Tag Archives: Coven Magazine

Shredding the deadwood

I recently had the following article published in Coven Magazine

Until recently I’d had the same board for years. I trusted him, we got on well, had been through a lot together, and despite having taken a few knocks over the years, he still performed pretty well for his age.

Of course, like any other hot-blooded snowboard chick I’d been eyeing up the new boards on the block, being seduced by their flexibility, strong cores, and alluring graphics. I’d flirt with the idea of ditching my old board and getting hooked up with a fancy new one, one that liked to have fun in the park, performed well in the powder and still maintained enough contact when things turned icy.

I’d even get as far as fixing my sights on ‘the one’, telling myself that I’d hold out until the end of the season, and if he was still left on the shelf, he could be mine for less. However, year in, year out, when it came to the crunch, there was always some reason why I couldn’t go through with it – the reason invariably being an impromptu extra trip to the mountains which left me spent.

I was also never quite convinced by all the ever-evolving technology and was very much of the opinion that I wore the trousers in our relationship and it was me who controlled our performance on the mountain, rather than the other way round.

So, other than flirtation and the odd date (which, admittedly, did test my resolve) I’d remained faithful to my old board. I was happy enough, but at the same time, I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that I could do better…

My epiphany came when I was invited to a snowboard testing event – a veritable snowboarding orgy. With all the hottest new boards in one place, all crying out to be ridden, what’s a girl to do? Clearly I obliged.

Suffice to say that I barely spared a thought for my old board over those few days. The new ones were so amenable that most of us clicked on the first, well, click, and with each turn I fell deeper and deeper in love. Or was it lust? It didn’t matter, it felt good. The chemistry was palpable and I began to realise what I’d been missing out on all this time. I became much more adventurous, tried out different moves in the park, and even felt bold enough to take them out of bounds.

I still believe that a good rider should be able to tame any board, regardless of how many contact points or camber variations it has, but that said, if you can make your life easier and more fun with a newer model, why wouldn’t you? And while there’s a lot be said for having a board that you’re familiar with, sometimes you just want to spice things up a bit.

I’d hate to compare my snowboard to a man, but even the best of relationships can eventually turn stale. It can be easy to get stuck in a rut, and sometimes it’s just best to move on… I’m certainly having lots of fun with my new one!

Read Issue 3 of Coven Magazine online here. Or pick up a copy from one of the stockists. “Shredding the deadwood” is on page 90!

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Sexism in sport: Is women’s snowboarding fairly represented in the media?

While flicking through Stylist Magazine the other day, I stumbled upon a campaign that they’re running to end sexism in sport, and more specifically the bias in the media towards men’s sport. The following, statistics have led them to launch a petition calling for the issue to be discussed in the House of Commons, after an initial request to the Select Committee for Culture, Media and Sport, to launch an enquiry into the coverage of women’s sport in the UK, was denied.

  •  Only 5% of sports media coverage features women
  • For every 53 articles written about sporting men, there is one about a woman
  • Women’s sport receives only 0.5% of the total sponsorship income into sport (men get 62.1%)

Kelly Clark at the Winter X Games Europe 2012

I found these statistics both shocking, yet unsurprising. Being a female snowboarder, I’m more than accustomed to being involved in a male dominated sport. However, while there are slight differences between men and women’s snowboarding (there is much debate as to whether or not women should ride the same courses as men), they do receive a similar, although not equal, level of exposure in the media when it comes to competitions. This is largely thanks to the standard of today’s female riders. With the likes of Kelly Clark going as big as some of the men, they are just as incredible to watch as their male counterparts.

Sadly the balance isn’t quite as even in other areas of snowboarding media and women don’t feature too heavily in the majority of mainstream edits, films or magazines, all of which are a fundamental part of the sport today.

However, women within the sport are starting to raise their own profile and there are a handful of production companies, organisations and websites which cater to the (not unsizeable) female snowboarding population, with more emerging all the time.

Cooler Magazine, part of the massive action sports media group, Mpora, which publishes Whitelines and Onboard snowboarding magazines, has been providing action sports loving women with their own dedicated magazine for several years now.

New on the scene is Coven Magazine, an independent quarterly for women which combines action, art and adventure. Issue two is just out and features everything from women’s surfing, skateboarding and motocross, to fashion, art and a fair trade safari in Kenya. Check out the website to view the magazine online or find your nearest stockist, to pick up a hard copy.

While the big female orientated brands, such as Roxy, have been producing promotional edits featuring their sponsored riders for a while, female riders haven’t had much of a presence in full length snowboarding films. However, this is changing thanks to production companies such as Lipstick Productions who last year released the awesome, full length film ‘5 more minutes… please?!’ which features only female European riders, such as Basa Stevulova, Aimee Fuller, Sina Candrian, Conny Bleicher, Aline Bock and Tini Gruber. They recently released the teaser for the follow up, ‘Eurotic’ and it looks like it’s going to be every bit as good as the last!

Some other sites and organisations which represent female boarders are Women in BoardsportsGirly LegsPowder Room, and Chix Shred. And then there are the brands such as Roxy, NikitaVolcom and Burton who also run sites dedicated to female shredders.

So, perhaps female snowboarders are fairly well represented in the media compared to other sports, such as football and rugby. But this is undoubtedly testament to the tenacious female riders who are determined to go as big as the men and refuse to be relegated to easier courses (Canadian rider, Spencer O’Brien has been quite outspoken on the subject – see her blog post on the subject), and also thanks to female riders in the media who are determined to give themselves, and their heroines, a voice.

What do you think? Are women in board sports well represented in the media compared to other sports, or do you think they should have more of a presence? Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts and get a discussion going…

Cheers!

Cat

If you want to support Stylist’s ‘Fair Game’ campaign, click here to sign their petition.