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Why are Women Snowboarders Still Under-Represented in the Backcountry? Your Responses

Hana Beaman sending it over the Baker Gap in the all-female 2012 backcountry shred movie, Intervals

Yesterday we posed a question to you lot on Facebook asking why – aside from a few notable exceptions – women are still under-represented on the big-mountain stage.

The response was phenomenal, with a number of big names from the snowboarding industry chipping in. The discussion became a huge (and often impassioned) debate, with lots of people expressing interesting and illuminating opinions. Here are a few of our favourites

Three-time X Games silver medalist and backcountry rider Hana Beaman gave a strong line of argument. With over 20 years competing under her belt, she certainly has a clear view of the state of the industry…

British-Australian rider and former shred flick maker Alexa Hohenberg expands on Hana’s point above, highlighting the importance of pushing sponsors to support women riding backcountry and freestyle in equal measures…

Plus, as K2 rider and big-mountain rider Leanne Pelosi points out, it’s not all fun and games…

It’s clear many feel the real crux of the problem lies with a lack of financial support for women across the snowboarding industry to pursue backcountry riding. Reader Sunny Hamilton sheds some light on her own experience in the freeriding world…

Even from an industry perspective, there is acknowledgement of the huge challenges women have to overcome in order to gain recognition in the backcountry. As David Pitschi, Snow Marketing Manager at Billabong Europe, says…

Of course, we are already well clued-up on the big female backcountry hard-hitters – Victoria Jealouse, AFM, Annie Boulanger, Leanne Pelosi, Kimmy Fasani and Hana herself – but why are these women the rare exception?

As Hana fairly points out, there are a huge number of women seeking out powder lines and killing it in Whistler, Alaska and beyond…

Plus there are certainly a tonne of ordinary, unsponsored female riders buying splitboards and hiking up ridges for the same reason we’re all riders – it’s fun!

To cap it off, pro rider Claudia Avon is among those putting herself out there to push women’s backcountry riding. She offers a few wise tips taken from her own experience…

And it’s not just women flagging up support for their sex – you’ll be glad to see our male readers are an enlightened bunch, with many positive words backing up female shredders who want to go big!

So what do you think? Are women permanently on the backfoot when it comes to making a name for themselves as big-mountain bosses? Is this due to a lack of industry support? Or is it because accessing the backcountry (let alone finding a film crew to go with) is that much harder than getting to your local park? Leave your thoughts and comments below, and our favourites will win Whitelines mugs and t-shirts!

 

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