Leanne Pelosi is always up for a challenge. When she's in the zone, watch outshit gets done. From movie producing to running camps, from competing to filming, she's making her mark on snowboarding.
Words: Jess Roy
Photos: Christy Chaloux
You’ve been all over the place this summer so far. Let’s have a run down .
Well after Ms. Superpark, I went to Hawaii with Jeff, and then to Tofino in Canada to surf. Next, I was off to Toronto to judge a Nissan car giveaway event. After that I went to L.A. to get a work out program from my friend Laura Lynne Murphey, who is a trainer. I could hardly even sit down after working out with her, so that was fun. It’s a pretty tough program. I'm trying to get in shape this summer biking and hiking with my dog. Now I'm at Hood.
What was the deal with the Nissan car contest? It was for that newfangled 'Cube' wasn't it?
It was crazy! I got a call from a marketing company seeing if I wanted to judge with the lead singer of Treble Charger, and a band photographer. They flew me down to Toronto to pick 50 winners from over 7,000 entries who would all win cars. I sent a press release to all my fellow snowboarders, and a few in our industry ended up winning.
What was the criteria to win?
They had to show us that they were influential people in Canada who would be able to positively represent the brand. All contestants had to put together an online canvas explaining what they do. There were really no rules. You could submit whatever you wanted, like videos, pictures, drawings, anything. Some of the entries were crazy, like ‘the Cube man’ who built a mini cube and went around Toronto every day rapping.
How has it been this past year for you without running a movie project of your own?
It's been a huge weight off my shoulders. Basically, for the last two years I was running around with my head cut off. It was such a nice change. I felt like I was doing something wrong all winter because I had so much more time on my hands! I really enjoyed doing Runway, but it was nice to focus on snowboarding again.
You’ve been working with the Standard boys this season, as the only babe on the crew, how was the transition of filming with all girls to all guys?
My season started with a few trips to Montreal. I joined some of the guys and it was pretty gnarly. They were always going to the craziest rails. I tried to step up to as much stuff as I could. It pushed me a lot. From there I went to X Games totally unprepared because I went from filming to a bunch of contests. Then I got back to filming, and kind of hurt my back. So, I didn't get to film as much as I would have liked– a few rail trips and then off into the backcountry with Mike Hatchett. It was really cool filming with him because he had so many great and inspirational stories about some of the legends. It was fun.
For a little while there, it seemed like you were locked into the niche market of the all star girl jibber. How would you say your riding has evolved?
That was definitely my mark in snowboarding in the beginning of my career. I basically went to a bunch of rail jams, did well, and gained the sponsors I have now. I've definitely tried to round off my riding more. I’ve been snowmobiling more in the last five years, and using what the mountains around me have to offer. I actually completely took a year off from hitting rails because I wanted to get better at jumping. I've been getting back into hitting rails again these past two seasons.
How have things been going with your camp MGT?
This year with MGT has been a great time. We have a couple of camps in the winter, and we have one in Argentina coming up. I’m really excited to go there for the first time. We are in our seventh year of operation. It's been a good long ride. Robin Van Gyn has taken the reins more on organizing things, but I always get to every camp to meet and shred with all the girls. We are also putting together the MGT Academy where all the campers who have come to MGT throughout the course of the year get the chance to be sponsored for the next year. It's a good chance for them to get started and begin relationships. Some of the girls that have come through the program are Bev Vuilleumier, Raewyn Reid, and Brooke Voigt.
By this time, you have a pretty extensive awards shrine. What’s your favorite in the trophy case?
We got a best new business award for Runway Films last year from ESPN Magazine. It was nice to see some feedback that we were making a difference, and doing something good.
Where do you think you’d be today if you had pursued your pro soccer career instead of pro-shreddin’?
I would have pursued pro soccer in the women’s league in the states where most of my soccer girlfriends are playing now. Or, I would have tried to use my biomechanics degree to be a product developer or something. I still might.