Kimmy Fasani is a powerful ambassador for not only women’s snowboarding, but the overall wellbeing of our lifestyle. As the first woman to land a double backflip in both park and powder, her influence goes beyond the bindings with her involvement in B4BC and organizing her Amusement Park event at Mammoth Mountain, a place for women riders to come together and progress in a setting that encourages much more than it intimidates.For her new Burton Presents part we caught up to find out what is on the table for the female side of riding, plus what we can look forward to in the seasons to come.
Photos by Dean Blotto Gray
Who are the biggest influences for how you ride?
My biggest influences for how I ride have always been guys. I love riding with them because they see terrain differently and they rarely doubt that I am capable of stepping up to ride what they are doing. They don’t over think features, they just trust their abilities and their knowledge. They use nervous energy as power to land their tricks and encourage me to do the same. Being out in the mountains with my husband, Chris Benchetler, has also been a big influence because he tends to have more faith in my abilities than I do. He knows what I am capable of and has helped me learn how to see backcountry terrain in a creative way.
Do you think it’s important for women to have their own part of snowboarding, like you are creating with Amusement Park?
I think women need to have a bigger platform and voice than they currently do in snowboarding. I have created Amusement Park so women have a session to progress their riding with a “no pressure” atmosphere. This event also gives women an opportunity to film, shoot photos, and get comfortable in that environment. Even though it’s a women’s focused event, there are a few awesome guys who come out to ride with us. My focus isn’t to segment women away from guys with this event, instead I just hope to shine the light on women and give them opportunities to showcase their abilities!
What are some good things happening right now in women’s snowboarding?
I love seeing so much progression! With tricks, style, and creativity in park, contests, and backcountry. It’s inspiring to watch so many young ladies ripping and blowing standards away. A great example of this evolution of women’s riding is Christy Prior. Her style and diversity of tricks is unreal.
In terms of progression, what do you think has been the biggest development in the past several years? What do you see for the coming years?
The biggest developments in progression have been girls trying and doing doubles and double corks, and now making them look stylie. Girls are also putting down solid contest runs with 720s, 900s, and even a few 1080s. Seeing Hana Beaman do a backside 720 over the Mt. Baker road gap has also raised the bar for women riding in the backcountry. I think the more time women have on features away from contests the more they will progress and become consistent with their tricks. Looking forward, I just hope girls keep pushing their limits, for the right reasons, and with a calculated approach.
What do you think is the most important thing for young girls starting to ride?
One thing that is important for young girls is to remember to have fun! If you’re having fun and doing what you love, it will show in your riding and your confidence level. Be patient, be positive, and work hard. These things will always pay off in the end.
Head over to Zeal Optic’s blog to read the story behind Kimmy sending it for the first time since her knee injury on one of Whistler’s most iconic step-downs, Step Mother.
Watch also: Burton Presents Mikey Rencz and Jussi Oksanen