Ms Superpark 2019: Day 2 Photos, Recap and Maria Thomsen Interview
photos: Mike Yoshida, Mary Walsh, Mark Clavin, and Ashley Rosemeyer
If day one didn’t convince you already, maybe the day 2 recap will—5 years was way too long of a wait for Ms. Superpark to be back on hill! Tricks are being thrown down all over the hill, NBDs are in the air, and lucky for us, the handful of veterans and huge crew of up-and-comers here at Big Boulder are more than up to the task of pushing the limit of what was set a demi-decade ago.
Starting off right where they left it, day two got going as soon as the lifts were under way—with some notable newcomers flying in overnight. Making their Ms Superpark 2019 debut, Stefi Luxton, Jill Perkins, Amanda Hankison, Nirvana Ortanez, Katie Kennedy, and Jess Kimura were greeted by grey skies, fast laps, and plenty of smiles. Luckily, hiking the countless features in the Freedom Park quickly dispersed the chill in the air and the sun started to show from behind the clouds just as the sessions started to pop.
Riding around the resort, features were being hit all over, but a majority of the focus was set on the bottom two builds. Midway down the Boulder Park trail, side-by-side quarters were the site of a big day two session. Handplants, airs, liptricks and tranny finders were all fair game as the new arrivals (Stefi, Nirvana, Jill, and Jess) pointed it into the rider's right wall alongside Kelsey Boyer, Emma Crosby, Cori Stevenson, Summer Fenton, and more. Laura Rogoski and Christine Savage were dropping in for doubles. Savannah Golden was initiating surfy tranny finders. Stefi and Jess opened up the rider's right wall with proper handplants. The quick-dropping, consistent-stomping session not only offered plenty of fodder for the upcoming day 2 video, but also catalyzed trick-learning. Madison Blackley was dialing in McTwists. Jill Perkins and Maria Thomsen were learning handplants for the first time. Luminaries, veterans, and up-and-comers rode alongside one another and each trick that was landed launched a subsequent idea or variation.
The variations didn’t stop at the quarter. Just a bit down the run over the next roller, a full rail setup sat and waited for the riders to trickle down. Ty Schnorrbusch and Taylor Davies posted up as more and more joined. Savannah Shinske dropped some hammers while Madison Blackley pressed over the gap on rider’s left. Jacque Lammert ripped through and Sophie Nicholls-Austin got a chance to strap into her own board and go into her bag of tricks after losing her luggage on the plane ride over. Laura Rogoski was cited by the environmental department for destroying the waterfall, and Cori Stevenson laced a stream of tricks on her own. Emma Crosby caught some air over the rail-to-gap before she had to catch a plane to Jackson, and that was all they wrote.
The session went on for a few hours, but there was a notable name currently being tossed around the street world that was missing. Maria Thomsen—Transworld’s most recent Women’s Video Part of the Year recipient for her clips in “The Uninvited”—was nowhere to be found. Little did we know, Maria (along with Jess Kimura and a few others) was just above the roller sessioning the quarterpipe long after we thought the last riders dropped. So, in light of missing her on hill, Mary Walsh caught up with the Denmark-born ripper down at the lodge.
So, this is your first Ms. Superpark. When you heard that the event was coming back, what was your reaction?
I was super stoked because. I saw the line up of all the girls coming and I was like, "I gotta make it out." I just wanted to support it because I want Ms. Superpark to keep happening. It's always been a dream for me to come to Ms. Superpark. It is such a dope event.
You have been a part of seminal projects that are devoted to women's snowboarding, most recently The Uninvited. Why do you feel that women's-specific projects, whether movies, events, etc. are important in snowboarding?
I think it's important just to get to know the whole community of all the girls. These events are super essential for supporting and feeding off each other. Today I was at the quarterpipe and I was learning handplants just from looking at all the other girls and getting so much inspiration. I think it's just super important that we all get together, inspire each other, and support each other because I think that's when we evolve the best. It's just dope to see all the girls kill it and that makes you want to step it up.
This is your first time at Big Boulder, right?
First time at Boulder, yeah.
What's your impression of the park? What are you psyched on?
It is so fun here. When I first heard Ms. Superpark was in Pennsylvania at Big boulder I was like, "The East coast? I don't want to go there again into the cold." (laughs) Then I met up with Nora [Beck] in Philadelphia and she was like, "That's my home resort where I started snowboarding." She was so excited and I was like, "OK, I'm getting pretty excited, too." And then we got here and it is so sick. Boulder has so much to offer. They have jumps, quarterpipes, a minipipe, and so many rails. It's so fun. I'm really, really happy to be here.
So today during day 2 of Ms., the session at the quarterpipe was going off.
I'm not really a handplanter, but I just saw all these girls killing it and I was like, "I gotta learn this too!" Just looking at the other girls, you slowly take it step-by-step and then everybody just adds in like, "You should try this." Before you even know it, you're doing a fucking handplant. (laughs) It was super sick.
Are there any riders you've been particularly stoked on so far at Ms.?
They're all killing it. It's hard to point out someone specific, there's just so many girls that are good at different things. Don't give me that question. (laughs)
Any favorite features so far?
All of them. I don't know, I just kind of go from one side of the mountain to the next. Like I just want to do all of them except for maybe the jumps—I'm waiting for the 85-footer. (laughs)
You have a very proper style with your tricks. Where does your inspiration for your trick selection come from?
I look at a lot of snowboarding…. I do one trick but then I want to progress and I want to do another. I just want to see myself do better and I guess I might be a little sidetracked here, but because I've been filming for a while [this season], I feel like I haven't progressed in a long time. I need these park sessions to actually learn new tricks. It just gets old if you continue to do the same tricks and I think that's why it's good to be here too, because you see a girl kill it or do some trick and you're like, "I want to try to do that or add something onto it or do it a little bit differently." You really get so much inspiration.
What are the things in women's snowboarding that are making you stoked right now?
It's making me really stoked to see so many girls out there filming. The level that women's snowboarding is at is amazing. It inspires me and also pushes me because I'm like, "OK, I can't just relax over here. I want to be at that level and I just want to play with the rest of them."
Speaking of the filming part, you spent the first two months of the season filming for Real Snow, how was that?
It was hectic. I started off in late November, but then I broke my hip, so I was out until the beginning of January. I filmed all of January mostly in Quebec. After that I just wanted to go back and hit park. (laughs) Not that it wasn't fun. It was challenging and really cold, but I just wanted to go actually snowboard, which I didn't really get to do. I filmed, I was up at the mountain two days before I went to Quebec, so after I just wanted to go snowboarding.
So, have you gotten to do that a bit since you've been back home.
Yeah, it's been really nice. It's been super fun.
Being the only woman invited to compete in Real Snow, what was that like?
Oh, it was no pressure at all (laughs). It was fucked up. I just had to stop thinking about that I was the first girl [to compete against guys]. After being hurt and having so little time, I was really stressed out every day, but, it was also an accomplishment at the end.
That's an important kind of progression for yourself. After the fact, you look back and you're like, "That was fun and it was a challenge, but at the time you're like, I just gotta survive."
Yeah, it was definitely some survival mode out there. Sometimes I got in my own head and I really didn't want to blow it for all the girls, but I just had to try not to think about that and do what I could do. You can't really compare yourself [to the guys]. You gotta do you.
At that point it's not even about the medals, it's just that you're in the conversation. It's not only a testament to you as an individual and as a rider, but also a big deal for female snowboarders in general.
I just didn't want to blow it. I just wanted to do justice that we can do this.