Caught Up with Hana Beaman and Jess Kimura

Veteran out-of-bounds rider Hana Beaman gives us her perspective on being the participating in the X Games Real Women contest.

Hana Beaman getting ready to let it rip. PHOTO: Erin Hogue

This is the first year women have been included in X Games’ Real video contest where two ladies from four different sports—snowboarding, skiing, surfing and skateboarding—will be competing against each other. What are your thoughts on this format?

I’m stoked they’re including women this year. It’s a starting point, and hopefully it continues to grow. It’s going to be interesting to see how it’s received, and voted on by the viewers. It’s hard to compare and judge these sports together, but I’m just looking at it as good exposure for women in general. Just being involved is a win for us.

Since the time you started competing in 1988, what do you think about the progression of women’s snowboarding?

It’s ridiculous! Things have come so far, it’s awesome! I think things are going to continue to progress and it’s gonna be super rad to see where the girls take it. I’m just stoked to be a part of it and hopefully inspire the next generation of women to keep it going.

When and how did you find out you were one of the women selected?

Well, I heard it was happening in late November and that Jess and Kimmy were the two snowboarders selected to do it. I thought it would have been cool to be a part of it, but didn’t really think too much about it. When I heard Kimmy got hurt a few weeks later, I was super bummed for her. I pretty much got a call a few days after that, asking to take her spot. It’s not how you really want to become involved with something like this, but I was excited to get the opportunity.

What was your initial reaction?

I was super excited to be able to show my riding on such a huge stage. Last season was a great one for me and felt like I had the potential to do well this year too.
In 2003, you started snowmobiling and filming in the backcountry. Since then, you have put more and more emphasis on backcountry riding, last year devoting your season solely to filming. Why did you decide to give up contests for backcountry riding?

I got my first sled in ‘03 but it took me awhile to really be good enough to go out and start filming in the backcountry. I’d get to go out with the guys when possible, but it was only here and there between travel and contests, so I would just get a taste. I didn’t feel like I could just step away from the contests, since that’s what sponsors wanted and I hadn’t really made a name for myself yet. It just wasn’t the way you were suppose to go. But, I was hooked. So after I did well in the contest scene it just felt like the natural path to follow, but it still took me a few years to fully commit to a season of just filming. There is definitely a huge emphasis on contests—it’s hard to walk away from that.

Riding this kind of powder looks better than riding in a slopestyle contest. PHOTO: Erin Hogue

This year you decided to get back into contests, with hopes of going to the Olympics next year. What about going to the Olympics and contest riding attracted you back to it?

I’ve done contests, I did well in them, and I enjoy riding park so I feel like it’s a great opportunity, and if I didn’t at least try, I would regret it. If I refocus the time and energy I spend in the backcountry back into park riding I think I have a decent chance at making it. Guess we just have to see what happens. I won’t be a super bummer if I don’t make it, it can only be a positive.

What do you hope people get from your riding and take away from X Games Real Women?

A lot of people don’t even know that there are women out here doing this kinda stuff. So I hope they get stoked on what we are doing and that more women get involved in these types of things!

Sweet, now just a couple short answer questions to end things.

Worst trend in snowboarding?

Rising ticket prices.

Favorite video part by a female ride?

Erin Comstock‘s part this year.

Drink of choice?

Whiskey water.

Favorite trick?


Favorite place to ride?

In the sun.

Plans for the future?

A two-year endless summer adventure.

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