[ Webseries: Sidetracked ]
Completed Fall 2015: in partnership with Snowboard Magazine
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SideTracked is a 7-part web series based on each rider’s passion besides snowboarding that compliments their outdoor lifestyle. Featuring: Leanne Pelosi, Annie Boulanger, Helen Schittini, Jamie Anderson, Robin Van Gyn, Marie-France Roy & Hana Beaman
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Annie Boulanger has it figured out. Continuously bouncing between between tropical, surf-laden locales and snowy backcountry destinations, the Whistler-based snowboarder is living a life enviable by anyone with a shared love of the mountains and ocean. She’s on a permanent vacation, and not the kind with an emphasis on lounging around sipping umbrella drinks or spiked cocoa.
At home or traveling, Annie is getting after it. It shows in her ability charge double overhead surf and big-mountain lines with confidence uncommon for someone of either gender. But what Annie has accomplished in her journeys around the globe goes beyond surfing or snowboarding. Traveling to her is as much about meeting people and experiencing new cultures as it is barrels or descents.
ROBIN VAN GYN
Aside from your beacon, probe and shovel, the most valuable assets you can take with you in the backcountry are knowledge and sound common sense. Robin Van Gyn understands that the repercussions of one small oversight, mistake or distraction can be disastrous, thus she has outfitted herself with the tools necessary to stay safe in the wilderness. Robin just wants to ride powder; there’s no arguing with that.
Eating well is an easy thing to overlook, and Helen Schettini learned in the most frustrating way possible: with injuries. It’s a practice that takes time and a conscious effort to achieve, two barriers that, when paired with money, can make it difficult to do. But it isn’t impossible, as Helen’s experience can prove.
Even on a four and a half week trip to Italy, her and Full Moon crew resisted the temptation to indulge in the country’s eating culture. So with the conversation around snow safety and balance, healthy eating absolutely deserves recognition as being equally important.
Snowboarding has the potential to give us access to the natural world in ways that many other activities can’t. A backcountry expedition is the pinnacle of this, but you don’t have to climb a remote mountain to realize how special the environment is that we ride in. It is something worth preserving. Marie-France Roy passionately believes this and has a message that can be relatable to anyone: do you part, however small or seemingly insignificant it may be. You don’t need to drive an electric car, power your home using solar energy and make your clothes from scratch to show that you care about the environment. Drink water from a reusable bottle, make an effort to recycle, ride a or walk to work if you can. Small things go a long way when the masses participate. That’s Marie’s message, and it’s something that you can easily attain. You just have to try to do the little things.
The life of a professional snowboarder is a hectic existence — one not entirely conducive to health. Sure, it’s good exercise, but living out of a suitcase doesn’t lend itself to healthy eating, adequate rest or generally having enough time to think. As someone who’s spent a decade or so living that hectic existence, Jamie Anderson has learned what it takes for her to remain balanced
Snowboarding has a way of opening the mind to creative influence. What tricks you do, the line you take, where you slash or don’t slash, it’s all unique to you. For Hana Beaman, her spark off the mountain comes designing the space in which she lives. Just as she looks at terrain in the backcountry, she visualizes how a living room can be transformed or how a certain piece of furniture can be the focus point. What you can take from this is how important it is to have other creative outlets in our lives. Change your perspective every once in a while, everything doesn’t always have to be about snowboarding.
Campers rule. In professional snowboarding, having the mobility to follow the snow around is essential and Leanne Pelosi has a setup that’s all-time. Sharing it with DWD frontman Jeff Keenan and dog Keita, their Bigfoot camper promotes a life outdoors. It simplifies everything. Less space, less things, and a stronger connection to the natural world.