People know you as this iconic slopestyle rider from the Olympics and the X Games, but you made time this winter to tackle a new challenge. Tell us about that.
I love snowboarding so much and the more I ride those mountains, the less I want to compete. I have to kind of find that balance. Getting to go to Alaska has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. Having an opportunity to be up there with the Full Moon crew was un-fuckin’-real. I can literally now die happy. Getting to ride those mountains and trust myself and that crew, and get out of my comfort zone was the best thing I have done in a really long time. I am fiending. I have been mind surfing. Getting to watch Absinthe and all the movies lately has made me so inspired to ride more and be more creative. I am over schedules and contests, but I am going to pull through and try to go to the next Olympics and kick ass. Then just go ride pow.
What was the hardest adjustment you had to make as you tried to shift your focus from contests to filming and freeriding?
This past winter I felt like I was in a different country every week competing. Then when I wasn’t competing, I was trying to link up with the girls and figure out where the snow was good. For me it was hard to adjust to the patience it takes to film. With Mother Nature, sometimes things don’t align and you need to just accept it. Patience has come to me with age. I feel like I am a lot more patient now than I used to be. It’s really hard. I thought I was going to just get out there and build a jump. I claimed all the tricks I was going to do and then, I wouldn’t be able to do a back three. It was really annoying, but humbling. It takes a lot of hard work to create these shots, but they are priceless. It is so cool.
Who did the most mentoring during this process?
Thankfully I have had a couple kick ass mentors. Leanne Pelosi especially with this project the last few year. She has been really awesome and not only a good friend, but she has helped me help myself with things. Of course, she is a producer for Full Moon and wants me to do things, but she knows how crazy my life is with my schedule. I feel like I can call her and cry my heart out and release some of the madness I am going through. I have always looked up to Hana Beaman. I love her and she is such a beautiful spirit and cool and grounded. I got to ride with her a lot of the time in Alaska and it made me so much more comfortable. Some of the mountains we got dropped off on were freaking me out. Like, I wanted to take the helicopter back down. She helped assure me that I was a good snowboarder.
Are you happy with what you produced for 'Full Moon'?
I am happy. Of course I wished I had more time and shots. It is kind of the beginning and I feel like there is so much more that I want to do and tricks I want to get. That is what keeps me fired up inside. I am really, really stoked on the Alaska segment because you can feel the power. That was a life changing experience for me. I want to go back every year for the rest of my life.
You said before that you are going to try to go to South Korea for the Olympics and there will now be two events for you to compete in. Has that changed your approach at all?
I am trying to take shit a little more seriously, because I know what a powerful opportunity it is to go and compete on the world’s biggest stage. I know how talented I am if I can focus my goddamn energy in the right area and not have a million things going on. I know I can do anything I set my mind to. It has been about organizing my own focus and energy with life and obligations and sponsorships and also finding time for me to be human and sane and grounded when I am mostly in the air. I am really excited. I think that big air is going to be a huge opportunity. I’m not a big fan of scaffolding jumps, but I think it’ll be cool. We need this. Everyone is wanting to push our sport and the time is coming.
What effect will the Olympic big air have on progression in women’s slopestyle?
It is going to accelerate the progression of everything for women’s snowboarding. I even feel like even myself, I have been stuck the last couple of years. I was winning everything and barely even trying. I was doing the same run. I didn’t have a fire inside to learn more because one, that means a lot more risk and two, why would you want to put yourself in a more vulnerable and fearful space when you are already winning every event, anyhow. This last year when girls started stepping it up and I wasn’t winning as easily, it finally lit a fire in me. I am now so inspired by Anna Gasser and Hailey Langland and Klaudia Medlova. This new generation is so powerful and talented and they are pushing themselves. At times, I want to be like scared, but the truth is I am inspired and they have helped me realize what I am capable of. As women, I think we need to have each other to lift each other up. Now everyone is charging and doing doubles. I did my front ten, but it definitely isn’t solid. I know it is there though. I want to get my cab double. I want to do a cab ten. I want my switch back nines on lock. There are a lot of tricks that are right around the corner, it is just a matter of overcoming the fear.