We’ll claim it, there are more ripping ladies right now than any other point in the sport’s history. But here’s the thing, you’d never know it. Although the fairer sex may be on a never-before-seen level, there isn’t much in the way of exposure (on snow that is). We’ve put together a list of girls who we see as “the dark horses” of the sport. Girls you likely haven’t heard of. Girls that make all the guys run to the nearest tall boy of PBR with their tails between their legs to somehow forget the ass whooping they’ve been handing. Girls that absolutely kill it…
Truth is we have no problem with half naked yoga, skiers modeling in surf mags, FHM centerfold girls or cheesy Youtube videos with more girl dancing than skiing. However, these are all byproducts of something we hope to see first and foremost. Girls shredding. Hard. Thing is, in a sport populated primarily by dudes, the gals that turn heads are going to be the same girls that look good in a bikini. And if your goal as a marketer is to sell shit, and good looking girls get the views…well, we aren’t mathematicians but its pretty easy to put 2 and 2 together.
This is “free”skiing. A sport where marketing dollars control who is and isn’t pro*, not talent, hard work and passion alone. It would be silly to think “the best” girls, through and through, are the ones with the real contracts under their belts. (hint, they aren’t) Its a frustrating line to walk for the gals. If you are an unreal skier but struggle with Instagram, don’t know every photographer in town, have fewer than 1000 “friends” on facebook, aren’t overly narcissistic and would rather go skiing than wait on “perfect light” all day you’ll probably never find your way to big name sponsorship. Of course we’re speaking in generalities, but this is the harsh reality of the “pro” situation.
We’ll be the first to say, it does work different for the guys. To prove my point, I’m personally working on a video where I do Pilates in a speedo, send a few big airs and blow kisses to the camera. We’ll see how it does but I’m guessing no big name labels are knocking down my door anytime soon. On the plus side, my iced lightening look has come to garner a life all its own.
With that being said, here are 5 skiers that we applaud for letting their skiing do the talking. 5 Girls that don’t care about the game. 5 Skiers who rip. 5 Skiers you probably have never heard of. 5 skiers we’d like to see given some exposure based on their shredding alone.
Editor’s Note: The Following was put together with MUCH help by SheJumps‘ very own Liz Cunningham. It would be silly for a group of dudes to select the most underrated gal skiers. So we asked for help. From all of us at Earlyups, THANK YOU LIZ!
Disclaimer: Finding content for a lot of these chicas was challenging. The videos below do not do these skiers justice even in the slightest. Still, we wanted to embed them in the case anyone is interested in checking it out. These chicks are shredders first. Not media development gurus.
Sydney Dickinson – Crested Butte, CO
“Sydney is easily the best and most underrated skier out there. After nearly eight years of dropping the knee, she locked her heel this year and now there is no chance in keeping up with her. Residing in Crested Butte with her baddass husband Rob, this Colorado native is the most humble and giggly skier to ride with. Her form is aggressive yet graceful and she can stomp a cliff better than most. Even though CBMR is in her backyard, she’d rather strap on the skins and head out for a hike to earn her turns. This woman is a true year-round mountain athlete, tearing it up on her mountain bike in the summer. If you’re in Crested Butte, and you get chicked on the slopes- it’s probably by Sydney.”
Sydney is one of the girls we around the office know fairly well. We were blown away by her tele ability and quiver in fear now that she’s locked her heel. In fact, we’ve created a board of excuses just in the case we have to go ski with her. There are two categories. “Reasons we got dropped” and “Reasons we can’t go out with her”. This way, when we get chicked, we can still mantain our male ego. Yeah, she’s good. And being married to dark horse Rob Dickinson doesn’t hurt either…
Hazel Wilson-Birnbaum – South Lake Tahoe, CA
“If you were to ask Hazel “What’s the one thing you want to do for the rest of your life?” She would say simply, to ski. Originally from Moose Pass, Alaska, she grew up rambling in the mountains and loving every minute of it. With this in her heart, she moved to Tahoe to see what the fable Sierra Nevada had to offer. After ski patrolling for eight seasons at Kirkwood Resort, she decided to take on a more competitive approach and compete on the 4* World Tour Qualifier North American events (FWQ). She tore her ACL, MCL, and meniscus in 2010, and this last season she was hungry to stay strong and finish well despite previous injuries. Out of three events, she had a 3rd and a 4th place finish and ended up placing 5th overall for women on the 4* FWQ. Just this week, she was down in Chile for the FWQ and just won First Place AND the Sickbird award! We’re so stoked for her success and wish her well this next season! Keep your eye out for this girl!
This girl just looks like she’s having a blast on snow. And that in and of itself is infectious. Her POV edit is one of the best we’ve seen on the female side and she clearly has dedication to the sport; working through injury, patrolling and competing. Plus, she just took the win down in Chile. She’s poised to do big things…
Hadley Hammer – Jackson, WY
Born and raised in Jackson, WY, the Hammer clan seems to have skiing in their genes. Sister of (ripping) big mountain shredder Max Hammer, Hadley consistently killed the qualifier tour last year culminating with a first place finish at Moonlight. So much so, she’s been given a ticket to the big show for this coming year. Ms. Hammer had the good fortune growing up in Jackson which has translated to an uncanny sixth (sick?) sense while skiing fast in big terrain. Girlfriend of big mountain pro and one of the smartest guys in the sport, Griffin Post, she’s done a great job surrounding herself with some of the best. And guess what? We’ve found if you surround yourself with the best, you usually find yourself becoming one of the best. Funny thing about Hadley (and a number of girls on this list) is she could probably play the ski bunny card to great success if she so decided to. But she lets her skiing do the talking. Put in her own words…
“…the most frustrating element for me is the ski bunny element. There’s quite a lot of amazing girls in this sport, and quite a lot of girls that go through the sport just being a pretty face for photo shoots. The level of skiing for girls isn’t always raised as quickly as it is for boys, because a lot of girls can get sponsorship and money and exposure just with their looks.”
Sasha Dingle – Bozeman, MT
If you met Sasha, you’d describe her as a lovely, unassuming individual. Originally from Vermont but now residing in Bozeman, MT, Sasha splits her year with biking and professional freeskiing and fills in her other time with leadership development and community initiatives around the world. Her favorite quote that she resonates with is “even mountains vanish”. “My greatest feelings of accomplishment take place on mountains, and more metaphorically; mountains symbolize the individual achievements that make up our lives. But such ‘mountains’ matter for the meaning they give us and no more. A very zen idea: at some point this will all go away” says Sasha. Her goals include placing in the top three overall ranking in the Americas region as well as combing ski exploration with development projects as upcoming ways to play.
We don’t know much about Sasha but watching her rip apart venues on tour over the past few years scares us. In a good way. The girl carries speed, is aggressive and if she’s tough enough to ski out of Montana, she’s tough enough to ski anywhere. We applaud her in a major way for dedicating time outside the sport making a difference through her leadership development and community initiatives. Yeah, sounds like a more worthy of a cause than a photoshoot, posting your latest hotness to some form of social media or “playing the game”. Rad. We haven’t skied with her yet and we’re just fine with that. We’re not sure our egos can handle the blow she’s sure to deliver.
Francesca Pavillard-Cain – Crested Butte, CO
An all-around athlete, Francesca skis, bikes, and climbs well. You kinda have to when you grow up in Crested Butte. As an upcoming senior at Western State Colorado University, she balances her budding ski career with academics and is double majoring in Spanish and Business. This last year, she competed in the FWQ and after a win in Crested Butte, she realized that getting on the Tour was a possibility. She then sealed the deal at Snowbird. Next season, Francesca will represent all the ladies on the Freeski World Tour after placing first overall last season in the FWQ. Francesca will impress us this year with her calm demeanor, fluidity on the slopes, and precise line choices that push herself just enough to win.
Back in Little League I remember playing against teams from California and just getting whooped. Although I was serious about the sport, those kids had such a better environment to get good at playing ball it was almost unfair. Perfect weather, awesome facilities and competition all around. Growing up in CB is sort of like those damn Cali kids if you want to be a big mountain skier. Its rowdy, raw and teaches one to ski the tough shit at a young age. I suppose this is why looks Francesca just as comfortable in technical terrain as your average skier might look on a blue (square that is, blue square)
We’ll admit this list is very abbreviated. We can think of more than a few girls that deserve a spot or a post all to celebrate what a ripper they are. Girls like Jacqui Edgerly, Pip Hunt and Kaki Orr. Hey, we’re working on this over here. Give us time ladies!
Question to the Ladies
Ladies, do you want us to put together a ladies only section on this website? A place where we aggregate, post and create content directed at you? We’re not sure enough ladies geek out on this stuff like the dudes. Are we wrong? Let us know! We’d love to serve you.
We end with a definition of “professional skier”.
*pro·fes·sion·al | A person who is able to pay their damn bills doing whatever they claim they are pro at. Put another way, getting free gear does not make you a pro. Competing against other pros does not make you a pro. Name dropping does not make you a pro. Having a “pro form” does not make you a pro (is your mom pro because she has coupons to the grocery store?). Having a giant monster sticker on your truck does not make you pro. Keeping your sled in your truck 12 months a year might make you pro. Being a ski school instructor also does not make you a pro skier.