Interview by Danielle Kirsebom
It’s no well-kept secret that the women’s scene in snowboarding is exploding – with more ladies hitting streets, filming parts, and creating safe spaces in the backcountry – and it’s also no secret that Christine Savage is helping make that happen. With inspiring parts and integral roles in films like Powanoia, The Uninvited, and Too Hard, Christine is actively transforming women’s snowboarding through her style, creativity, and passion for teaching the next generation of snowboarders.
As co-founder of Beyond the Boundaries (@btbounds on Instagram), a women’s snowboarding progression camp, Christine is a magnet for bringing more women onto the mountain and into snow sports. We admire Christine for her lady-focused mission to make the mountain an inclusive space, her passion for snow safety in the backcountry, and the stoke she brings with her wherever she goes. Her drive to empower women on and off the mountain is just the cherry on top.
We are excited to warmly welcome the Street Queen and Tahoe-transplant, Christine Savage, to the Nikita team! We caught up with her this week to see what she’s getting up to this season, what her favorite Nikita kit is, how she’s getting her turns in with the pandemic still in full swing, and if she has any advice to the next gen of lady shredders:
First and foremost, where are you from and what mountain did you call home growing up?
I grew up in Northern New Jersey. My home resort is Mountain Creek, which is about a mile away from the house I grew up in. I actually didn’t start boarding until my Junior year of high school, but Creek is definitely where my love of snowboarding started and I still try to get back there as much as possible. The park laps there are always SO fun. Love that place.
We know you’re currently riding in The Sierra on the West Coast. What brought you out to California and how are you enjoying it?
The year after I started snowboarding, I went up to High Cascade Snowboard Camp in Mt. Hood in the summer for a week. My coach kept raving about this town in the Tahoe area called Truckee. He said it was the place to be if you wanted to snowboard. I ended up going to college in Vermont, but this thought of Truckee always stuck with me. When I graduated, I convinced all my college roommates to move out to Tahoe with me. We actually couldn’t find a place in Truckee at the time, but two years later I moved to Truckee and I’ve called it home ever since. It’s just an incredible place. It checks all the boxes for me, personally. Lots of snow, tons of sun, so many resorts within a short drive, great parks, easy backcountry access, and a beautiful lake to top it all off.
The COVID-19 pandemic cut last season short and has limited resort riding this season. How are you getting your turns in? Has this pushed you to be more creative in the streets or in the backcountry?
Absolutely! I think the COVID situation has pushed us all to be more creative in all aspects of life, and this is certainly true for snowboarding. I’d say the main impact so far has been that I’ve been more motivated than ever to get out in the streets on weekends and holidays in order to avoid the crowds at the resorts. If it’s looking too busy at the resort, it’s time to find another place to strap into my snowboard that day. This year in Tahoe there seems to be more people in town than ever before, which sometimes makes some of the classic spots inaccessible. You’ve got to think outside of the box, but you can almost always make it work. With enough creativity (and as long as there is speed and snow) you can kind of snowboard on anything.
What are some fun trips and events you have planned for this season?
Well, I actually just landed in New Jersey! We saw that New Jersey/New York has been getting a ton of snow, so Ari Morrone and I headed here last minute!
We’re hoping to be here for a couple weeks (weather permitting) and get a good chunk of our street shots for the year here, hopefully. Aside from this trip, I’ve also got a trip planned to Silverton, Colorado with Summer Fenton and some other girlfriends later in the Spring. We bought the Spring Silverton pass on a whim this Fall knowing that we likely wouldn’t be leaving the country this year and I’m so glad we did! We also booked a heli run for while we are there, so I am super excited. After that, I’m hoping for some spring road trips to Mammoth and Hood, fingers crossed.
What advice would you offer to girls looking to get into the backcountry?
First and foremost, I would say to start slow and prioritize safety and education above everything else. The backcountry is an incredible playground that has so much to offer, but it also a place without a safety net. You are 100% responsible for your own safety in the backcountry, as well as the responsibility of the group you choose to go out with.
It’s important that you put the time in to learn Search and Rescue techniques in avalanche terrain before you start spending time in the backcountry. You should also be sure to hold the other people you go out with to the same standard – and getting your AAIRE 1 is a great place to start.
Surround yourself with knowledge and a good crew, one that you trust and can speak up comfortably to. Those are the two most important things in my eyes when it comes to entering the backcountry.
What advice would you offer to girls looking to get into hitting urban?
I’d say to find a crew if you can!
Even if it’s just you and another friend, street is something that you really can’t do alone. If you’re interested in getting into riding street and you know some other girls who have already been doing it, mention to them that you’re interested and see if they’d let you join them at some spots.
There’s a lot to learn and it’s helpful to have someone take you under their wing and show you the ways. I know I would have never gotten into riding street if Fancy Rutherford and Danyale Patterson hadn’t encouraged me to try and helped me along the way.
On that note, if you are a girl who is riding street stuff already, I believe it’s your responsibility to help pass that on to others. We all know we didn’t get into this without help.
We absolutely love your commitment to creating space in the mountains for more women to be comfortable on boards. What inspired you to co-found Beyond the Boundaries and how would you describe the experience one gets at a women’s snowboard progression camp?
Mary Walsh and I founded Beyond the Boundaries (BTB) because we saw a real disparity between the number of women versus men riding in the park, and we were hoping to change that. Since then, we’ve expanded to non-park events and [backcountry] tours as well. Our main goal is to connect like-minded women who share a passion for snowboarding, and to help them gain confidence in any type of terrain they want to ride. Honestly, we just help to show them what they are capable of.
As for the experience, imagine a private park filled with features catering to progression, a bunch of rad coaches who want to share their knowledge, and a huge squad of women who are passionate about snowboarding. It’s the most positive learning environment I’ve ever experienced and I think that shows in the insane progression we witness among the women at every BTB camp.
How has coaching others shaped your outlook on the snowboarding community as a whole?
Mainly, it’s just reaffirmed to me that women in snowboarding are more passionate than ever before! Seeing the turnout for these camps has been incredible. When you see fifty to sixty women show up to one of the BTB camps, you’ll see that the women’s scene is alive and well in snowboarding – we just need to make the space to really see it.
We are stoked to have you on the Nikita team and we’d love to hear what you’re wearing this winter. What are some of your favorite pieces that we’ll see you rockin’ this season?
I am so stoked to be on the Nikita team as well! I absolutely love the Laurel Jacket for days lapping the park and also filming in the streets. On pow days my go-to is the Willow Jacket. And for any day on my board, you can catch me wearing the White Pine pant.
We can’t wait to see what you get up to this season! Do you have any projects you’re currently working on?
As I mentioned, I’m currently in New Jersey filming some street stuff. It’s crazy to see this much snow here, so Ari Morrone and I had to come seize the opportunity! As far as projects go, my goal is to get some clips in the final Uninvited film (an all-women’s snowboard feature produced by Jess Kimura) which is coming out in the fall. But, for now, the focus is just on filming the best clips that I can and then finding a home for them after.
Despite a season cut short (blame COVID), team rider Ari Morrone was still able to stack some killer clips and drop a street edit. As a Pennsylvania native, this was Ari's first season residing in Tahoe and it's clear she's making the most of it. From exploring the streets of Quebec to getting creative in Tahoe with a new crew, Ari continues to progress, challenge herself, and have fun where ever she is. With that signature sweet Ari smile with a little extra spice in her style, it's clear that COVID can't stop this girl.
Check out this mini interview with the star herself:
Out of all the spots you hit last season, what was your favorite?
The Truckee T was my favorite spot. It was the first spot of the year, we had a great crew and it was really fun to mess around on!
When you are looking for street spots, is there anything specific you look for?
I’m always looking at everything, everywhere. Especially in Tahoe. You definitely have to think outside of the box here when finding street spots, I’m still getting used to that! Anywhere else I look for rails with a way to get speed.
Congrats on your move! How has the shift to riding in Tahoe from Pennsylvania been?
The shift has been interesting in such a crazy time, I feel like I didn’t get a true Tahoe winter yet because our riding was cut so short last year. I’m really enjoying riding in the sunny warm weather!
If you want to keep up with Ari this season, be sure to follow her on instagram!
Edit by: Nirvana Ortanez
Filmers: Gabe Marzillier
Nikita Marketing Manager, Jenna Kuklinski, holding up the Lindan Jacket (left) & Sycamore Jacket (right); Photo: Mark Clavin, Snowboarder Magazine
The upside to staying home is that we all find ourselves with some extra time and lucky for us, Snowboarder Magazine decided to use their extra time to give people a sneak peek at some of the gear they are excited about for next season! And even better, they decided to feature us in their 2020/2021 Gear Preview:
Below are words written by Mark Clavin, directly from the article:
While the rest of this season is in limbo, or more realistically all but over, we thought we would drop some of the products that will be out next year for your enjoyment. So… enjoy! Remember to wash your hands before and after reading this, practice social distancing by sending this to a friend that is far away, and STAY THE HELL ON YOUR COUCH UNTIL OUR NEXT POST.
MADRONA ONE PIECE
The Madrona One Piece is back and better than ever with the addition of a drop seat in the back (to make those bathroom breaks go smoother) and an added mediapocket for fast access to your phone on the slopes.
Check out Snowboarder Mag's full gear preview!
Nikita Madrona One-Piece; Photo: Mark Clavin, Snowboarder Magazine
Nikita ECO Evergreen Stretch Bibs; Photo: Mark Clavin, Snowboarder Magazine
We don't know about you, but we've been spending a lot more time this past week reliving life winter by scrolling through photo galleries on our phones. With most everything else in life on pause, we thought it a great time to dig up the most recent recaps from our events this past winter and share them again with you all - along with a few bonus shots we didn't get out to you yet!
Who can forget Dew Tour from this year out in Copper, Colorado? After changing the dates from the previous Dew, we had to wait almost a full year before we got to host our second annual G.W.R. Streetstyle event and we can tell you - that build in anticipation only amplified the excitement we had going into this event!
Rider: Nadia Gonzales, Photo: Dew Tour
For the second year in a row, we got to see skiers and snowboarders go head-to-head in competitions for cash on the Dew Tour Streetstyle course. New for this winter was Dew Tour's Pro Women's Streetstyle event (can we get a 🙌!!) and the G.W.R. event featured amazing up-and-coming AM riders hungry for some cash prizes and a place on the podium.
Rider: Ari Morrone, Photo: Dew Tour
With a full-on blizzard coming in and dropping two feet of snow on Copper the day before the event (not kidding), the Woodward park crew outdid themselves in prepping the Streetstyle Course for the girls to compete on Saturday morning - and compete they did! With trick after trick being thrown - like backflip attempts off the pole jam by Lauren Derminio, a frontside 450 on the diamond rail by Nadia Gonzales, rail to rail transfers and nosepresses through kink rails by Ari Morrone and more than one impressive bail, the AM ladies of the competition showed up.
After the two 40 minute jams wrapped up, the judges deliberated over everything they'd seen (and it was a lot to take in). On the line was not only the claim to a podium spot in the G.W.R. event but the first place snowboarder and both the first and second-placed skiers would win themselves a spot to compete later that evening in the Pro Women's Streetstyle event!
Riders (left to right): Ari Morrone, Ruby Peyton, Kaleah Opal Driscoll; Photo: Dew Tour
In true form fashion, the riders in each division congratulated each other on their riding and hugs went around between the competitors, their friends and family who'd come out to watch and support them through the day. Tired but satisfied, it was all smiles as the second annual G.W.R. Girls AM Streetstyle event wrapped up at Dew Tour 2020.
Riders (left to right): Darby Pappas, Nadia Gonzales, Land Le Coq; Photo: Dew Tour
Congratulations again to all of the riders who competed and a huge thank you to everyone who showed up in person or checked in online to cheer on the riders.
Click the videos below to watch the recaps that came straight from Dew!
Girls Are Awesome Slay Days 2020 is a wrap! Four days of riding, yoga, art, skating, panel talks, movie screenings and GIRL POWER. We were so excited to be able to support this amazing event again and it was SO fun to be there!
Check out a recap blog from founder, Nick Bridges, on the Girls are Awesome website!
"Girls Are Awesome created Slay Days to introduce more women into freestyle ski and snowboard culture and spotlight the cultural elements around the sports we love, such as photography, art and music, pooling it together in a sort of mini-festival vibe with panel talks and dance-offs. Slay Days exists as a space for inspiration, support, falling, sharing and learning. We aim to leave with new friends and to solidify the friendships we have – and through our shared experiences – hopefully, navigate the madness which is planet Earth in an enriched and newly-informed way."
- Nick Bridges, Founder of Girls Are Awesome.
Photos by Miriam Lottes
The first Girls Rule event of the year took place on February 14th as part of the Irregular Magazine birthday bash at Lothringer13. This was a slightly different Valentines Day celebration, with a Girls-Only Cash4Tricks Session!
20 skate girls from Munich, Stuttgart and even Berlin joined in to skate the temporary skatepark and to win some of the 500€ cash as well as awesome goodies and outfits by Nikita, Girls Are Awesome and Vans.
This was then followed by a visit of the arts and photo exhibition with artworks by internationally renowned artists such as Willow and Laura Kaczmarek and drinks to celebrate the film premiere of the Girls Rule summer edition video, Nikita Nation and the Nikita Lebanon Edit: Spirit of the Cedars.
All in all an awesome, alternative Valentine's Day and we’re already looking forward to the next session at the Red Bull Rollercoaster in August!
Check out more photos from the event from photographer Hannes Mautner:
In the short film "IL DAT ALB" (“the white cube”), Elena Könz shows us a creative approach to two of her passions – snowboarding and art. In collaboration with the ski resort Scuol / Motta Naluns, she had the opportunity to create her own park line, which she named the "Dragon Line".
Together in collaboration with the artist Rips1 (Linus von Moos), Elena painted the features for park line with different parts of a dragon (a recurrent animal form in Elena’s artwork). Making her own statement, Elena used only upcycled features from the ski resort. Thanks to the shapers at the snow park, they were able to find tires, wall rides, bins, the cube, and more. Check out the full line in the video below and watch Elena ride her dream.
"To ride on my own art in the white cube of nature is a dream come true." -Elena Könez
For more information @jibberleni
Presented by Engadin-Scuol-Zernez Tourismus and Bergbahnen Scuol AGFilm and Edit by PeakFrames GmbH peakframes.ch
Audio and Sounddesign by Brauereisound GmbH
Produced by Elena Könz elenakoenz.ch
With over a decade of design work under her belt as well as experience with streetwear and fashion moguls around the globe, guest streetwear designer for Nikita SS20 Molly Girard is the perfect storm of inspiration meets application. Realizing we each are merely one in a world of 7 billion, Molly strives to bring mindfulness to both her designs and her daily life. We sat down with her to hear more about her views on the world around us and get a deeper understanding of how this collection came to be.
“What I love about streetwear specifically in this time of, ‘Fashion is dead, Clothes are in’ (via trend forecaster Li Edelkoor), is that normcore fashion is for those who realize they are one in 7 billion.
This is the reaction to fashion fatigue and specifically influencer fatigue. This is when fast fashion and, more importantly, fast fashion marketing have become such a problem for the environment. It is the idea that you have to buy these on-trend pieces weekly, but once you take a picture of them and post to your Instagram… you can’t wear them again. The garments lose their value? This is the quintessential demise of our industry, in my opinion.
But the good news is that it is not over to be an influencer. It is over to use your influence to show how rich and famous you are. THAT is over.
It is NOT over to influence positive change. By providing examples of sustainable alternatives, we can become powerful in changing the world’s mindset.
So, it is great to work on streetwear brands that use the same silhouettes over and over again. Because of that, it is an easy space to move into more responsible practices. Also, what I think is great about streetwear is to see the smaller brands not care about trends. Whether that is a highlighter yellow or a weird print, it has to feel authentic for it to be true streetwear. And it just feels right because they don’t give a f***. You feel those energies from the colors and graphics. I liked the colors that we chose for this season because they are kind of random in that same offbeat sense.
It is really important to think about sustainability in creating and wearing fashion, but it goes beyond that. We need to think about sustainability from a holistic approach- inside of your body, inside your home environment, and in the global environment. It is now our responsibility as creatives, influencers and humans to create, market, buy, and support the things that are sustainable and holistic. It is a lot on our shoulders, you know? But it’s cool. ”
Check out the spring collection now.
The visibility was low but the stoke was high at the GWR Event at Timberline Lodge!
Despite the weather, these ladies were a hoot and half - trying to spell out Nikita with their bodies, an impromptu yoga session, trying tricks only strapped into one binding, and someone's pants even ripped (ha!).
We were so happy to have team riders Brooke Potter, Summer Fenton, Nora Beck, and Ashley Thornton, plus PNW sub rep Jen Minor, there as coaches. During the open jam in the afternoon, prizes were flying and the coaches couldn’t decide on just one standout so we gave out two awards. This was our first time hosting a GWR event in Oregon but it certainly won’t be our last!
Check out our Facebook Album for more photos!
Join us for a movie night at US Outdoor Store! We will be showing two of our films, Spirits of the Cedars and the NikitaNation team edit. PLUS, you can make your own custom Nikita apparel with our heat press 🙌🏻
There will be drinks from Migration Brewing Company, popcorn, snacks, Liquid Death Mountain Water, and copies of Hiheyhello Magazine! 💛💛Hope to see you all there!
You can RSVP on our Facebook event-https://www.facebook.com/events/815696605616406/