Being in the mountains is where I feel like my truest self and snowboarding has been my outlet to a peaceful mind and a fulfilled heart since I was 9 years old. Over the course of the past two decades, I have ben an integral part of the progression of women’s snowboarding. Initially by pushing myself to learn new tricks, in the terrain park and backcountry. As my credibility grew within the industry, I found myself standing up for equality by asking to be on male dominated film crews, like Standard Films.
Ultimately, showing that women can progress when we are provided equal opportunities as our male counterparts. I created the Amusement Park and Amusement Mountain events to help expedite women’s learning curve and progression in snowboarding. After winning rider of the year, I became a mom, and a vocal ambassador to encourage the action sports industry to include verbiage in contracts to support athletes ability to balance motherhood.
And by trail and error, I learned to be a mother and athlete, I have been able to continue my passion-filled career while sharing the outdoors with family. Most recently, I have been transparently sharing my journey through stage 3 breast cancer, after having my second baby, hoping to bring more awareness to the benefits of early detection and self-checks.
Additionally, I am an entrepreneur, an author, a real estate agent, as well as an ambassador for causes I care about like AndMother, B4BC, Protect Our Winters. Since becoming a mom my career path has changed in so many ways, but embracing life and its evolution has made me even more inspired to be passionate and driven.
I grew up in Truckee, CA and when I was 9 years old my mom surprised me with my first snowboard for Christmas. I quickly found a deep love for the sport and began competing nationally at 15 years old. After high school I moved to Mammoth Lakes, CA and the next year I met my now husband, professional skier, Chris Benchetler. While balancing my amateur snowboarding career I also obtained my bachelors degree in marketing. Through the next handful of years I battled injuries, poor contest result, and fell short with prestigious award nominations. Nevertheless, my perseverance and love for the mountains led me to stay motivated and determined to succeed in a male dominated sport.
In 2011, I made history and became the first woman to land a double backflip in the terrain park. And by 2016 I was at the peak of my professional snowboarding career. I had earned a cover of a prestigious endemic snowboard magazine, I won rider and video part of the year, I was one of the few women to film with Absinthe Films as well as be featured in dozens of other film segments and magazines. All the while, I was giving back to causes I was passionate about like Boarding for Breast Cancer, Protect Our Winters, as well as founding a women’s progression event called Amusement MTN.
While I was feeling proud of the career I had built as a professional athlete, there were many peaks and valleys that I had endured to get there. I lost my dad from cancer when I was 14 years old and snowboarding was my escape. In the middle, of my career I had a life changing knee injury and was told I should never snowboard again. And just after winning rider of the year, my mom, who I was incredibly close with, passed away from cancer. After giving my career so much attention and priority, and after juggling all the ups and downs in my personal life, Chris and I decided it was time to start a family of our own.
In 2017, I became a voice for women in action sports when I announced my pregnancy and encouraged my sponsors to support me in my next chapter, by advocating for change in their verbiage in contracts to included pregnancy and maternity clauses. In March of 2018 we welcomed our first son, Koa. We proceeded to travel and balance our careers, visiting 7 countries in that next year with our baby in tow. I was featured in Fire On The Mountain, a Grateful Dead inspired film that Chris produced. And as I continued my career, I partnered with And Mother, a non profit created to break down the barriers for women athletes as they become mothers.
In 2020, I became a published author of the book The Mountain Baker. And as I was pursuing my career as a professional athlete and getting my real estate license to pursue something that had always been a passion of mine, we also welcomed our second son, Zeppelin!
Then I felt a bump in my right breast, and I was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive inflammatory breast cancer. Life spun a complete 180; I underwent 10 months of treatment, including 6 rounds of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, and 30 rounds of radiation. Thankfully, I had a complete pathological response to chemo and surgery.. (fingers crossed I remain cancer free)!
To celebrate, we launched Benchetler Fasani Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) Non-profit organization, to help provide a connection for others who have been through hardship or loss, to the healing properties of nature. Overall, I hope that sharing my journey through life, can inspire others to be themselves, be creative, be fearless, persevere, and to enjoy the healing benefits of the outdoors.
What People Are Saying About Me
“Kimmy’s drive to be one of the best athletes and a very dedicated and present mother will inspire anyone.”– Chris Benchetler– Professional skier/husband
“She’s broken countless boundaries in snowboarding both on and off the hill…Now, she’s breaking yet another major boundary in the sport – remaining a professional snowboarder through motherhood. We can’t wait to see what stereotypes and boundaries she breaks next.”– Donna Carpenter– owner Burton Snowboards
“Kimmy creates some of the best food I’ve ever had. I am a chef who is always happy to eat whatever she makes! And her parties are legendary, she is the queen of entertaining.”– Mimi Council– Author/Entrepreneur