Women’s Rider Of The Year Nominees—2020 Snowboarder Awards

We will be dropping the nominees for each category over the next week, leading up to the first annual SNOWBOARDER AWARDS. The winner of each category will be announced during the first annual award show at Copper Mountain on Feb. 6, 2020 (while the Dew Tour is in town). With +350 past, present and future pro riders casting their votes for the individuals and projects that most influenced our culture this past year culminating into one big night, it is poised to be quite the party (FREE TO THE PUBLIC!). Feel free to come join us in celebrating the winners, as well as the top nominees (listed below).


It was 2006 when Jamie Anderson pocketed her first X Games slopestyle gold (though it was her second Aspen medal, she had earned bronze the year before), setting off a tour de force, racking up medals, championships, and stand out performances, while simultaneously pushing snowboarding’s status quo. Within the ever-evolving world of competitive snowboarding, Jamie has remained a constant presence on the podium, and subsequently in the annual Rider of the Year Awards, earning Women’s Rider of the Year most recently in 2016. Since then, she won Olympic gold at the first-ever slopestyle competition in Pyeongchang, added a cab double underflip and a 1080 to her repertoire (in 2017 and 2018, respectively), and won back-to-back bronzes in big air at the last two X Games (as well as another slopestyle gold just recently in 2020). In 2019, though, she arguably pushed further than ever before, keeping up with the contest circuit while stepping out into the backcountry to film her signature project, Uninvited. While this kind of demanding schedule could wreak havoc on any individual’s ability to keep their composure and stack clips, Jamie’s proved time and time again that she has no problem pinning the pedal while keeping her cool and thriving under pressure. She brought the style and talent that has garnered her so many accolades on the contest stage into the backcounty of British Columbia, Japan, and AK, emerging with a twenty-minute video that many of her peers felt represented some of the best women’s riding to date. “Jamie put out the single best women’s backcountry/freestyle clips of all time. All time,” stated Jesse Burtner. “In the first five minutes of her movie, she decimated any other footage from recent memory. Her frontside seven at Baldface, alone, is worth ROTY.” Jackson Hole prodigal son, Blake Paul noted that “Jamie Anderson’s effortless approach to backcountry riding blew me away. She hit some big features looking so comfortable. Her riding in Unconditional deserves to be recognized as some of the best female backcountry footage to date.” 2017 Women’s ROTY, Kimmy Fasani agreed, adding, “Jamie dominates contests and then puts out a full movie of epic riding. She’s sending it in the backcountry and seeing her balance both of these is inspiring.”


Hailing from Denmark, a country where the highest elevation is only 103-feet, Maria Thomsen was born with a penchant for handrails running through her veins. As a British Columbia transplant, she has chased steel rather than steeps, a path that paid off two years ago when she clenched a well-deserved ender in The Uninvited. While Maria’s prowess in the streets was far from secret before that part dropped, it added propulsion to her trajectory, demanding the attention of anyone who hadn’t yet witnessed Maria’s riding. In early 2019, she was the first-ever woman to compete against men in X Games Real Snow and she brought the heat, putting out a part worthy of any rider, male or female, complete with the technical variety that has defined her craft. “Gap to rails, switch rails, she’s doing it all. I love her style,” noted Lukas Huffman. And then Maria followed that up with a standout segment in Absinthe’s Isle of Snow. Noted fellow Pacific Northwesterner, Pat McCarthy, “Maria’s part in Absinthe’s film was hammer,” and Gabe Ferguson agreed, saying, “Maria had the best part in the Absinthe movie.” Maria’s dedication is clear in every clip she gets, each make a hard-earned effort of scoping, shoveling, stair massaging, and finally riding away. And the results are not only a required-viewing video part and a new sponsorship with Burton Snowboards, but also that Maria is a source of inspiration for her peers, both women and men. Noted 2020 Rookie of the Year nominee, Zoi Sadowski-Synnott put it succinctly, “Maria’s part in Isle of Snow/Real Street was gnarly and got me the most excited to ride rails and get rolled.”


From the moment that Jill Perkins’ video part in Everybody, Everybody premiered last fall, it was nearly certain that the Salt Lake City-based snowboarder would be included in the 2020 Rider of the Year nominees. In her SNOWBOARDER movie debut, Jill displays two minutes and forty-nine seconds of footage devoid of filler, a statement-making part that officially ordained her one of jibbing’s elite. While Jill’s chops in the streets have been no secret for a few seasons, in 2019 it all came together for the California-raised Perkins, whose dedication to all things proper was affirmed on DFDs, c-rails, wallrides, and more. From squared-up frontboards to 270s on/off, Jill confirmed that she is at the forefront of the next phase of street riding. And the panelists agree. Longtime top three Women’s Rider of the Year and no stranger to the streets, Jess Kimura commended Jill on her 2019 efforts, saying, “Jill’s part was really exciting to watch. She has sick style and really great trick and spot selection.” Godfather of jibbing, Jeremy Jones agreed, noting “I think she rips in the streets. Jill has a stacked trick set.” Gus Warbington, fellow rider in Everybody, Everybody added, “I got to witness Jill firsthand put blood, sweat and tears into filming the best shit that she possibly can and the finished product turned out incredible. She’s pushing snowboarding in the right direction by doing proper, creative tricks with really good style, and I think she’s really raised the entire bar this year.” Jill’s 2019 season left an overwhelming impression on the snowboarding community, and with plenty of momentum where that came from, we’re stoked to see the spots she shuts down in 2020.

More from SNOWBOARDER Magazine here!


Sound off in the comments below!

Join the conversation