Comparatively Speaking: Karleen Jeffery Intro

sim•i•le ‘si-me-le n : a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as (e.g., as brave as a lion or cheeks like roses)

A simile is a funny thing-making a comparison so the listener has a better chance of getting the idea … or not. For example, what the hell does “happy as a clam” mean, anyway? Or, “she eats like a bird”? If you think about it, the average bird eats its own weight in food every day-I dare you to try that one. But without sounding like a preacher on Sunday, I want to tell you about two snowboarders who are as good as the day is long.

Some may say that Craig Kelly is as wise as an owl when it comes to a long-lived snowboarding career. Talking to a number of the younger pros, including Terje, Craig has definitely been an inspiration to many. It's as clear as a bell to most that Craig's influence on snowboarding-whether he likes it or not-will be etched into the glass of the perpetual crystal bong we know as snowboarding.

Canadian Karleen Jeffery is a lesser-known but equally important factor in snowboarding. Oddly enough, I've heard her described as “The female Craig Kelly of snowboarding.” She's been quiet as a mouse in the public eye, but believe you me, her combination of fearlessness, strong riding, and solid mountaineering skills, and her love of beer (like a true Canadian) guarantees that it's only a matter of time before the secret's out. How many of you knew that Karleen not only won the snowboarding portion of the Rip Curl World Heli Challenge in New Zealand, but she also took second in the skiing event? Let's see a show of hands … yeah, that's what I thought.

So when Snowboard Life selected these two outstanding riders to serve as guest editors, the next natural step was to bring them together to meet for the first time on their own terms, in their natural element (the steeps) to do some comparison shopping. Our people talked to his people, who talked to her people. Finally, after circling around Hurricane Floyd off the coast of Miami last fall, Craig and Karleen met on the Chilean side of the Andes to do a little traveling and get to know each other before they went into the Snowboard Life office to execute their duties as guest editors. It was like turning water into wine.

-Mark Gallup