FROM THE WITHITGIRL ARCHIVE: Story by Jessie Cohen
Photo Credits: Cara Beth Burnside by Embry Brucker, Tomoko Yamakoshi by Mark Welsh
Since I first stepped on a snowboard at the age of 12, I've done my best to support the slow but ever-progressing evolution of snowboard products aimed at women. Several years Into my search I had the grim realization that most of these products were made with cheaper materials and had more to do with companies making money off of boards that looked "girly" than actually making a product that functioned at 100% for the female rider.
Now, almost a decade later, I've seen my share of pretty boards with flowers and butterflies. After practically giving up on the hope of finding a woman's board that was made as well as any other, I think there are a few ladies up in Oregon who are definitely on to something.
Backed by some of the best in the industry, Chorus Snowboards are being served up as fresh and tasty as your holiday dinner. The story has it that rider (and apparently businesswoman extraordinaire) Leslee Olson teamed up with some of the most accomplished female riders in the industry. Together the girls came up with the idea of a company that defied the stereotypes and would make women's snowboards different than any we had seen before. So ladies, say adios to the flimsy chattery planks so many of us have grown accustomed to. Now what was once only an idea for the future has become a reality, and these girls have set some new and very high standards of what a woman's board should be.
Having an all-female snowboard company is not a new idea, but having a board designed by women who kick ass, for women who kick ass, is a definite first, not to mention a very, very BIG deal.
Using the same concepts with their snowboards as deodorant companies use with their roll-on, Chorus Snowboards are made strong enough for a man but, well, PH-balanced for a woman. Besides having the company financially supported by one of the top companies (M3) Olson came together with riders like Janna Meyen, Roberta Rogers, Tomo Yamakoshi, and legendary ripper Cara-Beth Burnside, to not only ride the boards but also to truly believe in them.
Cara-Beth, who has been one of the most influential women in snowboarding, told me it's been one of the best things she has ever done, and coming from an Olympic medal winner with more than 15 years under her belt, those are some big words. "It is so good to be on a team that supports and pushes each other and that I want to travel with and to be on a board with my name associated with that I actually ride and am stoked on."
Besides having a rockin' team, Chorus is the first company to truly prove that women don't just want a squishy narrow plank with a flower on it. They get the point - there are lots of girls who ride and most of those girls want a board as tough as they are. Although there are some women's companies floating around out there, it's fair to say Chorus is the first to say "no thanks" to the path already taken.
Visually you'll be stoked that these boards lean far away from the typical girly board of the past. They were designed as boards the team riders would want to ride. The graphics are simple and unique.
Each of the five boards has a different character graphic followed by a word chosen by the rider of that board - like strength, respect, and determination.
The boards themselves offer custom flex, freestyle directional shape, long edging (great for park and pipe), and a stone ground base finish with wood core.
If you need yet another reason to take a peek at Chorus this season, Roberta Roger said it best, "I like my board not just cuz it rides well but because it's showing support to a bigger cause of inspiring each other on the team and other girls coming up. So be down for the cause!"
If you're like me, you realize how very important companies like this are to us gals. Our demands have finally been met. No more businessmen in their business suits trying to design some marketing gimmick.
These boards are made for girls who ride, by girls who ride. Now the only question left is whether or not to let your boyfriend take it for a run when he begs...nah.
Group shot by Trevor Graves
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