GRILLED: Kimmy Fasani, mind over matter

Comments by Susie Floros/

Kimmy Fasani is the real deal. The #ExploreMore tagline her optics sponsor, ZEAL lives by, is part of the fabric of Kimmy’s being. When she’s not traveling the globe in search of powder, Kimmy resides in Mammoth Lakes, California, with her husband, pro skier Chris Benchetler. Between snowboarding, surfing, road biking, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, running, yoga, and gym time Kimmy may be one of the fittest women on the planet! Last December, Kimmy was sidelined after a fluke crash off a jump left her with a fractured pelvis & blown out knee. But don’t think for a second it held Kimmy down. Specialized made sure Kimmy was set with all the bike gear she needed to hit the road to recovery. Almost a year later, all those long scenic bike rides paid off. Kimmy is cleared to really ride…

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Photo: @danielblom | @kimmyfasani via instagram

Kimmy has earned herself the respect and reverence of the snowboard world, simply because she has an intense passion, and she charges after it. From dropping insane backcountry lines to grabbing epic air time in the park,  there is no terrain this badass can’t crush. Kimmy has been pushing the limits of women’s riding since day one, becoming the first female snowboarder ever to land a double backflip in both the park and the powder back in 2011. Most recently, Kimmy laid out some snowboarding gold for Burton’s [SNOWBOARDING] series, and continues to hold it down as the sole woman representing Burton’s AK line. As if more evidence of Fasani’s dominance were needed, her resume is jam packed with jaw dropping video parts, from full parts in Standard Film’s 2011 and 2012 videos, and honors, such as becoming the 5th woman ever to grace the cover of a snowboarding magazine.

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Photo: @deanblottogray | @kimmyfasani via instagram

In short, Kimmy rips. On snow and off, she is one of the most highly respected athletes in the game; downright talent, perseverance, and a hefty dose of stoke have crafted Ms. Fasani, or shall we say Mrs. Benchetler, into one hell of a snowboarder.

First of all, congrats on getting cleared to ride as soon as the resorts open! Where will your first turns be?
Thank you! I am so excited to get back on snow. I’ll be at Mammoth Mountain for my first turns and for most of the early season.

It was so cool getting to hang with you and the Burton women’s crew in Baldface this winter, but it must have been so hard for you to be there and not be able to ride yet. How did you cope with situations like that during your recovery?
Baldface was a great trip but yes, being around snow but not being allowed to snowboard was really challenging this year. When I got hurt, I just had to come to terms with the fact I wasn’t going to snowboard for a while. It was a process of letting go and appreciating all the other things I could still do.

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Kimmy, basking in the glory of Baldface | P: Susie Floros

What was the biggest lesson you learned from this injury?
The biggest lesson I have learned from this injury is, that wise old saying, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” I went through a lot of low points throughout my recovery but I kept reminding myself that my injury could always be worse. I also learned a lot about patience and acceptance.

Something you said resonated with me in your newest video with Specialized Bicycles…
“I spend a lot of time just working on my brain and trying to calm it down and let go of things, detach from thoughts and just try to stay in the moment… because there’s no fear when you’re in the moment. The fear comes when you’re looking to the future or thinking about doubt and all these other things.”

See Also: Burton Presents WOMEN [SNOWBOARDING] the teaser

How did you keep your mind calm when you attempted and ultimately landed your 1st double backflip? … That had to be scary!
Keeping my mind quiet and calm is always a work in progress. In really stressful or scary moments, I just remind myself that my mind is a powerful tool. If I let negative thoughts cloud it, my experience may not turn out that great. If I concentrate on being in the moment and visualizing what I’m about to do, I will most likely land what I am working on. That was the case for the double backie. I just made sure I was having fun and thinking clearly and positively.

I know you kept a finger on snowboarding’s pulse while being out for the season. What snowboarding trick / moment / rider / or video part impressed you most from last season?
I was most impressed by X Games this year in Aspen. Women’s pipe went off with Elena’s double and Kelly’s new and technical run. Guys Big Air was also next level. I loved seeing all the progression take place on live TV.

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Photo: #OliGagnon” | @kimmyfasani via instagram

What do you think about the Olympics?
I think the Olympics are a wonderful way to bring a diverse group of athletes together to show the world what’s possible.

Do you have an agent?
No. I have done all my own deals for the last 5 years.

What gear will you be riding this year?
Board(s): Burton Day Trader (Powder), Burton Anti Social (Splitboarding), and Burton Déjà vu (Park)
Bindings: Burton Lexa
Boots: Burton Supreme
Outerwear: Burton AK Embark jacket, and AK Stratus pant
Goggles: The Fargo by Zeal Optics
Gloves: Burton AK Ovenmitt and AK Tech Glove
Accessories: Skullcandy Fix Earbuds

What was the thing that made you fall in love with snowboarding?
I fell in love with snowboarding because it was something fun to do with my friends outside. And that’s why I still love it!

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Kimmy Fasani | P: Gabe L’Heureux / Burton

Sum up how snowboarding makes you feel in one word:
HAPPY

What’s the most fun snowboarding trick?
The most fun snowboard trick for me is a frontside 5.

Will you ride when you’re 80 years old?
I hope I can still stand up when I’m 80 years old. If I can stand, I will definitely strap in. Snowboarding will always be part of my life.