Girl’s Gospel 13

Girls In the Hood
Thanks to a few key Gospel correspondents in Oregon, as promised, I bring you news from the Hood. It’s a bustling snowboarding community up there again this summer, with busy halfpipe sessions hosted by sponsors who still have money, and loads of groms from all over the world coming to camp to master things like the Misty, taught by pros such as Shannon Dunn and Leslee Olson. Word from Shannon is that while she’s having a blast coaching a group of Japanese girls, she’s looking forward to heading home to SoCal to get in some more surfing. “Water’s been so warm and blue lately, I just can’t wait to surf everyday!” she says.

Other news: Michele Taggart took a spill on her new Honda 125 and dislocated her hip. She says it’ll only slow her down for a month or so. Jennie Waara broke her ankle landing a big air, but seems to be in good spirits, perhaps because of her new deal with Quiksilver and Arnette sunglasses. Other gals up at Hood include Norway’s silver-medallist, Stine Brun Kjeldaas, Victoria Jealouse, Barrett Christy, and Aurelie Sayers.

At the Timberland Gorge Games Big Air Invitational, July 14, 17-year-old Jacqui Berg, from Bend, Oregon, pulled a rodeo so huge that, according to an eyewitness, it “even had the boys questioning their toughness.” Tara Dakidas came in second, but if she stomped even one of the double backflips she was attempting, she’d probably have won. Double backs are all the rage, BTW, thanks to Janet Matthews‘ attempts at the Summer X Games. Tara is now on the Sims program along with her buddy, Kim Bohnsack.

Women of IndustryOn the industry side of things, about the time this column goes up, Hayley Martin, from K2, will be having a baby girl. Words of advise from Hayley for future Gospel moms: “I think it’s really important to be active and have stuff going on so that you don’t get so wrapped up in it all. Women have been having babies for a long time without all the hype that’s what I try to remember.” Speaking of moms and daughters, the Snow Sports Association for Women (SSAW) set a date for their second annual “Take Your Daughter’s to the Slopes Day,” February 6, 1999. For information, go to:; or to become a member of the SSAW, contact Jan Berg @

Meanwhile, Carrie Kizuka from Shimano snowboard boots, sent an update from Korea. It seems she was over there working on their new women’s snowboard boot designs and by mistake, sent her passport, which was stuck in a magazine, back to her husband, Mako. It was such a hassle to get a new passport from the American Embassy, that she decided just to stick it out in Korea for a few days while Mako sent it back to her. Meantime, she made a new homepage of her recent wedding: Now that’s industrious. Other wedding news: Wendy Powell got engaged to Josh Brownlee and Sky Rondenet got engaged to Mark Fawcett. Sky and Mark are also hanging in Oregon, but have been spending most of their summer windsurfing on the Columbia River. Oh, and Tina Basich is hanging tight this summer with the lead singer, David Grohl, from the Foo Fighters.

In Jackson Hole, Wild Woman, Mary Simmons, has been busy turning her Wild Women’s Snowboard Camp (WWSC) into a series across the country this winter. The WWSC will be at Stratton, VT, January 25-29, Winter Park, CO, March 3-7, Squaw Valley, CA, dates TBA, and either Park City, UT, or Jackson Hole at the end of winter. For you hardcore betty’s, she’s also hosting an “Advanced Adventure,” cat-boarding trip at Irwin Lodge, CO. (You can expect a Girl’s Gospel this winter straight from my cabin at Irwin.) Got questions? Call (877) SHE-RIPS.

All Girl Skate Jam

The second annual Vans All-Girl Skate Jam is scheduled to take place September 12 at the Escondido Sports Center near San Diego. Those expected to attend include Cara Beth Burnside (who was also spotted at Hood this month), Jodi McDonald, Jamie Reyes, Jessie VanRook, and Jen O’Brien. Says Van’s VP of marketing, Jay Wilson, “If anyone thinks that skateboarding is just for guys, they should come see these girls. They’ll change their mind.” For information, call (714) 525-0925 or to register via email, go to

The Ladies Man, I Mean Lounge
The Ladies Lounge on the Vans Warped Tour, the brainchild of Mindy Foster and Michelle Ponce, has been one incredible success for women skateboarders, surfers, and snowboarders across the country. Basically, it’s a woman-centric “air-conditioned tent with starry-velvet covered couches,” says P.R. woman, Jessica Trent. The purpose is to “enlighten women on topics such as music, sports, and health causes.”

Presented by companies such as JNCO, Surf Diva, Boarding for Breast Cancer, Rookie Skateboards, Arnette, and W.i.g. and Wahine Magazines, the Ladies Lounge encouraged women to sign-up for free give-aways, watch a huge video screen airing one of many women’s skateboard, surf, or snowboard flicks, listen to women DJ’s spinning “cutting edge records,” or simply chill. As the tour has traveled across the country, pro athletes such as Tina Basich, Megan Pischke, Jennie Waara, Cara Beth Burnside, and Jen O’Brien have stopped in for autograph sessions and skateboard demos.

During the Vancouver show, the Ladies Lounge was so packed with Canadian female snowboarders who wanted to learn to surf, that they convinced Surf Diva, Izzy Tihanyi, to host a Surf Diva camp off Vancouver Island, August 20-23. Women in the Pacific Northwest are encouraged to attend, she says, because she’s bringing a load of women instructors with her to accommodate what she anticipates will be a huge camp. For information, call (619) 454-8273 or email The Ladies Lounge tours with the Warped tour this month through Washington D.C., Florida, and Texas. For information, go to:

The Other Hemisphere
In New Zealand, August marks the launch of the Chill 5 Series, including among other events, the Chinese Downhill at Temple Basin on August 8. This event, as my mother would say, is enough to grow hair on your chest: Skiers, telemarkers, and snowboarders start as group from the top of the mountain and race down “A high-speed course while attempting to avoid a collision with other competitors. First across the line takes the cake.” Lest you think this similar to a boardercross, let me clarify: Snowboarders race down a mountain with people who are on long, pointy boards, called skis, with long, pointy probes called poles. Not to mention the other snowboarders in the pack. When you sign up, there’s a little caution clause at the bottom that states: “The above events are adrenaline-pumping competitions for the competitors, but with a high degree of risk to one’s health. They are fantastic fun for those skilled enough to be involved as well as providing incredible entertainment for spectators. The safety of the contestants is always at the forefront of course layouts. However, in these kinds of events, there is a higher risk than normal of injury”. You could never get away with something like that in the U.S. of A. Rumor has it, Aussie, Marguerite Cossettini has her cap set on winning it. I’ll let you know what happens next Gospel.

OK, there you have it. Got some news? I’m always at Wigmag@aol.comor in fuller detail,