Above: Lesley McKenna. Pic: Hannah Bailey.
The Luminaries Series is about shining a light on some of the most inspirational people in our industry, documenting their rise in their given professions, and sharing some of their insights from along the way.
Writing this intro for Lesley McKenna is no easy feat. What words can do her justice for all she has done for women’s snowboarding globally. If you are a snowboarder, particularly in the UK, but really worldwide, you will either have been directly inspired by Lesley’s path or be subconsciously impacted by it, in fact you are likely pushing along in it right now.
“She has broken trail for so many women to realise the possibilities of being in snowsports”
She was at the frontier of competitive snowboarding in the late 90s, she was amongst the legendary early crew of pipe riding ladies, and she produced some of the first ever all-ladies snowboarding films (Chunky Knit!). She did all this before support was really there for women in snowboarding. With her pioneering chameleon career in winter sports, which has stretched across more than three decades, she has put her endless passion, determination, and skills to create opportunities not only for herself, but for all the ladies around her, and those coming after.
In 2003 she won the World Cup pipe, she headed to three Olympic Games (say what?!), whilst producing two movies with Chunky Knit, and managing the Roxy team. Her path has been unique, and with that comes an unknown route that wasn’t always easy at times. She has broken trail for so many women to realise the possibilities of being in snowsports from athlete, to videographer, competitor to participant. Now with a masters in performance coaching, and her vast experience she is helping the next generation to navigate the competitive field and all of us to connect and explore our perspective as we head into nature.