Riz from “Grease” would have been proud of the Surf Diva “Pink Ladies” last weekend, September 13, in San Diego. Izzy Tihanyi’s free Surf Diva clinic for women attending the Action Sports Retailer (ASR) show was our redemption after a silicone-saturated weekend.
Let me explain: For snowboarders or mountain people such as myself, the ASR show is an ego-buster of mega proportions. There are more fake-breasted girls who weigh less than my dog at this event than at the Miss America pageant. But we in the snowboard industry go for the snowboard movie premieres and to check-out the girl’s skate and surf scene.
So, there we are at La Jolla Shores: women from Spin, W.i.g., Times Mirror, Blue, and Sportstyle Magazines, Staci Levine from G-Shock and Vans, Beth Reece from Moonstone, plus core skateboard marketing people from New York City. We were all in our pink rash guards learning “pop-ups,” paddling techniques, and the advantages of being a girl surfer (we can “hang 12,” according to Izzy).
Beth and I, along with the Sportstyle gal and a graphic designer named Wendy, were put into an advanced group because we’d all “surfed Hawaii before.” We all were quickly swept (literally) down the beach to the bigger breaks. Unfortunately, Beth and I were at the bottom of that advanced classification and got pummeled. First by the waves and then by the riptide that was more powerful than our noodly paddling arms could handle. Suddenly, a booming, mega-phoned voice from the lifeguard tower announced it was “time for the pink ladies to move to a smaller wave area.” Everyone on the beach from La Jolla to Mexico could hear it. We caught our last waves in and surprisingly all stood up before crashing in heavy whitewater for what Izzy coins, “Surf-Diva soup.”
The overall experience was one of the best I’ve had with women athletes. Surfing is indeed like snowboarding, except that the “mountain” moves and you have to deal with things like stingrays, and riptides, and such. Surf Diva clinics run every weekend in La Jolla, California, but if you have a request to host one on a shore near you, most likely, the Surf Divas will figure out a way to get there. Boards and rash guards are provided. For more information, go to: www.surfdiva.com.<
The Boys Club of America
Two nights before my Surf Diva session, I went to the snowboard movie premieres of Standard Films, “North of Heaven-TB7″ and Mack Dawg productions, “Decade.” I look forward to these premieres every year to see who’s been riding the best and where snowboarding is headed for the upcoming season. So there I am, sitting next to Snowboarding Online editorial director, Lee Crane, and Times Mirror marketing coordinator, Anke Corbin. In the row right in front of us is Shannon Dunn with her boyfriend Dave Downing, Tina Basich, Jeff Galbraith from Snowboarder magazine, and a bunch of other snowboarding types. As usual, Spreckles Theatre intrigues me with it’s sculptures of angels and thick red curtains and balconies. It’s the sort of theatre where one would go to watch the ballet rather than snowboarding flicks, but no one seems to appreciate this, other than my two companions.
Mike Hatchett, the director, producer, and main cinematographer of Standard Films, greets the audience in his monotone voice, passing out T- shirts, boards, and other goodies to stoke the snowboarding crowd. Then lights go out and, like we have come to expect from Standard Films, we’re immediately taken to one of the sickest lines shot last winter. This one happens to be a rider, whom I don’t know, almost getting taken out by a massive slide. I should have taken this as an indication of what was to come. Undoubtedly, there is sick riding, and stand-outs from Travis Parker and Kevin Jones, along with legendary Alaskan moments with Tom Burt. But I’m waiting for the token girls segment, which never arrives. Ngirls. I repeat, not one woman is shown snowboarding in TB7.
I’m holding back my ever-increasing frustration (as I was seated next to the editor I’d be writing this for), until I could see what “Decade” had to offer. Surely, Mack Dawg’s films and their core mentality and humor will offer us ladies a tantalizing snowboarding bit. Except for 1.5 seconds of Jamie Macloud, again, nothing. NO WOMEN.
As I walk out of the theatre, shocked, I run into Leah Butler from Smith and some other gals. We were all disappointed; appalled even. I was hoping to give you ladies a preview of the hot women to watch this season, but I have nothing because we were given nothing.
“Where’s the representation of the fastest growing segment in snowboarding?” I asked K2 team manager, Dave Billinghurst, and TB7′s newest star, Travis Parker, over dinner the next night.
The conversation got heated-it was 5 girls to two boys and they lost magnanimously. But Travis did have some points: It took him four years, he said, for those segments he scored in TB7, which undoubtedly will launch his career. As he put it, “The movies are not about gender, it’s about snowboarding. The best of snowboarding is what will make it in the movies.”
And so, I take it, the ladies portion is not the best in snowboarding (and according to who’s standards, Standard’s?) and is sitting somewhere on the cutting room floor. I’m pissed. If that’s the way of the snowboarding world, then I want those cut-up reels to splice my own damn movie together. Would you agree, or do I simply have my head in Girl Gospel heaven to think there should be some representation of our gender? My goddesses, I fear that snowboarding is turning into what skiing once was: The Boys Club of America.
Good Gospel Prevails
The good stuff from ASR came from outside of the snowboarding industry: impressive skateboard clothing, boards, and designs (all kind of urban jungle) from Rookie–a three-woman owned and operated company and the new boards from Flex Deck.Surfer Girl Magazine premiered with an impressive booth and a quality publication. Check out the incredible bodyboarding images and the wonderful feature on Layne Beachley.
Also impressive was the introduction of Water Girl, a women’s surf and future snowboard clothing line for women, by Patagonia. A lot of Water Girl’s skirts, girlie tee’s, and sundresses are made from the same material that my Patagonia long-underwear is made from. Pretty ingenious fabric usage, I’d say.
Other Gospel news includes the October premiere of Radical Films new flick called, “No Man’s Land.” Filmed and produced by that nutty cinematography Christian Begin, this film is an inspiration to women and should have premiered at ASR if only to give us hope. Featuring Shannon Dunn, Victoria Jealouse, Morgan LaFonte, and Tina Basich (and also sponsored by W.i.g. magazine), along with a scintillating soundtrack from Ani DiFranco, Sarah McLachlan, and others, this movie is sure to be a ground-breaking presentation. Check it out at www.radical-films.com.Speaking of Victoria, she was definitely not present in her ex-boyfriend’s movie, but she was spotted outside the show. Last weekend was also the second annual All-Girl’s Skate Jam in Escondido. I wasn’t able to make it, but I heard it was very successful in both the number of participants and those in attendance. Further details can be found at www.allgirlskatejam.com.
Nicole Angelrath emailed to say she’s been enjoying her summer working on her parents vineyard (how cool) in-between riding at Whistler and Mt. Hood; pro riders, Bonnie and Jim Zellers, had a baby boy named Dylan, and Hayley Martin, from K2 had a baby girl named Ruby.
Athena, pro rider from K2, has retired and returned to finish her studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. We’ll miss her, but college, ladies, is always a good idea.
OK, Gospelettes, soon the snow will fly (well, at least here in Utah) and I’ll be able to give you the scoop from the slopes. Until that day, you can contact me at Wigmag@aol.com or in more detailwww.wigmag.com. Gospelettes, soon the snow will fly (well, at least here in Utah) and I’ll be able to give you the scoop from the slopes. Until that day, you can contact me at Wigmag@aol.com or in more detailwww.wigmag.com.