words: Jenna Kuklinski
Ms. Superpark does its best each year to bring together the preeminent riders of the women’s snowboard world, showcasing their talents for four fabulous days in a private playground built of snow and metal. Everyone is excited when their personal snowboarding idol shows up to tear apart the park, but what about those other ladies? The ones that are filled with powerful, personal motivation to get out there and ride just as hard; ripping in bounds, out of bounds, and still flying just below the radar. I caught up with a handful of female riders we think you should be paying attention to right now. Check out what they had to say about their experience at Ms. Superpark and what inspires them to keep pushing their personal boarding towards progression.
Taylor came to Ms. Superpark this year for her second time and made sure to utilize every single second she had on-snow. She rode and hiked tirelessly at every feature she could, earning her a clip in the Day 2 video and making her friends wait for her until the lift stopped turning. Taylor had a shot in Danyale Patterson’s heavy-hitting, all-ladies snowboard movie Too Hard, has been working on filming a street part this winter, and solemnly believes a banked slalom should be a feature in next year’s Ms. Superpark.
Any favorite features here this year?
I’ve been doing this line up top: hit the flat tube, carve under the waterfall and then hit the orange down rail. I think that’s my favorite line so far. Can’t stop doing it. I really like the hip too, but more just to kind of carve down it, it’s really big.
How did you get hooked on snowboarding?
My Dad got me stuck on it. He was a lifelong ski bum, taught us how to ski when [my sisters and I] were two. We thought he was lame, so we tried snowboarding to get away from him and we got hooked.
What do you think is the biggest thing you’ll take away from Ms. Superpark?
Progression. The fact that all these girls are learning things every day, it’s really cool to watch. I’ve learned so much. Each day I’ve learned like three new tricks just from watching other girls go, it’s awesome. Jess Kimura, Madison Blackley, Kumara Kelley, Mary Rand, all those girls are killing it. Grace Mayernik, up and comer of the year. I made a lot of friends, which was awesome. I think I’m gonna be really sore, I’ll take that away. I need to chill for a little bit. Don’t stop, won’t stop (laughs).
Twenty-two year old Faye Gulini attended Ms. Superpark for her first time this year. She’s known for competing in boardercross, as a part of the U.S. Olympic team both at the Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 Winter Games (placing fourth overall this year in Russia). What most people don’t realize is that she’s no stranger to slopestyle, as well. Being at Ms. Superpark this year she relearned front-side 720’s and landed a front-side 360 double tail for the first time ever during the second night shoot, showing everyone that she knows more than how to just go really, really fast on her board.
How does riding at Ms. Superpark compare to riding for the U.S. Olympic boardercross team this year at Sochi?
They’re both incredible in their own ways. I had so much fun in Sochi, but at the same time it’s a competition, and not only a competition, but probably one of the biggest events I’ll do in my entire life. Even though you’re having so much fun and cheering on your friends, it’s still very, very intense and there’s a lot of pressure. Coming here, it’s sunny, everyone’s stoked and honestly wants to have fun. Definitely a different kind of vibe but both have been very fun for me.
How do you feel riding at a slopestyle type of event again?
Nobody knows that I still do this kind of stuff. It seems like a lot of times I bring it up and they say, "You don’t hit this," or, "Oh, you WANT to do that?" It’s cool for me to show everybody I can. I think a lot of people underestimate what we do in boardercross. I was nervous to come here and see the features. I was like, "oh my gosh these features are gonna be ginormous!" But then I realized they’re the same size jumps I run in boardercross and I’m like, "alright!" They are a little bit more poppy, but I’m really comfortable on jumps all around, so it’s been fun to start spinning off them again.
I heard you had a pretty interesting time making it out here to Mammoth from Utah. What happened?
Maddy Schaffrick and I drove out here, ran out of gas and were stranded for six hours. No cell service. I didn’t know there wasn’t going to be gas for ninety miles, holy cow! So we were stuck there for six hours since we didn’t have service. We kind of knew we were going to run out of gas ahead of time, because we passed the sign that said it was ninety miles to the next station and we only had about fifty miles worth of gas left in the tank. So we sent a text to a friend just before we ran out of service saying that if they didn’t hear from us in an hour and a half they should call AAA and we’d probably be stuck thirty miles out along the road. Then at 3 am, a tow truck showed up. It was kind of crazy, we lucked out. I was scared. I watch way too many sketchy crime shows, I was sure we were getting killed. We’re definitely not making that mistake again.
This ripping lady just turned seventeen and is already turning heads when she rides by. From firecrackering down the entire stairset of the hip at Ms., to launching off every tranny in the park she could find, to threatening to bring out her brother’s megaphone (it never made an appearance), she made her presence known. This was her first spring at Ms. Superpark and she utilized every breathing moment to find something new and something fun to ride.
You’ve got an inflatable raft and we’re at Ms. Superpark. How’s it going?
It’s going really good, a lot of fun, perfect weather, lots of smiles. I was actually kind of nervous coming in to this at first, never having come to one of these events before, but everything was really mellow and inviting and so were the people.
How has it felt riding a park almost exclusively filled with female riders?
I don’t have any feelings about it necessarily, but it’s interesting that people think I should have feelings. These other guys came up to me and tried to interview me and ask why girls should have their own park. I was like, "why do YOU think girls should have their own park?" They answered, "oh, I feel like some girls are shy, you know, they feel intimidated by guys." So I said, "OK, well isn’t that your fault then as a guy? You’re not making it welcome for us."
You’ve been riding a lot of different features, what have been some of your favorites?
Probably our closed sign polejam to snowbank, or just launching off the knuckles of everything, that’s been really fun too. I really like the tube lines that are in the beginning–it was really fun to link stuff together. The hip was really fun, also the down rails at the bottom. It’s stuff you could really progress on. Also, I don’t wanna leak everything, (you can watch it in #sidehitsthemovie), but I did some stuff off the hip [with one of the inflatables we brought]. I went really fast.
What is your inspiration at the moment for snowboarding?
What’s my inspiration? Just fun–having a good time! I didn’t want this to be serious or anything. I want to give some shout outs to the sun and the hot tub, they’ve been helpful. Candy. I’ve been eating gummy worms every morning to get hyped for the day, and coffee. Also just being out here. I get really hyped being around a lot of people, people who have fun, people who smile. It was really interesting because we brought all these inflatables and bubbles and I heard some girls say, "look at all these fun things those girls brought!" It’d be really cool to see ALL the girls think that way and just have fun instead of coming to this only thinking about shots. You can do it all here, it’s really cool.
Stay tuned tomorrow for four more women to watch for from Ms. Supepark.