Truth Or Dare
You’ve got questions? They’ve got answers! Oh, snap-The ladies of Misschief Films are here to help. Answering questions this month: Leanne Pelosi and Sylvia Mittermà…ller.
I wanted a li’l advice on rails. I hit my first a couple years ago and totally loved it. But last season my home mountain sucked, so I didn’t get too much practice. This year I wanna hit as many as I can, so I was wondering if I could get some advice on equipment and some tips.
That’s amazing that you loved your first rail, because I think they’re pretty intimidating in the beginning-but once you get used to them, it’s damn easy to get really good at ‘em! Remember, if your resort sucks, anything goes for jibbing! You can jib things like houses, stumps, pipes, wallrides, metal, real handrails, stairs, snow, people, et cetera, and the best part about jibbing is that even if there isn’t snow, you’re still riding something!
For equipment, I like a softer board that you can really bend for nose- or tailpresses. Lean forward or backward when you’re strapped in, and if you can stand up straight and balance on either end of the board, it’s probably soft enough to start pressing it!
For protection, you might want to wear kneepads-you’ll probably slip out a few times trying those tech tricks, so protect your knees! The best piece of advice I could give for hitting a rail is to make sure you have the confidence to slay it, because otherwise it’ll probably eat you up for lunch. Keep the base of your board flat on the rail, too, or you’ll probably slip out. I learned a funny, memorable tip for boardslides from Joanna Majcherkiewicz, a coach at MGT Snowboard Camp: you’ll stay on the rail if you pet the dog! Basically, if you keep your hands in front of you like you’re petting a wee little dog, your board will adjust to the slope of the rail, and you’ll never slip out on your heels.
I hope this helps! Good luck shredding the slopes this winter. Leanne
I look at the state of women’s riding with very mixed feelings. I think it’s great that women are getting paid to do something that is as fun as snowboarding and make a real living off of it. However, I look at some women who are spinning 180 off a 35-foot jump and are called professional? Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this? Yes, women are smaller than men, and a 50-foot jump seems a lot bigger to a smaller rider, but are we allowing women to get away with less? Women’s riding isn’t nearly as competitive as men’s, so they can go pro with fewer skills than their male counterparts and don’t have to progress as much each season. I should not have to look at professional riders boardsliding a two-foot-wide box three feet off the ground, knowing that they’re getting coverage only because of their gender. Of course, there are some women who are riding at the top of their game and progressing every season, but there are those few who give “women’s riding” the prissy, pussy image that I feel it has. Just because you have one doesn’t mean you have to be one-step it up.
I know exactly what you’re talking about, and I think I could easily fill this page with thoughts about that topic, but I’ll try to sum it up. First, there’re fewer women snowboarding in general than men, which also means there’re fewer really good girls pushing each other. Most women don’t compare themselves to the men, and since having more people pushing each other pushes the riding level faster, women’s snowboarding improves at a slower rate than men’s.
The level of women’s riding is obviously still lower than men’s, and if you send girls off jumps considered huge to men, most of them wouldn’t technically improve, they’d more likely do safety tricks and you’d say, “She’s only doing a backside 360.” However, riding a 90-foot jump you could kill yourself on is not exactly the place to try the first womeen’s 1080 ever seen.
About lower-level women calling themselves “pro,” not everyone calling herself “pro” is really “pro” in a way that she makes a living from it. She might go to school or work her ass of all summer to do a season in a mountain resort while probably still working there, too. She might receive a bunch of free clothes and snowboards, but that’s nothing you could live on. If that girl isn’t a media rockstar, no one should be angry-she probably just loves snowboarding and therefore lives a life that allows her to ride as much as possible.
Another point is that every international company wants to be present in all the countries they sell products in, even places that don’t have the best snowboarding infrastructure. People who don’t have a pipe in their country won’t become good pipe riders, same as people who only have a few shitty rails won’t look like heroes if you (as an American with the fanciest stuff right in front of your door) see pictures of them riding on that stuff. But companies still want to sell products in these places, so they endorse a few people to wear their products. Those people are heroes in their countries, and that’s why they get support. Even here in Germany where I live, we don’t have a single good pipe, and only a few resorts have rails or jumps you could call okay. It’s harder to improve if you don’t have the opportunities, and you can get popular in Europe without fitting the American (park) standard at all. They’re different worlds.
Well, after all those explanations and thoughts, I need to say that I really respect every girl pushing the level, doing something new, and changing our sport, but you have to get to that point first-everyone had to. For some, the way is farther off, and some just want to snowboard and not change the world-as long as you have fun, it’s the right start and the rest will follow.
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“Remember, if your resort sucks, anything goes for jibbing! You can jib things like houses, stumps, pipes, wallrides, metal, real handrails, stairs, snow, people, et cetera, and the best part about jibbing is that even if there isn’t snow, you’re still riding something!”