The PR for Forum, Foursquare, and Special Blend shows that you can still file a career in boardsports even if you only set foot on a board aged 19!
Interview & photo by Anna Langer
I did not have anything to do with snowboarding or winter sports until I was 19. I was brought up in the flatlands around a small town called Wittlich on the Western boarder of Germany. I was a lot into team sports but soon discovered that individual sports like skateboarding had a totally different vibe that I really liked. I started snowboarding at the age of 19 and we always had to travel far to go riding but that didn’t matter – I was hooked. Got kicked out of the basketball team soon after because I did not attend our games on the weekends anymore…but hey, these are sacrifices one has to make, right?
At the age of 21, I started studying and moved to Innsbruck in Austria because I wanted to live in a place where you cannot only party (don’t get me wrong – I love to party and there is more than one witness to that) but I love being outside in the nature even more. Almost 11 years later I still find myself in this beautiful spot and sometimes still can’t believe that I am lucky enough to live in a place that allows me to do all the things I love so much!
When I was younger, I wanted to become a graphic designer or work with arts and painting. But once I had finished school, I never had the guts to apply for a spot at a university for graphic design – fear of failure I guess. Instead I decided to follow my passion for languages and played it safe by studying Translation and Interpretation which would hopefully one day enable me to travel the world.
My first contact with the boardsport industry was when I took a couple of translation jobs for websites and magazines. I had found my own small niche in the translation / snowboarding market because there aren’t too many professional translators with a good knowledge in snowboarding. One thing led to the next and there I was with an offer for an internship at the TTR, then a full time job and three seasons later, a job offer in the Marketing department at Forum Snowboards, Special Blend and Foursquare.
My new job is a lot different from the one at TTR: I am not working for a non-profit and neutral organization any more, but represent brands now and have to promote products and team stuff instead of events. Apart from doing PR for Forum, Special Blend and Foursquare, my responsibilities also consist of Retail Marketing, Advertising, and Social Media, which makes this job very interesting and versatile!
I also grew a bit tired of traveling from one event to the other all winter long. I am super happy to be home most weekends now which allows me to go snowboarding with my friends!
Every year there are a few girls that push the sport to new limits – at big international events or with sick video parts. No doubt about that! But for some reason, there is still a huge gap between the girls who kick ass and those who are good but don’t really push the sport in general. If we can close this gap women’s snowboarding could take a next major step forward.
Generally, I don’t think that female snowboarding should be compared to the men’s. I had that discussion so many times and I’m just tired of it. Let’s face it: we are just not there yet. There are a few girls out there who have a huge bag of tricks and also do their tricks with a lot of style! But whether it’s due to physical limits of the female body or our general dislike of doing things without thinking about them first, it stays and develops in its own limits.
I think the way to go is to grow and solidify the base and motivate young girls to ride hard and continue to ride through their teenage years! And to enable them to push their riding to the next level we need products with ever evolving technologies that are beneficial for the girls’ riding.
I don’t think that contests that have the same kicker line for men and women help with this. Although it’s great to see that some girls can ride the same stuff as the guys, it sucks when half of them can not show their full repertoire of tricks or even worse: can only jump straight! That puts women’s snowboarding into such a bad light. I’d rather see them jumping kickers that are a bit smaller but show how far female riding has come.
It always takes more than just one person to push to new levels, so I think this is something the female industry should work on together. During my time at TTR we started the first women’s TV show which was a great joint effort from many girls. At my job now, I help pushing our female marketing strategy and product line, which will hopefully result in stronger support for female riders and their needs in the future. In that same regard, we have started a women’s initiative group just recently involving all women who work at Special Blend, Forum Snowboards and Foursquare and I am excited to be part of that!
After my years at TTR, where I spent more time watching other people ride than do so myself, I have found my love for snowboarding again this year and am having so much fun!! My goal is to maintain that passion and simply enjoy riding as much as I can! And learn some more fun slope tricks. No big ambitions you see.
A full day of riding fresh lines with my husband and closest friends without anyone else around and no avalanche danger to worry about would be my absolute dream scenario! The runs would vary from wide fields, tree runs to fun small pillows and we wouldn’t need to hike a bit but have a helicopter, cat or lift to take us to the top again!