Helen Schettini’s HEL YES Pro Model

*Editor’s note: Helen is one bad ass babe. She’s paving the way for women in snowboarding, and it’s awesome to see her repping the first YES female board. Hell yea Helen.
Helen Schenttini - hougue
Words & Photos: Erin Hogue

Being a girl, riding with the guys is simply not always an option, it takes time and energy to prove you have what it takes. Helen Schettini has definitely proven herself and has been destroying Whistler’s terrain with the likes of Kevin Sansalone, Rube Goldberg, Romain De Marchi, DCP and JP Solberg. If you haven’t seen a photo of the badass black eye Helen earned filming last winter, then you clearly have not been around snowboarding at all this winter. Her consistency and courage have resulted in her to being the only female featured in Yes. It’s a Movie, too and, has earned her a spot on Adidas’ newly formed snowboard team; along with Jake Blauvet, Kazu Kokubo, Eric Jackson, Keegan Valaika and Forest Bailey.

Now, YES snowboards’ is releasing a Helen Schettini Pro model and, their first women’s board, Hel YES.  Last week, I caught up with Helen to find out what to expect out of a board that can handle shredding with the guys.

Helen Schenttini - Hogue photo

How long have you been riding and filming with YES Snowboards?

I have been with YES since the summer of 2010. I started filming with them a bit the following winter (2011/12) and kept going from there.

How did you originally get involved with YES?

I was fortunate enough to know the YES filmer who was also filming for Absinthe that winter as well. So I got invited out with Annie Boulanger and him a few times. That, I think, got him thinking about me and when YES wanted to expand a little, my name was on their list.

In the past you have always been forced to ride YES’ guys boards, how does riding a guys board compare to a women specific snowboard?

I was riding the Tadashi Fuse since it was the narrowest board; but I found it too stiff. Then I started riding their park board, the Jackpot; but found it too wide. We really needed a women specific board to cater to such a huge market. Most women think we can just ride guy’s board but we can’t. Our bodies are made differently and we need different stiffness’s and shapes to work for us. This is the best board I have ever ridden; it’s fast, perfect pop, rides hard through all snow conditions (especially deep snow and chunder), and stays light and quick in every condition. We also have ‘disrupted edges’ similar to the magne- traction on Lib boards to help the ladies out on ice for lack of edge catching.

You are known for shredding deep in the backcountry, from this what factors were important to consider when designing this board?

My major concern was landing in deep powder and being quick to turn when you’re riding lines and in narrow spaces (i.e.. next to rocks, trees, etc.). We made the nose of this board a little larger for surface area to increase float when landing. It also has cam rock (which is mustache shape) so when you land, the nose pops up to keep you powering through your line. I swear, so many times I am landing, thinking my nose is going to dig in and stop me dead, I somehow power through the snow and get out alive. It’s the best feeling out there!

HEL YES - Yes SnowboardsWhat separates the Hel YES from other women specific boards out there?

The designer, Akasha, put so much time into creating such a specific shape and mold for this board that will change the way a lot of women think boards should feel. It’s not a noodle, which many women’s boards are, and it’s not so stiff that it bucks you around, I hate that! I think even though it is possibly getting marketed as a free ride board, it is such a great all around board. Park riders will love the pop it’s got and the shape of the board for jumps and rails.

What did you want for the graphic on the board and, who is the artist that designed it?

I have a great friend who paints the most beautiful artwork; mostly naked women, with acrylic paints on canvas. This got me thinking that I wanted something feminine but a little darker feeling. If you know me, you know I’m not a ‘unicorn and rainbows’ kind of girl, so I wanted a design that was sexy but not over the top. Dustin Ortiz, YES’s graphic designer, worked with what I told him and found the artist, Bryan Ray, who made a few different paintings for us to work with. Then Dustin played around with the placement and cutouts within the graphic. I couldn’t have asked for a better looking board or a better team who created it. I can’t wait to see chicks rocking it on the hill!!

So when and where can girls get there hands on them?

The Hel Yes will be in stores fall 2013. It will be in stores all over that sell YES boards.