Caught up with Jenny Jones

By Jen Sherowski

A funny, tough chick from Great Britain who loves Yorkshire pudding, Jenny Jones made her mark on the world of snowboarding this year with an electric competition season that included slopestyle wins at the Australian and Nippon Open, as well as a host of other podium finishes across the world. In fact, Jones came within inches of clinching the women’s Burton Global Open title, but a cracked tailbone at the U.S. Open had other plans for her. We caught up with Jenny recently in between summer surf trips and glacier expeditions. Here’s what she had to say.  -JS

Last time I saw you ride, it was at the U.S. Open, and I’m pretty sure you were hucking it on some damn icy Vermont jumps with a broken tailbone. Was your ass really broken?
    Nope, it wasn’t broken—stoked! But it bloody killed, and I felt like a right pussy when I found out it was only maybe a really small fracture that’ll heal with time. It’s doing fine now, as long as I don’t take long roadtrips. But for about two weeks I had to sit on one of those rubber ring cushions for people with piles. That kinda sucked!

How come you didn’t just go to the hospital instead of trying to compete with a busted ass?
    It’s weird, because I always put my body first, and for sure in any other contest I would’ve just gone straight to the hospital. I have to be honest, though, and admit that it was because I had a chance of winning 100,000, dollars [for the Burton Global Open title], which is something I never expected at the beginning of the season and something that would probably never come about again. So I figured I should take a shit-load of painkillers and give it my best shot. I think if you turned round and asked most people, they’d have given it a crack if put in the same situation. At least I can say I tried, but I have to admit that it was by far the worst contest experience of my life. I was super bummed out for about two or three days after, and then I said to myself, “Stop being a knobhead, Jenny,” partied and got super drunk, and got on with life.

Do you find yourself having to go above and beyond in the name of competition like that an awful lot?
    I think that was the first time I ever did something like that. I usually enjoy myself at contests, and if I’m not, then I just stop, pull out, and go do something else—no big deal.

How do you stay healthy during the winter, mentally and physically?
    I make sure I take time to go riding with friends back in France, and take some trips to ride powder or visit a new resort and things. Fitness-wise, I just make sure I do all the specific physio exercises for my knees, because they need looking after with the various knee surgeries I’ve had.

If you had to pick one young up and comer who you see on their way to domination in the contest scene, who would it be, and why? 
    Well, she’s pretty much already dominating the contest scene, but I’d say Jamie Anderson. What a rider! She may not be overly technical just yet, but her tricks are super smooth, really nice style to watch, she’s a solid rider, and she can pull it out of her ass when it counts—which is half the battle when it comes to contests.

You’re from Great Britain. Did you grow up riding on dryslope like lots of other shredders from there?
    I started snowboarding at about age 18 and learned on dryslope. It was all I knew, so it seemed fine to me at the time. You can’t really put a proper carving edge turn in, and it feels a lot slower than riding on snow. Once I went out to work in the mountains andd rode the whole season on snow I realized what I was missing. Since then I’ve stuck to the real thing.
What’s the British snowboard scene like?
    It’s a great bunch of people who love snowboarding. There’re a real mixture of folks. Groups who love jibbing, those who just freeride and take trips, the pipe teams, the groms who get out as much as they can to ride the mountain and the parks. Most of these guys head to the British Champs at the end of the season in Laax, Switzerland to compete, but no one takes it too seriously, and everyone tends to end up partying a lot and catching up with friends. It’s small, but on the whole it’s a good scene to be a part of, I think.

What do you have planned for the next couple months? Any real summer plans?
    Surfing as much as I can. Already been to Morocco, which was good fun, and now just surfing in Cornwall and Devon. In July I’m hoping to go ride in Les Deux Alps, a glacier in France, for a bit, and then heading to New Zealand for their winter.

What’s the most scared you’ve been recently, snowboard-wise?
    Probably at the hospital in Vermont when this old doctor was checking me over and said if my tailbone was out of place that he’d have to stick his finger up my bum to manipulate the bone back into place. Aaahhh! Thank f–k that wasn’t the case.

Besides friends and family, what’s one thing you miss most about the U.K. while you’re off traveling the world all winter?
    Proper tea. British humour. The pub. The countryside. The rain.