year, does your season every really end??

Carrie: Well this year was exceptional....

140 I think

Julie: I ski

around 120 days a season.

What's your average day like on snow?

Steph:

Wake up, cruise to town with Carrie, talk our way into some free parking at the

Gondola, meet up with Jenn, lap Park Lane and Freeway… Ski days are extra fun

when you see people you’re friends with in the park… which happens basically

every day!!!

Kenzie:

Ski around the mountain early mornings,

then catch up with friends in 51, park lane, or freeway till I have to go to

work. Or night riding at Keystone if my daytime is busy. 

Jen A: Depends on the snow fall - if there is fresh snow I'm in the trees all day. If it's a blue bird 40 degree day I'm playing in the park.

LJ: It's different every day and I

definitely try to mix it up.

Jenn H: Happy

Carrie: Smiling and trying to push myself to

do something I’m scared of.

Julie: If I'm just

skiing, and not taking the camera out, I tend to get to hill early, take a few

warm ups, and then hopefully go shred pow all day. If it's a shooting day, who

knows? I tend to sit around too much waiting for athletes to show up. Hint,

hint: be there when you say you’ll be there!

Anything coming out for women's products that you are looking forward to? 

Steph:

The Pandora!!! OMG can’t wait to take those out on the snowmobile!

Jen A: New colors/patterns for jackets and pants.

Jenn H: Unfortunately I missed SIA this

year, thanks to some amazing event planning on some brilliant persons part, so

as a result I haven't had much of a preview of what’s to come yet, but I’m sure

there is going to be some pretty wicked shit!

Julie: I just got

to ski the K2 Missbehaved, and they rock. I'm just excited that companies are

finally making skis for women who rip, and not just women who want to look like

they rip.

What's your favorite product at Jibij? 

Steph:

Scott Goggles, and the crazy Jibij shirts.

Kenzie:

The JIBIJ is JAWSOME t-shirt! Just cause

its sweet.

Jen A: Moment Donner Party.

LJ: Hmmm - all of them? Haha.

Jenn H: Pretty stoked on my new Jawsome

shirt :)

Carrie: I love my Helly

Hansen suit! Its super lightweight, warm, and not to mention I feel like a babe

in it.

Julie: Everything

is cool. Jibij does not carry anything that is not worth having.

Do

you feel there is anything lacking in products for women?

Steph:

Hmmm…Skiing sports bras…?

Kenzie: Designs and patterns, everything

for women is plain colored and girly. It would be sweet to see some allover

print jackets or pants. 

Jen A: Better sports bras.

LJ: I have never ridden womens specific gear

on principle: If it's necessary to have lighter, softer skis to do the same

things guys are doing I feel it's cheating almost. Also the majority of womens

skis are too soft for a truly aggressive female skier - there are some that are

improving but have a ways to go.

Jenn H: maybe longer coats? For those of us

tall girls that is...

Julie: Now that

skis have finally come around for women, boots need to do some catch-up. Unless

you want a race boot (ugh), you can't find a stiff enough women's boot for big

mountain. And, I have super small feet, so I can't even buy a dude's boot.

Jon  Hartman: Sports Bras!

What are some memorable experiences from riding with the jibij team?

Steph:

I will never forget going to South Korea with the Jibij crew…hands down, the

best trip of my life!

Kenzie:

Loving the Gaper Day... that was pretty

sweet.

Jen A: Gaper Day '08. Good times.

LJ: Powderhorn last February - going

exploring and taking some time to rip some snowy trees - it was nice to get out

of the park and just ride simply for the fun of it.

Jenn H: Powderhorn was really cool, kinda

the first time for us with the team. Oh yeah, and what I can remember from the

opening this past weekend!

Carrie: Watching Patt do switch double backs

was insane on closing day!

Julie: Shooting

with Jibij is always a good laugh for me because someone always does something

really dumb. In all seriousness, though, it makes my job easy since they're all

solid skiers who want to be out there doing what they're doing. I did

thoroughly enjoy our excursion to Casa Bonita and watching LJ throw his food on

the ceiling.

What experience or accomplishments did you have before getting sponsored?

Steph:

I’m not sure what triggers sponsorships, I am going to say exposure and

competition results.  But, I didn’t do

anything that great before I got on the Jibij team, back in 2003.  But I guess Josh saw some potential in

me….thanks Josh.

Jen A: 2nd Place Finish at the Aspen Snowmass Extremes

LJ: I've been competing for a few years

now...probably my biggest accomplishments are winning the Mega MotherHucker big

air at MS and getting over some hesitance to be comfortable with that setting.

Getting second in the VTO slopestyle. I broke my wrist two days before and had

a cast and no poles - first time competing without those and I guess it stuck

cause I love riding with no poles now. But it was awesome - I really was able

to put it out of my mind and charge regardless. By the way Steph got first and

she was straight killin' it!

Jenn H: I got third in the Big Bear open and

5th in the NZ open.  Skied around the world... 

Julie: I had made

a little name for myself with my photography and kind of just kept on talking

to different people and got my name out there. If you are friendly and do good

work, good things happen.

What’s the best perk you’ve gotten from being sponsored?

Steph:

Besides the free stuff…the opportunity to meet cool people.  I went to a Bula photo shoot at Winter Park

last year and met JF Cusson, Frank Raymond, and Lindsay Dyer…I was a little

star-struck. 

Jen A: Josh's help!

LJ: Probably more people to ride with -

having people to go to comps with. Getting some recognition photo wise on NS

and stuff.

Jenn H: Sweet new friends...connections

Julie: Free stuff!

Any disadvantages of being sponsored?

Steph:

The pressure I put on myself to perform, it doesn’t help to be stressed before

a competition.

Jen A: I'm not sure what I'm expected of at all times!

Jen learning how to take down a tradeshow booth.

LJ: Not really except sometimes you have to

wear really girly parkas even if you don't want to!! Haha jus kiddin' Josh.

Jenn H: Not really, unless you make it your

priority... industry politics isn't nearly as fun as skiing is.

What’s the busiest time of year for you? 

Steph:

December and January is spent trying to hang with friends and family for the

Holidays, as well as train for competitions…I’m lucky my parents like to spend

Christmas in Breckenridge.

Kenzie:

Probably Christmas time, between work,

gapers/tourists, family visits, and skiing, and I have to pick out a bunch of

Christmas presents and I always forget things so I am running around all the

time. 

Jen A: October through March. Mixture of skiing, working, and schoolwork.

LJ: Winter-competition season.

Jenn H: Always and never...I’m a slacker so

always should be doing something and never quite am.

Julie: It used to

be winter because I was in school and skiing, both full time. Now that I have

graduated, I don't know what will happen.

All of you girls have a college degree, or are working towards one. Education

vs. Experience…which do you think is more important?

Steph:

I don’t think one is more important than the other, but chronologically,

education comes before experience.  I

think a good education can allow you to make your experiences more

meaningful.  After you’ve got them both,

it’s all about who you know.

Kenzie:

I feel that it is really important to

balance both. I wish that I could ski everyday and not have to worry about

school but I know how important it is. There are only a handful of

people who can make skiing a career and there are tons of people who wish that

they could. I think that education is the best thing to fall back onto. I have

never wanted to limit myself and with a college degree it lets me do the things

I want to do. 

Jen A: Education is important, but you can't get anywhere in life without experience.  Experience has much more weight in order to succeed in life.

LJ: I actually don't - I took a year off

between high school and college to pursue skiing full time - it's turned into a

couple more years and I have absolutely no regrets - I have my whole life to

pursue further education and only a limited time frame when I'm able body -

wise to be in this kind of sport - so I am definitely going to college in

the future but for now I will continue to pursue skiing to the fullest.  I think being wise and taking in all that

you can from life as it comes to you is the most important.

Jenn H: Experience.

Carrie: I think both are

important...experience is education but there are some things that can only be

taught in a classroom.

Julie: Well, that

is a good question. As of right now, I do not see how my college degree is

going to do anything for me, and so far it has not done much to help me. My

experience and getting myself out there has helped me get where I am with my

photography and journalism. At some point, I assume will want to make some real

money and get out of the ski industry. When that happens, I am sure I will be

happy I have a college degree.

Since you became involved in the ski industry, what’s been the biggest

surprise?

Steph:

I was surprised that some guys are negative and discouraging toward girl

athletes. I always thought they would be stoked that there are girls into the

same stuff they are.

Kenzie:

How small of a community it actually is.

Everyone is basically connected to everyone else in some way, and it is because

we all have the common love for the snow and skiing. Each person in the

industry works hard because of that commonality and it is neat to see that it

has enabled others to make a living doing what we all love to do. 

Jen A: The amount of people I have met and seen over and over again throughout the winter.

LJ: How attainable it is when you work your

hardest - getting closer to where I should be every year.

Jenn H: I like skiing a lot more than I like

the skiing industry.

Carrie: How involved everyone is with

competition skiing. It kind of bums me out sometimes.

Julie: I did not

expect the industry to be so secretive. I knew that you get places in the

industry by knowing the right people, but I didn't realize how huge a roll that

played.

What advice would you give to people wanting to be a part of the ski industry?

Steph:

Practice during the season and train in the off-season.

Kenzie: The industry is all about

connections. The best way is to put your self out there and meet as many people

as possible.

Jen A: You better enjoy talking, drinking, and skiing with very little sleep! Also, remember not to take life too seriously in this industry. LJ: Work hard... and have fun with it!

Jenn H: Be persistent.... not sure I’m the

best person to offer advice.

Carrie: Stay positive and work hard even if

you don’t see results right away... someone will notice you!

Julie: I've been

meeting a lot of kids who think working in the industry is glamorous. It might

be if you are on the board of a big company, but it's not for the rest of us.

So, find a different industry if you want to make money, and only stay in

skiing if you are truly in love with it. And, to you photographers, don't give

your work away for free!

Final thoughts?

Steph: Whatever level of skiing you do, pro or recreational, make sure you’re

having fun!

Kenzie:

Well I just want to say that Jibij is

sweet and I love all the people on it. I have fun skiing with you when I can,

and there will be good times ahead. 

Can't wait for the snow :)

Jen A: If you have the passion for skiing, continue to enjoy the sport. As soon as the fun stops, it's imperative to take a break and remind yourself what is important to you about the sport of skiing.LJ: I love skiing. Peace, Love, and lotsa snow to all.

Jenn H: Goodnight!

Julie:

Jibij is a great store owned by someone who genuinely loves skiing. So, go buy

stuff.


Industry News