Hana all up and over the step up.Photo: Christy Chaloux
Caught Up with Hana Beaman
Words By: Jess Roy
What do you get when you combine the following: Cher, Martha Stewart, and Uma Thurman (a la Kill Bill)? Enter Hana Beaman. She's a snowboarding powerhouse with unparalleled drive, sassy wit, and a certain flair for domestic endeavors. Basically, she'll kick your ass all the way down the hill, and then make you muffins. Here's a few rounds with the quintessential American Bad Ass.
Heard you were just in Austria. I also heard that they had a series of incredible storms that brought magical chest deep powder…
I heard that too. That's why I went. But when we got there, it rained. We milked it as much as we could with little jibs, building a quarter pipe, and trying to make the best out of a rainy situation. Then everyone left. I heard that it was supposed to start snowing again, so I was like: '*%$# it I'm staying!' We went to Saas Fe and got some of that sweet powder for a couple of days before I came back to SLC.
So then you came back to sunny Utah and built a jump in the backcountry. Can you describe the process of what it takes to get that perfect shot?
While en route back from Austria, I got a message from a friend that we were going to go hit ‘Pyramid Gap’ out by Alta. So the first day I got back I got the call to go up and build. It was about an hour hike up this steep gully putting in a boot pack to the spot. When we got there, the landings looked pretty bad, so we had to change our plan from building a hip to a step-up. The jump looked like it would be really fun; it had decent speed. Little did we know what we were getting into… We shoveled for five hours the first day, then the second day it took about two and a half hours to finish the jump. I hit it first. My leg gave out, and I landed in a cornice. So we took another three hours to get it perfect. We decided to leave it and come back the next day. We raced to beat a bunch of other crews up there so we could claim our jump. When we got everything dialed in, we had to wait a couple hours for light. The clouds came in, so we just started to hit it. We rode for like three hours, and probably got six or seven shots in. It was three days of work, a ton of hiking, and we didn’t really get the result we were looking for. That's just how it is sometimes.
With that territory comes inevitable avalanche danger, what do you do to stay safe?
Whenever we go out, we have beacons, shovels and probes. I’ve read books about safety precautions, and I’ve learned so much from going out with experienced people. You've got to use common sense, have good supplies and be prepared. Be aware of high danger zones, and have safe areas to get to. Know how to use your equipment. I’d love to take a class to learn more one of these days.
In addition to the stuff you just mentioned, what are 5 things you bring with you in the backcountry?
1. A knife
2. Emergency blanket
3. Fire-starting stuff
5. Extra gloves
A little birdie told me that you’re working on a 'top secret' movie project. Wanna spill the beans?
Basically, photographer Stan Evans and filmer Jeremy Miller got together and decided to make a super sweet girls video. The crew includes: me, Lisa Filzmoser, Kimmi Fasani, Gretchen Bleiler, Raewyn Reid, Jenny Jones, Jamie Anderson, and a few other lovely ladies. The movie is going to be called, Stance. We are focusing a lot on backcountry riding, and are trying to showcase an elite side of women’s snowboarding.
As a former ‘Rider of the Year’, what are some things that you’ve learned, and what advice would you give to the up-and-coming ladies who are trying to be the next You?
Be persistant! And believe in yourself. Do it for the right reasons. As long as you’re doing it for yourself it will be apparent in your riding, and other people will notice. Be grateful for the things that you have in life. You really have to savor the moment sometimes.
Unfortunately for you, you don’t get to gossip by the water cooler at work like the rest of us. What’s your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part is a tie between getting to travel to such awesome new places, and getting to meet such cool people. Meeting new friends, and having great people all over to work and ride with is amazing.
It seems that there are a few ‘Hana Beaman signature’ items out there. How much input do you actually get when it comes to developing a product with your name on it?
It's always a little limited simply because I'm not the person going to China and physically making the samples etc. But I’ll get inspired from something, show it to the designers, and they will come up with different ideas and ways to utilize that inspiration. They are pros and are great at finding the materials and color-ways. Mainly, I find different pieces and inspirational items that I really like which I give to them, and then we collaborate to put that special spin on the final design.
So, you’re pretty good at karaoke. Is there anything you want to tell me about Cher?
Ha Ha. Uhh, I dunno how ‘Cher’ came to be. One night I got inspired and just ended up singing Cher karaoke. But yeah, she’s got some awesome songs and I ROCK them. It seems to be a real crowd favorite.
What about Tina Turner?
I don’t get to do Tina as much at karaoke. I was her for Halloween once, as you know. I had a blast, and tried not to break character. Maybe it's some sort of influence from my mom listening to those ladies when I was younger.
Well, your costumes are amazing…
You’re also pretty good at riding your Harley. What’s your favorite thing about being out on the open road?
I have to say, it's all the looks I get from the dudes. When you look like a hott biker mama, and then you got your hott biker babe on the back (ha ha)… they always look twice. Oh, the freedom, the wind blowing through my hair, and the tailpipe burning my calf. I just feel so free and alive.