TALKING ‘FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN’ WITH KIMMY FASANI (Teton Gravity 2019)
In anticipation of the upcoming release of the film, Fire On The Mountain, we thought it’d be a good idea to get some input from those involved behind the scenes and in front of the lens for this psychedelic and legendary shoot. We will be talking with each athlete from the film about their experience with making the movie and with the Grateful Dead, and how skiing in a light suit isn’t for the faint of heart.
Who better to start with than the legendary Kimmy Fasani, whose snowboarding resume we are sure you are familiar with at this point, including multiple rider of the year awards and endless mag covers. Kimmy is a Mammoth resident with her husband (and the film’s director) Chris Benchetler and their young son Koa in tow, Kimmy was an integral part of the making of this film, and helping the vision come to life.
We caught up with Kimmy between premieres and the official opening of their home mountain of Mammoth and got her to take us on the visual trip of making Fire On The Mountain, from concept to screen. Balancing motherhood and stormy night shoots, and why Ripple is going to be the top lullaby for 2019.
Kimmy ripping a pow turn after dark. Peter Morning photo.
Bronson: Well, let’s start maybe tell a little bit about how the movie got started with you and Chris or was it all Chris? How did the concept or catalyst of the project begin?
Kimmy: Yeah, definitely all Chris. I think because Chris has designed ski graphics for all of his skis for the past 10 years, there was a link that kind of got to TGR, to Brian, our friend Brian Francis, and it was the Grateful Dead trying to find a ski brand to do a collaboration with of a ski graphic. And Burton had actually done five years of graphics with the Grateful Dead. So I had connections but only through seeing them with the Burton line. And so when they reached out to Chris and started really feeling out if it was the right option and Chris’ love for music, and we have a friend that is like an incredible Deadhead that had really kind of inlaid that music in us over the years. I think Chris saw like this huge opportunity of, well he always has a project that he’s working on for how he’s going to showcase his season. And when he got the opportunity to do the ski graphic, I think he just decided this would be a really cool segment to kind of share the connection between music and all the sports he loved.
And so it was just very natural. It was such a seamless storyline pitch and everybody kind of bit on. And at first, I mean we had a four-month-old when all of this started, all the conversations were starting. So I was definitely very invested in being a mom and learning how to balance my career and motherhood. So this was most certainly Chris’s project and it’s been wild to see how much momentum it’s gained and where it is now.
Bronson: When did the beginning of the snowball start of making the film? I know when the skis came out, what was that, two years ago?
Kimmy: Yeah. The skis actually launched this past year. So they were in motion for about a year prior because it’s like you’re drawing them and you’re designing them and then the graphic is put into production. And during that whole process is when he pitched this concept of having it be a movie project that he’s able to really show how the collaboration is more multifaceted than just a ski graphic on something. It’s showcasing him as an athlete, but also so many other connections and yeah, passion.
Athlete/artist Chris Benchetler getting after it on his Bentchetlers. Peter Morning photo.
Bronson: Yeah, it’s this ever-evolving thing, for sure. That’s awesome. What were some of the technical aspects you guys had to overcome or maybe worked with Chris to help him overcome for doing this? Because I know night skiing, and lighting, where doing everything with perfect conditions during the day is hard enough.
Kimmy: I think that was like we bit off way more than we could chew. This whole project from [its] conception was something that was so unique and such a once in a lifetime opportunity that we wanted to do it right. And Chris had this vision of doing this night segment at Mammoth since he has grown up here and his parents met here in the 70s like he thought what a cool way to really show his home in a unique way that nobody has been able to do before. And then because of Chris’s connection with Sweet Grass and his participation in the movie Afterglow, he already had the connection to the crew that did incredible lighting for a movie segment. And because he was part of it, this could be a really awesome opportunity for them to partner again to bring Chris’s vision to life this time.
And so we cut no corners and we made it the most standout we could. But in doing so, Chris’s vision, and mind you, I’ll just say Chris’s vision, from the beginning, everything that he envisioned has come to fruition. Every detail. So it really shows you like how much purpose and passion he put into it, and also how much intention. And it all really started with the night segment he wanted to do in the middle of a storm. He wanted it to be stormy and he wanted it to be aggressive and like a psychedelic journey through like the peak of a trip. He wanted people to come on this ride with him as he sees the mountains, but also as this music played to all of us in the mountains and [really] be the story. And so, sure enough, Mammoth jumped on board and Mammoth Mountain is the reason that this project really was able to come to life. Because of their support and their understanding of how massive an opportunity and vision this was really helped lay that groundwork of footage where we were able to capture something that was so unique.
And so I would say some of the challenges that we’ve faced were being out in the middle of the night and during huge storms, wind cycles, freezing rain, fog, just so much variability. And not only were we doing it at night, but it’s like when you’re doing it in the middle of a snowstorm because this is on a resort you only have a specific timeframe to really make it happen. You don’t have a gnarly window. Like you close it and then it’s like every day counts, every minute counts out there. So that was most certainly like the biggest first challenge, was getting through the night segment.
And for me personally as a rider, I was also still breastfeeding Koa, so I would put him down at night and then I had to be home and ready to feed him by 3:30 in the morning. So I had only a small window to be out in the mountains.
And then to top it off, I also broke my wrist in Japan and had that surgery four weeks before this night segment. So I wasn’t even clear to snowboard during that night segment. And it was just so complicated like there were so many [aspects] that people just might not ever hear the full depth of. But that’s kind of what makes this project so special was like, it looks flawless and it looks unbelievable, but it’s because of all the dedication and hard work that everybody put in.
The group warms up by the fire (on the mountain). Peter Morning photo.
Bronson: It’s kind of like any really great creative project in a nutshell right there. Everything underneath the surface is what makes it actually good afterward.
Kimmy: Right, right, exactly. And it just makes it that much more rewarding. And then on top of that, when Chris was going to Indonesia, he had this vision with Rob Machado surfing at night with lights and light suits, and that was like a whole nother ballgame was figuring out the light suits. And so they ended up having to go to Indonesia with like 30 bags of gear. And filming in the open water at night with a boat lighting the waves. And that just made it like a completely blinding experience. They really couldn’t see down the line. (To read the rest of the article: https://www.tetongravity.com/video/snowboard/talking-fire-on-the-mountain-with-kimmy-fasani )
Kimmy Fasani Is Changing the Rules of Snowboarding (Outside Magazine 2019)
How the pro snowboarder and Burton team rider balances motherhood and sending it
Kimmy Fasani just baked a loaf of sourdough bread and the smell fills her kitchen. Her one-year-old son, Koa, is playing with toys in the living room while she’s bustling about, readying for a day of splitboarding in the backcountry near her home in Mammoth Lakes, California.
Fasani is one of the most decorated and talented women in snowboarding, but at this moment she’s a mom with a thousand things to do before she gets out the door. She gathers Koa’s stuff—diapers, puffy one-piece suit, backpack, squeezy food pouches—along with her own essentials: the Burton bibs and jacket she helped design, gloves, goggles, helmet, backcountry tools, green smoothie, and Clif bars. As she and her husband, pro skier Chris Benchetler, load up her truck, she doesn’t say goodbye to Koa. Because he’s coming with them.
Here’s what Kimmy Fasani is sending it in.
Check out her gear
Kimmy (left), Koa (center), and Chris (right) enjoying a tour in the mountains near their Mammoth Lakes, California, home.
Raised in Truckee, California, Fasani started skiing as a toddler, eventually swapping two planks for one at the age of nine, when her mom surprised her with a snowboard for Christmas. It wasn’t long before she was stomping backyard backflips and entering competitions. By her mid-teens she’d won three consecutive slopestyle national titles and joined Burton’s roster of sponsored riders. For college, Fasani moved to Mammoth, where she earned a B.S. in marketing and spent 10 years on the contest circuit, before eventually transitioning to filming big-mountain lines for some of snowboarding’s premier filmmakers. In 2016, thanks to a standout segment in Absinthe Films’ AfterForever, both Transworld Snowboarding and Snowboarder magazine named Fasani rider of the year. “I’ve never met someone as tough and determined as Kimmy,” says fellow Burton athlete and three-time Olympic medalist Kelly Clark. “She was one of a handful of women who went after big-mountain riding as if there were no barriers.”
She’s also been passionate about helping other women smash barriers. In 2011, she founded Amusement Park, an annual gathering of freestyle snowboarding’s top women athletes that’s designed to push the limits of the sport. That event, now called Amusement MTN, has since evolved into a yearly three-day backcountry clinic for aspiring professional female riders. On top of it all, Fasani uses her status to raise awareness for climate change as a member of the Protect Our Winters Athlete Alliance.
Given Fasani’s impressive résumé, it’s no surprise that she ended up marrying someone like Chris Benchetler, who, like Fasani, also has a lot going on professionally. In addition to starring in ski films, Benchetler is an artist and designer, doing everything from designing pro-model gear with his sponsors to creating large-scale art commissions. It’d be easy to assume that having kids might never have been on the couple’s road map.
But in January 2017, after her mother died of an aggressive type of cancer at the age of 72, Fasani’s perspective changed. “My mom had wanted us to have kids, but honestly, I was at the height of my career and we weren’t ready,” Fasani says. “But after she died, it flipped me into this different mindset of thinking, ‘What are we waiting for?’”
“I feel like other women need to see that even though it’s not easy, it’s possible.”
A Star Is Born
After a spring spent coping with her mother’s death—and shooting yet another award-winning film segment in Alaska—Fasani and Benchetler decided it was time to start a family. “I knew when I had a baby that I was going to have to pave my own path, because not a lot of women in pro snowboarding have tried to do this,” Fasani says. “But I was 100 percent in.” She called Burton CEO Donna Carpenter in September 2017, when she was about 12 weeks pregnant. “I had already decided that just because I was pregnant, I didn’t need to retire from snowboarding,” Fasani says. “But still, I didn’t know how my sponsors were going to react.”
Turns out there was no need to worry. “As soon as I called Donna, she said, ‘Let’s do this,’” Fasani recalls. “To have one of the biggest leaders of our sport—a female CEO of a company I’m very passionate about—say that immediately … it made me let go of my guard and realize that me having a baby is not only going to be accepted by the industry, it’s going to be celebrated.”
Koa was born on a stormy day in March 2018, and six weeks later Fasani was back on her snowboard. “We immediately got back into adventuring,” she says. That summer, when Koa was five months old, the family traveled to New Zealand for a month and lived in an RV while they snowboarded and surfed. “I feel like other women need to see that even though it’s not easy, it’s possible.”
Burton rider Kimmy Fasani is one of the most decorated and talented women in snowboarding
The Future Is Bright
With Koa happily napping in the backpack, Fasani and Benchetler spend the morning touring low-angle terrain not far from their house. There are no rad lines or huge airs today. Instead, once Koa wakes up, they take frequent snack breaks and show him cool trees and tracks in the snow. Sure, Fasani still gets after it—filming segments for next season’s snowboarding blockbusters, developing innovative new products with Burton, inspiring the next generation of rippers—but all of that now fits into a bigger picture. One that centers around raising her son. “This has been the biggest year of learning and adapting and slowing down in my life,” Fasani says. “For that, I’m thankful—because I’ve never experienced anything like it.”
What pregnancy means for top female athletes and endorsements (CNN Money 2018)
Top female athletes often face a choice between motherhood and athletics, but women competitors and their sponsors are changing that narrative.
“The smartest brands understand that athletes actually become more dimensional, relatable, and influential as moms — and that they can leverage that for their own marketing campaigns,” said Lindsay Kagawa Colas, a talent agent for Wasserman who focuses on Olympics and women.
But fear of losing sponsors still remains for many female athletes.
“There’s so much risk involved with our jobs that I think it’s just an automatic assumption that if you get pregnant you’re not going to do what you do anymore,” professional snowboarder Kimmy Fasani told CNN.
Fasani, a back-country style snowboarder who has competed in the XGames is eight months pregnant. When she got pregnant, she worried about her future in the sport, and her potential for endorsement deals. But she knows motherhood won’t limit her abilities on the snow.
Related: NBC’s $12 billion investment in the Olympics is looking riskier
In terms of athletic performance, plenty of female athletes have demonstrated an ability to perform at a high level during and after a pregnancy in some sports. Recent research supports that assertion, as does anecdotal information.
Tennis superstar Serena Williams famously won the Australian Open in 2017 while eight weeks pregnant. Olympic curler Kristie Moore, a Canadian, won silver in the 2010 Winter Games while five months pregnant. And beach volleyball legend Kerri Walsh Jennings was six weeks pregnant when she won a gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics. She and her partner took bronze in Rio in 2016 and now she’s focused on training and launching her new company, p1440. The endeavor is a beach volleyball festival that combines pro tournaments with music and wellness activities for fans.
Pregnancy never slowed Walsh Jennings down, but she said she was told to hold off on starting a family by sponsors.
“Before we had our first child, I was told not to do it because they’re like, ‘You just won the Olympics, you’re going to lose all these endorsements, people are going to forget about you when you hold your baby,” Walsh said.
Walsh Jennings said making the decision as a competitive female athlete to take time off and have a baby was “scary.”
Related: Why gay Olympians Gus Kenworthy and Adam Rippon are marketing gold
“I remember, not to be too explicit, but after the first time we tried it, I was bawling. I was like, what am I doing? Did I just give up everything that I’ve worked so hard for in my life, for this new adventure in life, which is beautiful but so scary,” Walsh said.
Walsh Jennings, who plans on competing for another gold in 2020 at the Olympics, said “life is so much bigger than the sponsorship deal … some people think you get pregnant, you have kids and your dream stops, and it’s just such nonsense.”
Having children doesn’t need to be a career-ender, says Doug Shabelman, president of Burns Entertainment, which matches celebrities with corporate sponsors.
“Athletes and their agents should try to be as open and honest with their sponsors. If they can have a dialogue, a marketer should be able to figure out how to augment their campaign to their client becoming a mom,” said Shabelman.
That’s ultimately the approach Fasani took.
She said she struggled with the decision to tell her sponsors about her pregnancy for fear that they might drop her from endorsement deals. But to her surprise, all of her sponsors celebrated the news.
Among Fasani’s list of sponsors is Burton Snowboards. Its CEO, Donna Carpenter, embraced Fasani’s pregnancy.
“When I told her that I was pregnant, she was so utterly supportive, so incredibly supportive from the minute the words came out of my mouth. That completely changed how I felt, all those assumptions that I had been making up that my sponsors weren’t going to support me,” Fasani said.
Carpenter, a female CEO in a male-dominated industry, says Fasani is “the perfect person to be that pioneer.”
Carpenter’s support aligns with Burton’s initiative to help elevate women into leadership positions.
“My team is pretty much 50/50, and so you don’t really see that in our industry necessarily or in a lot of industries. I think the athletes see that. We’ve always had a commitment to female athletes and supporting their careers,” Carpenter said.
Fasani says her pregnancy has opened the door to mom-friendly endorsements like Thule, a transportation group with child bikes and stroller products. Walsh Jennings, too, with brands like The Honest Company, stepping up to sponsor her.
“I feel like we are at a new place for women, not just in sports but in the workplace as well. Brands and employers are realizing that their women are really valuable. In order to keep them in their positions, they have to support them to go through starting a family,” Fasani said.
–CNN’s Ahiza Garcia contributed to this story.
Q&A with Kimmy Fasani: Pursuing Her Passions and Becoming a Mom- Burton.com 2018
For once, Burton Team rider Kimmy Fasani was in unfamiliar territory.
She was three months pregnant, and it was time to tell her sponsors. She wondered how they would take the news, if they would be supportive, and who she could count on as her plans for next season began to change. For someone who has lived out her wildest dreams in far off places like Alaska and Japan, this was an entirely new challenge. Pro riders have been here before, of course, but many choose to retire from a career in snowboarding. Not Kimmy. Fearless as always, she’s made her decision to continue snowboarding and relentlessly pursue both her passion and growing her family.
Kimmy took some time to answer our questions about her experience so far, her future aspirations, and what effect she hopes to have on others by sharing her own story. To read the rest of the Q&A click the above photo. Photo: Aaron Blatt
The Healing Powers of the Mountains: Mind Body Green Interview
When professional snowboarder Kimmy Fasani was 14, she lost her father. An aspiring Olympic gymnast at the time, Fasani found herself ditching the beam for her snowboard and heading to the nearby mountains to process her grief. “Snowboarding was the only reason I was able to stay somewhat balanced and levelheaded, because it was an outlet for me,” she explains. “I was able to just be in the mountains and have it be a sanctuary for my body and mind.”
Decades later, it’s no surprise that Fasani took her addiction to the meditative nature of snowboarding and turned it into a career—and a wildly successful one at that. Click the photo to read the interview on Mind Body Green. Photo: DUSTIN LALIK
Becoming a Mom, Shifting the Women’s Snowboarding Perspective & Filming a Video Part – the Kimmy Fasani Interview
Two seasons ago, Kimmy Fasani reached the pinnacle of her career to-date, joining the prestigious Absinthe Films crew in the fall of 2015 for /fterForever and dropping into Alaskan faces for the first time alongside Nicolas Müller and Manuel Diaz, an experience that resulted in an award-winning video part and Women’s Rider of the Year distinctions from both TransWorld SNOWboarding and SNOWBOARDER Magazine. Kimmy had reached a peak she had been scaling for years, and her momentum was unmistakable. As autumn turned to winter, Kimmy was poised to build on her previous season, to seek steeper lines, return to Alaska, and put together a second segment with Absinthe. Being in this position was no small feat considering what the gregarious Mammoth Lakes local had worked through to get to this point: her early career spent in slopestyle contests before transitioning from the park to the off-piste, an uphill battle for access to big mountains crews, seasons spent collecting footage unsure of where it would end up or if it would be seen….
Interview By Mary Walsh. Click the photo to read it on Transworld Snowboarding
The Powell Movement Podcast: Kimmy Fasani
Kimmy Fasani has never let the lows of life drag her down and she’s been through some painful experiences on her way to and at the peak of her snowboarding career. She also hasn’t let the highs of being a top level professional snowboarder get to her head. How long will that career last now that, coming of her best season ever on paper, Kimmy is pregnant with Chris Benchetler’s baby and her contracts are set to expire? Hear what Kimmy has to say on the podcast. Click the photo to listen to the podcast. Photo: Erin Hogue
Kimmy Nominated for Women’s Rider of the Year and Video Part of the Year 2017 from TWSNOW
Click the above photo to see more womens Rider of the Year nominees
Absinthe Films new movie, TURBO DOJO, available on iTunes
2nd Annual AMUSEMENT MTN is a wrap: 2017
We’ve all made the choice to be here, in this frozen place, together. The journey to this snack party in the sky began with an invitation to Amusement MTN that came in the form of an email last fall sent by a powerful mountain woman who has been working hard to open the door for upcoming riders with their eyes on big mountain lines, Kimmy Fasani.
For those new to the backcountry, an American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education avalanche class was in order, a three-day course in snow safety and backcountry rescue open to anyone looking for more knowledge. At the end of the third day, participants receive an AIARE Avy 1 certification, meaning they now have an idea of how much they do not know. (For more about the event and to read the rest of the write up, click on the photo)
Kimmy Wins ’16 Women’s Rider of the Year from TWSNOW Rider’s Poll Awards
Click here for Kimmy’s acceptance speech:
Kimmy’s Amusement MTN event in Snowboarder Mag Dec Issue and Online
Seeing young riders so intrigued by exploring the mountains outside of resorts, she wanted to contribute. Kimmy evolved her annual event, Amusement Park, a week-long progression shoot rooted in Mammoth’s Main Park into Amusement MTN. The base of the idea was similar: corral a group of emerging riders and couple them with experienced female mentors who would help to cultivate growth. But instead of cheese wedges and rails, the terrain for MTN would be bowls and couloirs. The response was even greater than Kimmy expected. Riders that by any account would seem to be rooted in rails and street spots jumped at the opportunity to shed their jib decks for snowshoes and powder boards. Established contest pro and park-savvy ams alike wanted to expand their terrain selection. (Click the photo to read the whole article) Words By Mary Walsh Photo by Kevin Westenbarger
ESPN W: Breaking the Ice Ceiling
This is the winter of women. Scan this season’s most popular snowboard videos and it seems like women are having their moment in the snow. With the release of “Full Moon,” an all-women’s snowboard film directed and produced by all-around snowboard guru Leanne Pelosi and featuring the heaviest cast of female freeriders ever assembled, and big-mountain charger Kimmy Fasani’s full part in the otherwise all-male video “AfterForever” from Absinthe Films, women are breaking through the ice ceiling. The industry is taking notice. To read the rest of the interview click the photo above. Words: Alyssa Roenigk
Kimmy Fasani’s Full Part on TWSNOW (.com) From /fterForever by Absinthe Films
“Even with all the talent in the world, sometimes the difference between elevating your career to the next level or slipping into obscurity comes down to a few of the right people believing in you at the right time,” said Absinthe’s Justin Hostynek of her part. “Kimmy got to experience Alaska with Nicolas Muller] and Manuel [Diaz] and took full advantage of the opportunities set before her. The rest is herstory,” he continued. Read more at http://snowboarding.transworld.net/videos/kimmy-fasani-full-part-afterforever/#jJK5LgwoITTZv77o.99 — Click Here http://snowboarding.transworld.net/videos/kimmy-fasani-full-part-afterforever/#pwYGBC8L258rpRQf.97 to watch Kimmy’s Full Part Photo Erin Hogue
Absinthe Movie AfterForever is Live on iTunes
Download the new Absinthe Films movie now on iTunes by clicking on the photo above. Photo: Andrew Miller TWSNOW
Teton Gravity Research: Kimmy Fasani’s Picks for Snowboarding, Yoga, and Year Round Good Livin’
Click the photo above to read what my essentials are for mountain living. Photo: Gabe L’Heureux
Absinthe Films Premiere US Schedule for /fterForver
Click the photo above to see the full US Premiere schedule. First stop is September 16th in Salt Lake City, UT at Church & State at 8pm. Then up to Portland Oregon on 9/19 at EVO Portland at 7pm! Photo: Andrew Miller and Transworld Snowboarding
Absinthe Films Teaser for /fterForever
Absinthe Films Presents : AfterForever Trailer 2016
Outside TV Show: Locals – Touring Mammoth Lakes with Kimmy
Professional snowboarder, Kimmy Fasani, shows Cam McCaul around her home mountains of Mammoth, California. Their first stop is Rock Shoot where Cam gets in over his head snowboarding this massive couloir.
Amusement MTN: Part 1
Photo and Words: Mary Walsh- Snowboarder Magazine
Kimmy’s accolades in snowboarding run deep. She has a library of video parts to her name, has notched her fair share of park podiums and can claim a few NBDs, too. She is one of the most prolific backcountry riders in the world and regularly sends technical lines in Whistler, Japan, and on her home turf in the western United States. While this may sound like plenty to keep one person busy, Kimmy has taken things a step further, not only continually progressing her own snowboarding, but also working to create opportunity for other female riders alongside her success. To this end over the past three years, Kimmy has invited a group of women to the place she calls home, Mammoth Mountain, to participate in a week-long park progression session and photo shoot called Amusement Park. The events have been a collaboration between established icons like Hana Beaman, Elena Hight and Jamie Anderson and up and comers like Chloe Kim, Hailey Langland, and Danika Duffy, among others. Amusement Park is a manifestation of the “rising tide raises all ships” philosophy; an opportunity for female riders to feed off one another and each year, trick progression has surged for all involved. (To Read the rest of the article, click the photo above)
TWSNOW Releases ORIGINS: Snowboard Movie
Transworld Snowboarding just released Origins. This is the magazines new snowboard movie, and Kimmy is featured as the only female snowboarder. Click on the photo above to watch the teaser and to download this movie.
Amusement Park 2015 Full Recap with Video: Transworld Snowboarding Magazine
A few words from Annie Fast about Kimmy’s Amusement Park event: Kimmy Fasani’s career has spanned a decade, coming up through USASA Nationals in Tahoe, competing through pro contests, and then successfully transitioning into filming in the backcountry. Her career has been defined by progression and intention, but it hasn’t always been an easy ride, whether it was navigating sponsorship transitions, overcoming injuries, or the challenge of breaking new paths forward. Through it all Kimmy has always been in the driver’s seat and seemingly also co-pilot’s seat, shaping the pro snowboarding career that she envisioned for herself. Not an easy task and definitely not without risks, but she’s got a pretty high tolerance for risk as she continued to demonstrate this past week as she hosted her third annual Amusement Park in the Main Park at Mammoth Mountain—an event with the goal of celebrating snowboarding women’s progression. Read more by clicking the photo. Photo: Chris Wellhausen
Amusement Park 2015 Recap: Snowboarder Magazine
Words from Mary Walsh about Kimmy Fasani: Kimmy Fasani is petite, wiry and athletic, striking with soft laugh lines around her eyes. Her light brown hair, kept in check beneath a knit beanie, frames her face. She has an easy demeanor, like the close friend with whom you’ve grown up sharing adventures, or rather, the one you wish you had. In late April, with snow still on the ground outside and evening temperatures hovering in the fifties in California’s Eastern Sierras, Kimmy smiles widely as she addresses a group of two dozen female riders in the high-ceilinged den of a Mammoth chalet. The room feels electric with anticipation as Kimmy wholeheartedly welcomes everyone. Her presence belies her bantam stature; when she speaks, Kimmy is affably commanding, her eyes beaming with a passion and excitement that is dually contagious. At only five foot three, Kimmy’s energy fills up a room and then some.
It’s no surprise that this Tahoe-raised rider has an unequivocal presence. It’s one of the main characteristics that catalyzed her influential position in snowboarding. The fact is, when Kimmy Fasani sets out to do something, she doesn’t just tick it off her list, she knocks it out of the park. Cliched phrasing aside, this is evident in the arc of her professional career over the past decade, during which she has moved fluidly from NorCal am competitions, to park jump dominance, to backcountry lines, raising the bar with each drop she takes (first double backflips in both park and big mountain, influential video parts, pristine powder style, the list goes on). Her natural athleticism is enhanced by her dedication to her craft, but inasmuch as she has carved out her own impressive notch in the snow community, she sets herself apart even moreso by her dedication in bringing others along with her. While she’s far from the crescendo of her own career, for the past few years, Kimmy has steadily been leaving breadcrumbs for young riders to follow as they eek out paths of their own.
It is these factors that were the force behind the creation of Amusement Park, an event that Kimmy concocted three years ago with the help of her sponsors and her home resort, and the concept of this gathering is remarkably simple: a week-long photo shoot and progression session for female snowboarders of all stripes, from world class slope and pipe competitors (X Games and Olympic medalists), to veteran backcountry riders with a canon of influential video parts, and up and comers, both in the contest and video realms. Much more than just an opportunity to collect imagery and footage, Kimmy created her event as an in-season beacon to bring together echelons of women’s snowboarding to collaboratively share styles, instigate progression, to come together as a like-minded community. Pressure is cast aside as riders spend their days and evenings lapping and the outcome is not only impressive, but a really good time.
Read more by clicking the photo above. Photo: Peter Morning
Women’s Movement Interview: Amusement Park 15, Fear, and Progression
Here’s a piece of the interview. To read more click the photo above. Photo: Adam Moran
WM: How do you cope with fear (especially surrounding big tricks or scary lines)?
Kimmy Fasani: Fear is an emotion and it can take over your mind it you allow it to. I try to acknowledge my fears, figure out if I am in true danger or just nervous. I have found that if I focus on being in the moment, I am able to detach from my fears for the most part. Being conscious of my actions and calculated with my decision making also helps with that.
WM: Favorite place you’ve ever snowboarded?
Kimmy Fasani: I love spending time in the Eastern Sierras. This is where I live and there are so many amazing mountains to explore. Internationally I love the Alps because they are so big and ominous. I also really enjoy Japan in the early season because the snow quality is unlike anywhere else.
Elevation Outdoors Interview
Kimmy was featured in Elevation Outdoors
Transworld Business Interview: Tapping into Women’s Snowboarding in the Back Country
Read about how more women are tapping into the back country and why companies should make product designed for women. Click the photo to read the article. Photo: Justin Eeles
The Not Snowboarding Podcast: Rock Climbing, Marriage, Cooking
Listen to the Not Snowboarding Podcast to see what Kimmy’s season was like, how her marriage to pro skier Chris Benchetler works, and what to expect out of Kimmy’s Kitchen. Click the photo to listen to the podcast.
Snowboarder Magazine Gear Round Up SIA
Kimmy showing off the new active inspired first layers at the Burton Booth at SIA. Click the photo to read about the product.
Powder Couple: Ski Canada interview- Balancing Careers and Relationship
Take a moment to imagine the life of a professional skier or snowboarder. Visualize riding the best terrain, chasing snowstorms around the world and spending your 9-5 work day outdoors. Now, imagine traveling around the world and doing all that with your significant other. Chris Benchetler and Kimmy Fasani have just that life. Chris is a professional skier known for his innovative backcountry lines, while Kimmy is a contest rider turned backcountry rider, known for doing the first female double backflip in both the terrain park and in the backcountry. Not only do they spend their winters in the backcountry filming their sport as a career, but they also get to spend the off-season training and traveling together. Learn a little bit more about one of winter sports’ most awesome power (or powder) couples below… To read the full article click on the photo above. Photo: Alexandra Erickson
Life’s most defining moments almost always come in the face of adversity. How you handle the rough stuff is what makes you most, well, you. For pro snowboarder Kimmy Fasani, this challenging — and ultimately defining — moment came two years ago in the form of a cracked pelvis and fully blown knee (ACL, MCL and PCL) after a bad crash in the Mammoth park.
The road to recovery was brutal: three months bedridden and 11 months off snow. For a lesser athlete, it might have been career-ending. But during rehab, Fasani gathered her courage and took a hard look at her relationship to snowboarding. The result is a stronger, more determined rider who is much more in control of her mental game.
Fasani’s first full season back on snow was more than a trial run. It culminated with her very own full part in the “Burton Presents” series. (Mark McMorris is the only other rider with the honor of a stand-alone segment.) Here’s what she had to say about her season, her triumph over the fear demons, and the hard-won video part that just dropped online. To read the rest of the interview click the photo above. Photo: Blotto
Transworld Snowboarding Magazine Interview: Burton Presents
Burton Presents showcases snowboarding through the eyes of Burton’s team riders. This segment follows Kimmy Fasani as she gets back on her feet after a serious injury. A powder hound at heart, Kimmy’s positive spirit and work ethic shows in her willingness to climb back from injury and return to the mountains. Join her as she progresses through recovery and back to ripping while stacking impressive footage from the Whistler backcountry to the epic pow of Japan. To read the full interview Click on the photo above. Photo: Adam Moran
Snowboard Magazine Interview
Kimmy Fasani is a powerful ambassador for not only women’s snowboarding, but the overall wellbeing of our lifestyle. As the first woman to land a double backflip in both park and powder, her influence goes beyond the bindings with her involvement in B4BC and organizing her Amusement Park event at Mammoth Mountain, a place for women riders to come together and progress in a setting that encourages much more than it intimidates.For her new Burton Presents part we caught up to find out what is on the table for the female side of riding, plus what we can look forward to in the seasons to come. Click the photo above to read the full interview. Photo: Blotto
Burton Presents Is Live!
Burton Presents showcases snowboarding through the eyes of Burton’s team riders. This segment follows Kimmy Fasani as she gets back on her feet after a serious injury. A powder hound at heart, Kimmy’s positive spirit and work ethic shows in her willingness to climb back from injury and return to the mountains. To watch the video click on the photo above. Photo: Blotto
ESPN X-GAMES Interview about 2014 Season
“Back when I got hurt, I decided that when I came back I didn’t want to be the same person. I wanted to push my snowboarding further, I wanted to step outside my comfort zone — to hit the jumps I saw guys hitting…” To read more of this interview click on the photo above. Photo: Jesse Dawson
“I think women need to have a bigger platform and voice than they currently do in snowboarding. I have created Amusement Park so women have a session to progress their riding with a “no pressure” atmosphere. This event also gives women an opportunity to film, shoot photos, and get comfortable in that environment. Even though it’s a women’s focused event, there are a few awesome guys who come out to ride with us. My focus isn’t to segment women away from guys with this event, instead I just hope to shine the light on women and give them opportunities to showcase their abilities!” To read more from this interview click the photo above. Photo: Blotto
“Going through this season, I was trying not to have the expectation of what people were going to think. I had to focus on doing stuff because I wanted to and pushing myself because I wanted to. I had to be okay with the idea that if I got hurt again it was only because I was doing what I wanted to do, not because of outside pressure.” To read more from this interview click the photo above. Photo: Jesse Dawson
Transworld Gear Guide November 2014
Japan Tree riding Photo: Blotto
Pro Form Transworld Snowboarding: October 2014
Check out the newest Burton winter 2015 gear in the October issue of Transworld Sonwboarding or visit burton.com Photo: Erin Hogue
Check out the newest Burton winter 2015 gear in the October issue of Transworld Sonwboarding or visit burton.com Photo: Erin Hogue
Burton Presents Teaser Live: Introducing 9 web edits
The Burton Presents Teaser is Live… Stay tuned for Kimmy’s edit to be released November 18, 2014 on burton.com/ Click on this photo to watch the teaser!
Visit Mammoth: Explore Mammoth
“I just love adventuring outdoors and Mammoth offers a huge playground to do that,” Fasani said. “I really enjoy trail running because it’s agility and cardio combined. And mountain biking reminds me of a perfect powder day cruising down the mountain with your friends through the trees.” Read more here by clicking on the photo above
Pre-Season Fitness on BurtonGirls.com Part 1 and 2
Snowboarding may be seasonal, but staying fit isn’t. The more you prepare your body in the offseason, the harder you can ride during winter. The B Project is a Carlsbad, CA-based gym that helps many professional snowboarders strength train. Kimmy Fasani put us in touch with the B Project to bring you a Burton Girls exclusive preseason fitness series. This is the first article of the series, and the first of two that focuses on the hips. Click the photo to see more… Photo: Adam Moran
Clapway.tv Interview Part 2
Kimmy Fasani has made a name for herself in the world of snowboarding through hard work, dedication and an unswerving tenacity. She is constantly in pursuit of a challenge, although nothing thus far has put up a good enough fight to intimidate her. Here, Kimmy offers some tips on how to chase your dreams and successfully catch them. To read more of the interview click the above photo. Photo: Gabe L’Heureux
Clapway.tv Interview Part 1
Kimmy Fasani was shredding powder before some of us could properly walk. Her passion for snowboarding, combined with her love for adventure have taken her to where few women have dared to venture before. When she’s not busy snowboarding on the mountains, you can find her on your television screen, riding tough in the Whistler backcountry with some of the most well-known snowboarding legends. As one of only three professional women selected to work with Standard Films, you can bet Kimmy is a force to be reckoned with. Click the photo to read more of the interview. Photo: Blotto
Exclusive Sports Media Interview
Times are changing: women are taking a real interest in sports which they have not traditionally participated in, such as contact and extreme sports. Female snowboarder, Kimmy Fasani is at the forefront of it all. A ‘tough chick rider’, she is committed to promoting and improving opportunities for women in sport, especially in freestyle snowboarding. To Read more Click the Photo above. Photo: Adam Moran
Grind TV Online Feature: Biking and Climbing as Recovery and Rehab
Fantastic feats of athletic prowess often come with a high price of admission, and pro snowboarder Kimmy Fasani—who, in 2011, became the first woman snowboarder ever to land a double backflip in both the park and in powder—paid her dues with the first major injury of her career in December 2012 while riding park.
Fasani’s resulting torn knee ligaments and fractured pelvis forced the typically active rider to sit out the remainder of the 2012-’13 ski season. It was a mental and physical shock for someone who hadn’t missed a winter since she started sliding down the mountain on skis and then a snowboard during childhood. To read more click the photo above. Photo: Peter Morning
Snowboard Magazine: For the Love of Snowboarding Interview
Kimmy Fasani is one of those people you are just grateful to know. Yeah, sure, she’s one of the most bad ass female riders on the planet, but she’s also one of the nicest, most genuine, down to earth person you could ever meet. Another thing that makes Kimmy so special is her dedication and pure love for the sport and her desire to create arenas for women to shine. Kimmy took some time out during her annual Amusement Park all-women’s gathering to talk shop and about what it means for her to host the event. To read more click the photo above. Photo by Tim Peare
Burton Girls Ride Day At Mammoth Mountain: Burtongirls.com
“I think that one of the best ways to measure how our sport continues to progress is by looking at women who are taking their own paths and deciding for themselves what snowboarding means to them. At Kimmy Fasani’s Second Annual Amusement Park at Mammoth Mountain, CA, it was so special to see one of my favorite pro riders extend the snowboard experience to more than 80 women in one day. The result was one of the best Burton Girls’ Ride Days of the 2014 season.” Donna Carpenter To read more about how the ride day went, click the photo above. Photo: Adam Moran
Grind TV: Athletes Nutriton Discussion
“Right when I wake up, I drink about 16 ounces of water,” says Fasani. “Getting water in my system before breakfast makes me feel good and this way I start off each day hydrated.” Fasani satisfies her sweet tooth with the lemon blueberry cookies or salted caramel brownies from Mimi’s Cookie Bar in Mammoth Lakes, California, and tries to eat organically and buy locally. “I look at labels on everything I buy to make sure I’m getting foods with simple ingredients,” To read more click the photo above. Photo Peter Morning from the Burton Girls Ride Day
XGames.com Amusement Park Photo Gallery
This is the line up to hit the 55-foot channel gap, which was built on the back side of Mammoth Mountain. Though it may look intimidating, “It was a pretty standard sized jump for all of us and had a pretty poppy take-off,” says Fasani. “It did have a very easy transition to land on so there was hardly any consequence if you fell.
We wanted something safer so we could try new tricks.” To see more photos click the picture above. Photo Peter Morning.
Snowboard Magazine: Pure Progression Amusement Park Recap
There are things that evolve into something wonderful simply by chance. Kimmy Fasani’s Amusement Park definitely falls into that category. A few years back Kimmy threw around some ideas to her local resort, Mammoth Mountain, with the possibility of building a jump to try to land doubles on. She had landed in the backcountry, but it wasn’t until that spring in 2011, when Mammoth backed her, that she was able to focus and confidently test the waters. She invited a few friends to session with her and yep, ended up landing the double as imagined. Three years later the annual spring gathering has turned into Amusement Park— an all-girls invite-only private session, that’s all about progression, celebration and fun! To read more click the photo above.
AMUSEMENT PARK 14 Wraps: Transworld Snowboarding- Style Wins
Kimmy is back! Jumping into the sunset at Amusement Park. Her one goal, “If I could do one thing, I would give back to women’s snowboarding because of how much it’s given me. By creating this event, and making what it is now, that is my gift back to snowboarding.” Read the full recap by click on this photo or go to twsnow.com Photo: Chris Wellhausen
Mind Over Matter: How Kimmy Fasani Came Back- Transworld Snowboarding Magazine Interview
“…I learned the mind is a powerful thing. I am an athlete and I love being able to claim I am an athlete. This is what I do. This is who I am.” –Kimmy Fasani
Excerpt from Kelsey Smith: It’s early morning on Mammoth and with a break in the storm and fresh layer of snow on the ground, Kimmy leads us to a secret spot hidden in the trees, untouched by the crowds, protected from the wind. Meeting the moment. Serenity.
Rewind 14 months. I walked into Kimmy’s bedroom, her leg propped up, wrapped in a contraption of moving, breathing machinery. A smile on her face, nonetheless. She’s gotten out of surgery days before to repair every known ligament in her knee. Click the photo to read the rest of the interview at TWSNOW.com
Dispatches on Snowboarder Magazine: Mt. Baker with Photographer Aaron Blatt
Storm boarding at Mt. Baker with Burton Snowboards and photographer Aaron Blatt. Click the photo to read how the Banked Slalom turned into a fun week of Pow riding.
Burton [AK] Ad
Back Country Magazine Interview: by Monica Prelle
“Now it’s a matter of building back that strength, making sure that I get symmetry between my knees,” she says, “and not letting go of my passion for snowboarding and the mountains.” To read more about how Kimmy is rediscovering her passion for snowboarding click the photo above.
Purpose to Play Interview
Injuries can be a career ender for an athlete. Read this Purpose to Play interview by clicking the photo above to see how Kimmy used this injury as a way to overcome fear in order to get her back on snow stronger than before…
Snowboard Magazine Olympic Issue: My Olympic Dream article
Pick up a copy of the new Snowboard Magazine to read in depth articles about this year’s Olympics in Sochi, Russia. You’ll also find a multiple page article I wrote called My Olympic Dream: Slopestyle Making its Sochi Debut. To read this online, click the photo above.
Grind TV Interview: Mammoth Local Knowledge
Everything’s bigger in Mammoth—the mountains, the lodges, and perhaps most important, the talent. Case in point: Mammoth Lakes, California, resident Kimmy Fasani. The professional backcountry snowboarder was the first female to ever land a double back flip both in the park and the powder, both monumental ticks on the timeline of women’s snowboarding. She’s an avid mountain biker, surfer, and world traveler, but when it comes to the place she calls home, look no further than the massive resort area on the Eastern Sierra peaks. Here, Fasani gives us an insider’s look at her home turf… Read more by clicking on the photo above!
Burton Presents Women’s [Snowboarding]
Burton put together a video documenting the women’s team. Click on this photo to watch the movie.
Road to Recovery Part 2: Specialized Video- Pushing Her Limits
Kimmy discusses the ways biking has helped her recovery. Click the photo to watch the new video!
Specialized Ambassador: Rumor Mountain Bike– Video 1
Kimmy rides a Specialized Ruby road bike to stay in shape during the off-season, and now she rides in the mountains year-round on the new Specialized Rumor mountain bike (when not on her board). Follow Kimmy’s story as she overcomes injury, improves her fitness and discovers the joys of mountain biking. Click the photo to watch the video telling her story. Photo: Sterling Lorence
Kimmy Fasani’s Amusement Park is Official
Kimmy Fasani’s Amusement Park is officially an event!! Check out the dispatches on Snowboardermagazine.com for photos (or click the photo above). An amazing group of ladies showed up and shredded! Photo: Peter Morning
Tahoe Snowboard Magazine Interview
4 Page interview in Tahoe Snowboard Magazine.
Freestyle Japan Magazine: Burton Girls
6 page interview in Freestyle the Japan magazine. Featuring, Kimmy, Kelly Clark, and Yuki. Burton Girls trip to ride powder.
White Noise: Snowboarder Magazine
Kimmy Fasani is one of the most dominant female riders that snowboarding has ever seen. Much like her elders, Fasani learned how to travel in backcountry terrain safely while picking up other essential tidbits of info, like building jumps. The only difference is that Kimmy’s off-piste sisters didn’t have the luxury of learning from a legend like Devun Walsh, and this has given Fasani quite the advantage and has aided exponentially in her rise to fame. Currently laid up with a knee injury, Kimmy is healing fast and will be ready to ride in no time. We’re sure she’s gonna come back stronger than ever, and we thought she’d be a perfect fit to take some of her downtime to clue us in on her favorite music picks in this White Noise. – T.Bird (To see all Kimmy’s top picks for music click the photo above)
Mind, Body, Green Interview
A few questions and answers about Kimmy’s training and health regimens. Click the photo to read the interview.
Lucky Magazine: Extreme Cold Skin Care
“It has officially reached that point of the winter when, despite my rigorous skincare routine, there seems to be no remedy for my increasingly dry, itchy skin.
Since I can’t resort to total hibernation and warmer temperatures and humidity (which I never thought I’d miss) are at least two months away, I turned to super-cool pro snowboarder Kimmy Fasani for some skincare tips.”
Who better to ask, after all, than someone who voluntarily spends her winter days outside facing the elements?
Click on the above photo to see Kimmy’s 10 must-have products… Elemental Herbs, Clinique, Aveeno, Alba, are just a few of the must have products.
Transworld Snowboarding Magazine Cover
Kimmy’s on the cover of the 1st issue of TWSnow. Please go to http://snowboarding.transworld.net/2012-team-shoot-out/ to vote for your favorite Team Shootout cover, photos, and video. Hint: Burton AK! 🙂
Teen Vogue Interview
pro snowboarder kimmy fasani on chasing snow and landing double backflips in addition to being one of the leading women riders in the sport, this burton athlete has a college degree, co-owns a cookie bar, and always makes time for gossip girl.
Burton Welcomes Kimmy Back: [AK] Global Team Rider
“Sometimes in life good things come full circle… like Kimmy Fasani riding for Burton again! Kimmy is one of the most on-point, professional, kind, caring, hard-working, determined, overall amazing people I have ever met or had the pleasure of working with. Kimmy being back on Burton is a dream come true! Please read on as Kimmy talks about her big career move, snowboarding & life in general. Welcome back Kimmy!” To read more click the photo above…