Amusement Park 2015 Full Recap
An all-women's progression session at Mammoth.
Words: Annie Fast
Photography: Chris Wellhausen
Video: Eli Weiner
Kimmy Fasani's career has spanned a decade, coming up through USASA Nationals in Tahoe, competing through pro contests, and then successfully transitioning into filming in the backcountry. Her career has been defined by progression and intention, but it hasn't always been an easy ride, whether it was navigating sponsorship transitions, overcoming injuries, or the challenge of breaking new paths forward. Through it all Kimmy has always been in the driver's seat and seemingly also co-pilot's seat, shaping the pro snowboarding career that she envisioned for herself. Not an easy task and definitely not without risks, but she's got a pretty high tolerance for risk as she continued to demonstrate this past week as she hosted her third annual Amusement Park in the Main Park at Mammoth Mountain--an event with the goal of celebrating snowboarding women's progression.
Amusement Park is a private photo shoot with 15 invited female riders from top pros to up-and-coming ams. Kimmy called on her network of photographers and filmers to document the sunset jump sessions held this year on a 50-foot stepdown in the Main Park. For the more established riders including Jamie Anderson, Hana Beaman, Silvia Mittermuller, and Kelly Clark, it's a welcome chance to connect with the next generation of riders and put down some tricks in front of the lens. For some of the newer faces in women's snowboarding, it's a relatively rare chance to session a feature with the full attention of a media crew.
Among the squad were X Games gold medalist Chloe Kim celebrating her 15th birthday (woo!), slopestyle Olympian Karly Shorr, winner of the Mammoth Grand Prix slopestyle Hailey Langland, Volcom's Global Peanut Butter And Rail Jam Championships winner Mariah Dugan, and the JetPack crew's Danika Duffy--basically girls from every niche of snowboarding coming together to ride and progress.
The weekend kicked off on Saturday with a Burton Ride Day open to any girls who wanted to ride with the Amusement Park pros. The next day was a surprise powder day, which had the girls rallying up to the mountain early. Hana Beaman put her local's knowledge to use finding the deepest stashes. That first night's sunsets session confirmed that Kimmy is definitely back riding at full power since fully recovering from her injury and holy shit how! Every third rider hitting the jump was Kimmy, who not only opened up but also shut down the sessions, setting the pace. Jamie Anderson recently returned from the Nine Queens Event in Austria, where she put to rest whatever tired conversations had been going on about women's progression by casually nailing a Frontside 1080 and adding a Switch backside 900 and Cab 1080 to her arsenal. Jamie kicked off the session with Kimmy, including a doubles session on the jump.
Among the new crew Hailey Langland and Karly Schorr seized the spotlight and the Standout Awards. Karly looked confident, strong, and determined spinning over the gap, claiming Standout status for the second year in a row. Hailey's style is unreal--she has tons of pop off the lip, holds her grabs forever, and tweaks her Japan's like Shaun White (this is a good thing in my mind). The girls won a surf trip including Channel Island surfboards and a stay at the Hilton Garden Inn in Carlsbad.
As the first night session was winding down, with the sun long since set behind the Minarets, Kimmy hit the jump one last time. Hailey Langland looked up and remarked out loud, "Life goals right there." That pretty much sums up Amusement Park in four words.