An Interview With Kimmy Fasani
AN INTERVIEW WITH KIMMY FASANI
By Taylor Boyd, Seattle, WA: Kimmy is an incredibly genuine person. It doesn’t take much time around her to realize her actions are deliberate and when she says something, she means it. She’s also quite talented on a snowboard. Kimmy’s been in the game for a while, but being the first woman to land a double backflip catapulted her into the snowboard limelight, while her parts in Standard Films’ TB 20 and 2112 proved she was far more than a one-trick-wonder. Then she got injured.
After taking a season off to recover, she came back and filmed this part for the Burton Presents series. Is it as gnarly as her segments in the Standard videos? No. But what this part demonstrates is that Kimmy is snowboarding for snowboarding’s sake and making decisions that will allow her to return to a level of progression beyond the high bar she’s already set for herself and other female backcountry riders.
While Kimmy was in town for the Grand Opening of our Portland store, we managed to squeeze in these few questions as we drove through the city. Enjoy her part above and check out the interview below.
What are you doing in Portland?
I’m up here for the evo store opening.
How did you get connected with evo?
I got connected with evo through my husband, Chris (Benchetler). I like being connected to a store that has such a big reach, but also a vision beyond selling product. It’s about connecting the consumer to the sports they love.
What was the hardest part about coming back from being injured: the mental block, or physically, the lack of time on a board?
Both were equal. Mentally, I did a lot when I was recovering. Because I had a year off-snow, I tried to do as many other activities as possible that challenged my mind and built a tolerance to fear so that when I got back on a snowboard it didn’t seem so scary. Physically, the most challenging thing for me was toward the end of the season because my knee didn’t have a tolerance to do more than two to three days on snow. So, every time I hit three days in a row, no matter what the weather was, I had to take a day off to let my leg rest. Let’s say you only get eight bluebird days a season up in Whistler — all of a sudden I miss two of them as mandatory rest days and I’ve missed a lot of film time. I really had to listen to my body because I knew that time (spent resting) would pay off because I would be stronger after.
Given that you weren’t at 100%, how would you describe your overall approach to riding this season?
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.
You’re known for your double — did you go upside down twice this year?
Honestly, I haven’t done another double since before my injury. Two years ago was the last time I did it. I didn’t even think about doing it this year because I was struggling with all the basics, so that was the last thing on my mind. Progression, to me, is an aspect of the sport that happens when you’re feeling at your absolute best. This year was a really big building year for me, so hopefully that progression comes back into my career for next year
There’s been a lot of doom and gloom snowboard talk lately, about the internet killing videos, online retail killing the core shop, and so on. But what’s the most positive thing you see happening in snowboarding right now?
I think the most positive thing happening in snowboarding right now is that athletes are bringing it back to the roots, bringing the focus back to style and creativity and doing it simply for the passion and pleasure of it – projects like Pathology – things that are just bringing friends together to celebrate snowboarding. I think that’s been a huge push this year especially since the Olympics, just bringing snowboarding back to what’s important — having fun!
When you bring up the Olympics, are you saying that because certain athletes were rewarded for stylish (as opposed to technical) runs, that is paving the way for others to focus on style in a contest setting, or are you referring to some of the aspects of the Olympics that were not so favorable for snowboarding, pushing riders to go the other direction entirely and shift their focus outside of the contest realm?
I think the Olympics can bring out a level of progression that stresses riders out and can take a lot of the fun out of riding. Once the Olympics passed, it seemed like a lot of those riders just decided to shred in a creative and fun way, like they had less pressure on them since that event was over.
You mention Pathology, and I would agree fully that those guys represent the type of riding you’re talking about, but are there any other crews that you look at as embodying more fundamentals-oriented snowboarding with a focus on creativity?
That’s hard – those guys I feel like do it well, just because they are such a unified group of friends. But really any crews that are out snowboarding in the mountains having fun, that’s amazing. The Manboys, for instance, seem like they have a great vibe going on, but really just people that embrace the mountains and take it upon themselves to document and show that in a creative way. On the girls’ side there are projects out there that are creating momentum for other girls to come up, like what Leanne Pelosi is doing, or Hana Beaman, showing girls what it takes, but also bringing girls like Elena Hight out with them and showing them the ropes in the backcountry.
Is there a video part that sticks out in your mind as influential to you while you were coming up?
My biggest influence when I was little was Devun Walsh. I loved his style. I thought he was such a cool snowboarder and I really loved his part in The Resistance; that’s something that still sticks in my head, just sitting in my room watching that movie. But there were so many; I loved Tara Dakides in Stand and Deliver and Kevin Jones. There are so many that I can’t even name. Every single one of those movies – I would count down the days until it was gonna be released at the store and I would go and grab it, and that was kind of my reward. That’s what I would spend my allowance on.
What direction do you see snowboarding heading for you?
For me, I just hope I can chase the big mountain dream, you know? I still want to be able to do a lot of things in the backcountry that I haven’t even been able to get my feet wet doing and I want to be able to ride some bigger lines. I’ve been able to film with my husband and that’s opened up a big opportunity because he sees the mountains in such a different way. I think just taking every day for what it is and appreciating the mountains and not necessarily having to go deeper and further but just being able to embrace what’s out there even if it’s in your backyard.
Was that a Jeremy Jones reference?
No, haha. Those words just go together as part of exploring the backcountry. I guess he did a good job naming his movies.
Will we ever see a rail in one of your parts?
You know, I’ve never been that strong on rails and for a while I wanted a really well rounded video part, but for me, my biggest passion is just being out in the mountains riding powder. I know that sounds like such a luxury, but there’s a lot of work that goes into it and I want to dedicate all the time I can to learning more out there.
Thanks, Kimmy. Wanna give us the sponsor list?
Follow Kimmy on Instagram: @kimmyfasani