Zoe Smalley Interview

Name: Zoe Smalley

Age: 26

From: UK, living in Chamonix

Sponsors: O’Neill and Adidas

Briefly describe yourself… I’m a pro snowboarder, chef and training to be a trekking guide. I’m in to mountain biking, walking, skiing, climbing and enjoying the outdoors and the sunshine.

Talk us through your average day… I normally wake up with smoothies, coffee and some good tunes to get me in the mood, I’ve never been a great morning person! Then head up the mountain for a few hours, or all day if it’s a powder day. After a great day up the hill will probably head for a bit of apres ski and enjoy the buzz of everyone who’s had an amazing day, which sometimes goes on a lot later than planned! I work as a private chef in the winter so will sometimes head off to cook a dinner party somewhere, otherwise can do all the other stuff that needs to be done; emails, planning trips, planning the next day up the mountain, blah blah…

How long have you been riding? 10 years.

Best achievement: 1st Brit Verbier Xtreme w/ Jess, first descents in Pakistan.

Biggest rush: I enjoyed the feeling when filming last year with the Chunkyknit crew, dropping into a big line and having to push yourself to really go for it, I don’t think I’d have ridden them so fast otherwise! I got to the bottom like ‘wow, that felt good!’ and giggling to myself.

Scariest moment: Setting off an avalanche in Pakistan; it was my last run of a 2 month trip with no previous problems, maybe I became a little too complacent as it was the last day! I had expected a little bit to slide so had spotted a place where I could cut out to, but the avalanche was a lot bigger than I expected, leaving me on a tiny patch of clean snow and everything around had slid.

Favourite riders: Jeremy Jones, Victoria Jealouse and Jenny Jones.

Favourite place to ride and why: L’Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix is still amazing for such easy access to incredible terrain, good steep runs and the most beautiful mountains, but it’s good to travel and be in the mountains away from the people sometimes… I’m starting to enjoy that more and more as I don’t like having to fight for my turns.

What essential items do you pack in your suitcase for a trip? A good book and my favourite puffa are my only essentials!

How do you stay in shape? Hiking runs and ski-touring keeps you pretty fit in itself, so in Winter I try and do yoga to stop the muscles getting too sore, but riding every day and touring keeps me fit. Summer I do a lot of hiking, running and cycling to keep in shape for winter.

Top training tip: Don’ t forget to rest, sometimes I overdo it and I’m not performing the way I want to, which makes me angry and I push harder, then I realise all I need is a few days relaxing.

Favourite foods: I almost live off fresh fruit, vegetables and meat, I don’t eat a huge amount of bread and cereals. I take Yogi tea everywhere; they’re herbal spice teas that taste yummy and keep me off the caffeine!

Must-have beauty product: Lucas Paw-Paw ointment, for chapped lips, dry skin, cuts, burns, etc.

Beauty tip: Drink lots and lots of water.

Favourite clothing brands: O’Neill!

Before I die I want to: Spend a lot more time by the ocean and surf, almost all my life’s been spent in the mountains and I really miss the ocean.


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