‘Under-represented’ is the word which springs to mind here. While something like 30% of the world’s snowboarders are female, only a handful have ever made an impact on film. Why? Put simply, this is a male-dominated industry with a focus on ever – more ‘ballsy’ stunts, and while the shred videos might not be as blatantly sexist as surf flicks – with their lingering bikini shots – they’re still fuelled on testosterone. Witness the teaser for 2010’s elegantly named Forum film F**K It, which deployed the tune ‘Playing with the Boys’ – last used in the volleyball scene in Top Gun, one of the most homo-erotic in Hollywood history (see Bromance).
In the early days, at least some effort was made to include a token woman or two in the annual releases – Tina Basich, Circe Wallace, Victoria Jealouse and Tara Dakides all made a name for themselves on celluloid. Victoria in particular blazed a trail, taking on the kind of Alaskan lines that would have most of her male peers quaking in their boots, and perfecting a powder turn that is still one of the most beautiful in the sport.
Then the girls seemed to be dropped from films altogether, and it was left to the British-led Chunky Knit crew to redress the balance with the world’s first all-female snowboard flick, Dropstitch – a formula which has been repeated with movies like Ro-Sham-Bo, Stance, and more recently Peep Show and Lipstick productions.
Still, it’s kind of odd that with equal prize money at contests and such a huge share of the retail market, you don’t see more girls in the big releases. Which makes Annie Boulanger’s recent explosion into the Absinthe films – a veritable Veronica Corningstone to Travis Rice’s Ron Burgundy – all the more impressive.