Girls Gospel 09/16/1997

Princesses! You surprise me most pleasantly. Last month I asked you to email me what you were all up to this summer to take care of that never-ending desire to ride snow in the middle of a sweltering summer. The result was more emails than I could read-jamming my emailbox so badly, I had to call the folks at AOL to get it unstuck, which took about a half an hour on hold listening to Barry Manilow.

The following is a top-5 list of the coolest things you princesses have been doing this summer to curb your snowboarding appetite:5) Surfing. It seems that many of you did take my advice and gave our Surf Diva, Izzy, a call (619-454-8273), email: A free session was held after the Action Sports Retailer show in San Diego on September 8. I couldn’t make it ’cause I had to fly back to Utah, but the report is that lots of pros and not-so-pros showed up to give it a try-a regular snowboard/surf-diva session.

4) Skateboarding. So what’s new? You all seem to skateboard, but the cool thing is that a lot more of you have taken up skateboarding with a passion. Even more of you attended the All Girl’s Skate Jam September 8 in San Diego, which was a big, fat, hit, with the likes of Cara Beth Burnside stoking the mostly female crowd into a frenzy. She rules. 3) Street Luge. Now there’s a scary sport for you. I don’t know what you princesses in Los Angeles are thinking, but I personally, have no desire to lay down on what looks like a big snowboard with wheels on it, wearing tight leathers, a helmet, and sneakers with tire rubber stuck on the bottom, in order to carve down mountain roads just inches above searing, egg-frying hot pavement. But don’t let me stop you! Glendore Mountain Road had snowboarders-turned-lugers clocking sick 50-plus miles-per-hour times. Watch for one princess, Pamela Zoolian-the only woman luger-at the next Summer X Games.

2) Scottish Dancing. The perfect cross-training sport! Guess there’s a contingency back East of plaid-kilted riders learning the Scottish “sword dance.” According to goddess, Kerry, it goes something like this: The dancer places a sword and its sheath on the floor in a Gothic cross shape and then dances around it without touching the swords. “It’s pretty difficult, especially when the piper plays to a really fast tempo,” claims Kerry. I guess tassles starta flying.

1) Treadmill Big Air Launches. I love this one. A handful of princesses emailed me that they were going nuts in the summer heat in the Midwest, so they pulled out their mom’s treadmill into the front yard, started it up, and turned it as high it could go (“for maximum air time”). Then, they gathered some pillows and other cushy items (“for maximum plushy landings”) and strapped on their boards. One at a time they were catapulted into the air, dressed only in bathing suits, with boards and boots strapped on tight. I wonder how much air they actually got? As for other summer snowboard gossip, I was privy to some interesting tidbits from the Action Sports Retailer show August 5-8. Now ladies, this trade show is for beach culture retailers and manufacturers to sell their wares and show off their latest surfboards and skateboards, bathing suits, and sun products. As such, I don’t understand why so many snowboarders flock to this gathering-other than to see the Reef girls in thong bikinis. But then maybe that’s why they go–to see the Reef girls in thong bikinis. Pro women riders I did see were Tina Basich (looking lovely with her new, retro haircut and black Mod Squad one-piece pant suit), Cara Beth Burnside, Morgan LaFonte, and many snowboard filmmakers including Justin Hostynek and Mike Hatchett, and photographers Trevor Graves and Ruben Sanchez.

Many people came solely to watch the premiers of Mack Dawg’s “Simple Pleasures” and Mike Hatchett’s most recent snowboard flick “Carpe Diemm.” As in years past, the show was held at Spreckles theater in San Diego to a packed, rowdy audience that got even more amped when free swag from sponsors was thrown out into the audience by pro riders. Overall, Mack Dawg had some excellent CB and Nicola footage, while TB6 had awesome cinematography and incredible feats of athleticism by the snowboarders.

But I must say, how many times can we watch a bunch of linked extreme snowboard shots filmed from a heli to bad music? At 54 minutes long, it was 20 minutes too long. But it gave a little justice, kind of, to the world’s most extreme women riders: Circe Wallace, Morgan LaFonte, and Victoria Jealouse. The lines the latter two women took down peaks in Alaska had fluted spines, bergschrund, and crevasses all over the place. It was hair-raising to say the least, and got me stoked to ride just like them. Unfortunately, rumor has it that Victoria was bummed that so little of her footage was used in the movie. Jim Rippey’s dad–a nice older man from Iowa who talked to me about Jackson Hole and Snowbird. Her tears were a result from also being bummed that so much of her excellent riding had obviously ended up on the Hatchett’s cutting room floor (stuff Warren Miller later buys and uses in his ski and snowboard movies). My advice to these ladies is that we need to do our own big phat women’s flick with heli-accessed runs, professional cinematographers, and all the money behind it that the Hatchette’s seem to score (not to say that the Julie’s from J2 Productions aren’t giving it their all. Look for “Tade Out”–their latest movie which will be released next month). To give these women (and others like them) the justice and air-time they deserve, we must do a film ourselves! My question to you, my princesses, is what do you think we should name our chick flick? (How about “Girl’s Gospel”)?

Next month I’ll be giving you the scoop from the MTV Music Show in Austin, Texas where Athena, Michele Taggart, Tina B., and lots of other ladies will be competing in a big air contest on dry ice. Farmer’s Almanac report from my office window is that Utah’s turning bright orange and red with fall colors beginning to show. This means it’s almost time to move those silly treadmills inside and store those kilts until next summer’s sword dance.

From Gospel Headquarters I’m signing off until pumpkin season,