Soph: Overall how can you best explain the women’s ski/ board scene in the UK/ what are your opinions of women in this sport in the UK? Ali: Very up and coming, we have some very strong riders that are from the UK who have taken it abroad and to big competitions but there is still so much room for more girls on the scene
-Tell us about your experiences of freestyle in the UK. Are you an aspiring Pro? on the GB team? Sponsored? Newbie? Just a plain ski enthusiast? How often do you ski? How often do you go away? I am a self-confessed freestyle addict, I ski as much as I can Thursdays and Fridays and two weeks away – one in the summer and one in the winter and I try to get to competitions mainly because it’s another excuse to ski at the weekend.
-Where do you see yourself and skiing in 5 years time? Hopefully I would have taken my tricks to bigger features and just progressed at the same rate I have this last year since I started and really have style.
-What does skiing mean to you? I live and breathe skiing. I would go crazy if I couldn’t do it especially if I had to take up another hobby like tiddlywinks or something.
– Do you think there is a lot of coaching/ support behind women who want to progress/ learn this sport in the UK? I don’t really think there is much coaching support for women (well not that I have seen) I think there is a lot of room to have girls only courses. I think there is a lot of general support but only once you are well and truly in the sport. Although, I had a fantastic coach who has been super supportive and built the solid foundations to my tricks.
– Do you think male opinion makes a difference/ effects women? I think that it can make a huge difference to some women but I find that the guys are generally quite enthusiastic about having more girls on the scene but that might be for another reason now I come to think of it…
– Do you think there is more coaching/ support available for men? I guess so in terms of sponsors
-What is involved in your training regime? Diet, Gym, outside exercise, other sports, balance etc? Compared to other sports do you think people don’t realise how intense training can be for freestyle skiing? If I am honest skiing is my exercise, I do a little wakeboarding and I live on a farm so physically I get all I need. If I were to step up my training I would definitely consider eating a specific diet as long as I didn’t have to cut out chocolate and I might even go to the gym but I do know how much the pros have to do and I don’t think people outside of skiing see that at all.
– Do you think there should be more coaching/ camps/ competitions available in the UK for girls only? Yeah definitely it would be really good to spend more time hanging out with other girl riders, especially as we are pretty good at encouraging each other. I think we could have a UK version of 9 queens but not so serious and loads more of us, with an after party!
– What are your opinions on the huge debate in the industry that there should/ shouldn’t be smaller jumps for women in competitions? That’s really really difficult because on the one hand there are some girls who dominate on the big stuff and as a bit of a tomboy I hate the idea that I am seen as any different let alone weaker but on the other hand girls might feel more confident to throw down some of their tekkier tricks on a smaller kicker and after a few painful accidents I am terrified of that big wall of snow (in a snowdome anyway)
– What is your opinion on Indoor Snowdomes- do they help progress or hinder the sport in the UK? Definitely help the sport, the more there are the more accessible they are, I have been away on two freestyle only trips with guys I have met at the snowdome. It gives people flexibility.
Ali regularly rides at Hemel Snowdome where they hold Thursday and Friday freestyle nights.
– Do you think Snowdomes can sometimes be intimidating for new riders? Yes, even on progression nights, I think there should be a skill level rating for beginners’ courses so that you can get comfortable on the most baby features to get rid of that fear before you move on to rails and 360s and stuff.
– What are your opinions on Indoor slopestyle courses and the way they are built? Great as they are? Improvements? Do you think they can sometimes cause injury due to flat landings etc? Flat landings are the worst thing in the world next to brussels sprouts and wasps! Also when features are too close together (narrow and distance).
– What are your opinions on girls edits? Do you think more girls should be filming? We have some pretty rad girls coming out of our country, do you think an all girls ski edit from the UK would be well received? Yeah I think every girl should have an edit, it’s good for feedback and eventually sponsors and if you are feeling down about your riding you can look at an old edit and laugh. I definitely think there should be an all girls ski edit from the uk, I would watch it and I think it would inspire others to take up the sport, not sure how well it would be received beyond the UK, I would hope it would be enjoyed.
– What are you opinions on other opportunities for girls in the industry – filming, writing, editing, and designing? They are very limited because it’s not a big sport but if a girl wants to go out and do those things there is nothing stopping her form achieving them all!
– What’s your favourite outerwear style? Do you think there should be more girls only outerwear company’s? And extras… I like my clothes big and baggy (not super baggy) but that might be my farming roots shining through. A girls only outerwear might make some girls feel more feminine and therefore more at ease but I think it creates a barrier between the guys and girls, like yorkies chocolate.. I’m not sure if I am allowed to eat one or not?? Companies who already have girls’ clothing who expand their range would do better than an all girls company
Favourite trick? -favourite resort? -favourite slopestyle skier/ boarder? -favourite rail skier/ boarder? -favourite skier/boarders style? -Favourite big mountain skier/boarder? -Favourite female skier/boarder?
So many tricks!! My favourite trick to watch is the very simple switch back flip, sometimes people try and grab too much, style over substance for skiing for me. Again very difficult, got to love woodsy though. Favourite in rails has to be Andreas Hatveit – unreal! Style Maude Raymond and probably favourite female skier overall