Chubz.If I remember correctly sarah hoefflin hasnt been skiing for very long at all compared to people like devin logan and she has multiple dubs under her belt.
This is true, I met Sarah 5 years ago while on an Armada UK tour and she was still throwing front flips to backslap off 6 inch high boxes in a snowdome having barely skied park outdoors. So for sure, she was skiing and skied as a kid but, and I'm sure she wouldn't mind me saying, definitely not a comp level skier. Within a year or two she was riding the SFR Tour and picked for the Swiss Team (before blowing her knee and missing a season).
Along with Kelly (obviously), Mathilde, Lisa Z and others, she pretty much changed the game for women's slope/big air. They are probably my favorite events to watch right now at the big events (X Games/Dew/Olympics) because the progression is both (somewhat) obvious (and to me, enjoyable) in a way it just isn't always in the Men's. To me, it goes without saying that at the major tour events, prize money should be equal regardless of the economics because the commitments (travel, leaving education, training, injuries etc) are the same for the girls and the guys. And for the most part, comp prizing IS equal at those big events (X and Dew both offer equal prizing, as did WSSF Big Air this past week). There might currently be less competition (in terms of potential comp winners) on the ladies' side and so, shock/horror, the best women might even actually take home more (in comp winnings at least) in the short term at those 'majors'. That is changing though and by the next Olympics, I'm damn sure there won't be any more Swaneys.
Perhaps more importantly, and this is something that people seem to ignore, but freeskiing is hardly booming right now compared to 10 years ago. Encouraging a potential 50% more consumers seems a damn good idea to me. You're seeing it in skateboarding right now, a few female role models can transform a whole industry, albeit slowly. In skiing, the sponsorship/film side will hopefully grow to reflect the need for those role models too. If you look at the 'Girl skiers who shred' thread, you can see the hype is there. But skiers like Taylor, who is somewhat established though hardly making bank, and upcomers like Berto and Mckenna Brown (who I've never met but fucking rips), need to be given a chance to have an impact on the sport too and skiing costs money.
To bring this post full circle, I was talking to Sarah early this season about spending the summers in Zermatt, and she mentioned seeing Berto on Instagram. I think she said something like, "Did you see that burrito skier girl while you were there, holy fuck, she's so good, so much better at skiing than me". At that point, Berto wasn't even getting free skis... To me, that suggests there could be more than a bit more being done to search out and support ladies who rip...