Mountain moms: Five iconic matriarchs of snowboarding

Barrett and daughter Ayla enjoying a powder day.

Barrett Christy

Mom, wife, snowboarder, surfer, Gnu’s Director of Awesome, B4BC ambassador, 11x X Games medalist, inventor of the Barrett Roll, Gnu B-Pro Pro Model.

Tell us about your family.
Our family consists of Temple, myself, Cannon, Ayla, and our dog Captain. We live in the Northwest, and like most families, do our best to juggle work, kids, school and play. Temp and I are still very motivated by the play that dictated our earlier lives, so we try to snowboard and surf as much as possible while maintaining our professional responsibilities. I think we have a pretty good balance, we are lucky.

How has motherhood changed your life?
Motherhood has made time speed up like crazy! Cannon is 10 and Ayla is five now, and the last decade has gone by pretty quickly it seems. Being a parent has made me appreciate the gift of life and it’s forced me to be better with time management so I can fit all the stuff into a day/week/year that I want to for all of our sakes.

Has snowboarding influenced the way you raise your children?
Luckily, Temple and I both love to snowboard and are motivated to keep doing it as a family, even though it’s a massive undertaking to make it happen sometimes. Of course snowboarding has influenced how we raise the kids because it’s been a part of our entire adult lives and Temp and I met through snowboarding, and we still work in snowboarding. Our kids love to do it, but we don’t live at a resort and we don’t get on the snow every week so they have other things they are into too. The lessons we’ve learned from snowboarding are no doubt woven into our lives and how we approach parenting. Basically, our kids know that parents need play time too.

Your kids both snowboard. How old were they when they learned?
When we had Cannon we had less going on in life, and only one kid, so we got to the mountain a lot more often and he picked up snowboarding pretty well by four. Ayla hasn’t had as much time on the mountain and she’s still learning at five… BUT, she can do the heel side falling leaf down just about anything! I didn’t learn until I was 19 so they are way ahead of me.

Did you have to choose between being a mother & having a career in snowboarding?
No, I felt like I chose between being a mother and being a pro snowboarder for a few more years. But, I was totally ready to switch gears and move on. Once I had kids, my priorities naturally shifted, and I was lucky to have the opportunity to get more involved with my sponsors on a different level. Both Mervin and Nike opened the door to me at the time and made the transition into a “job” a lot easier.

Do you have some words of wisdom that you can pass on to families looking to raise their kids in the mountains?
I think it’s important to expose kids to lots of different activities. Ski, snowboard, sled, ice hockey, snowman building, whatever you can do to keep them busy and keep them inspired in the mountains! Kids will benefit from parents being happy so if it’s a happy place for both parents then it’s worth it. Keep them outside and off the screens! Without ever mapping out a life plan we gravitated towards a place where we can be close to surf and snow, keep your eye on the prize and things tend to fall into place!

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