Bridging The Gap: The Next Wave Of Women’s Snowboarding

The Streets Are Ours


Enni Rukajarvi
Enni Rukakarvi not only kills it on the slopestyle course, but she also looks pretty comfortable on this sketchy rail. Photo: Ville Lahtinen

Making an impact as a woman in the streets has always been tough, but a few girls like Jess Kimura, Desiree Melancon, Marie Hucal, Gabi Viteri, and Leanne Pelosi have consistently tackled the concrete jungle. It’s a difficult place for ladies to gain exposure, and getting past the fear of hitting sketchy, high-consequence features in the dark with bone-chilling temperatures can be nerve-racking. On top of that, it’s rare to see girls hitting rail spots with guys and it’s as if they’ve had to distance themselves in order to get noticed in the first place. A few all-girl film companies such as Misschief and Peep Show have tried to fill this role over the years, but haven’t lasted. But with the ease of dropping edits online, ladies have more opportunity for exposure than ever. “Filming is definitely a growing aspect of women’s snowboarding,” Beaman says. “The Internet lets girls who don’t have sponsors or a film company backing them gain recognition and make a career out of snowboarding.” With new projects like Too Hard from Danyale Patterson continuing where Peep Show left off, and Jess Kimura’s Barely, these ladies are paying their dues in the school of hard knocks. The same formula for progression in contests and in the backcountry applies equally to the streets—there are a few leading the charge and they need support. Leanne Pelosi has one solution along those lines that could lead to more ladies hitting the streets. “I’d like to see ESPN include women in Real Snow,” she says. “There are a handful of girls killing it out in the streets and backcountry, and it would be pretty rad to showcase that.”