A few years ago, a lot of us got excited about Lynsey Dyer’s Pretty Faces, a ski movie made by – and featuring – women skiers. That’s because ski movies typically belong to men. The numbers back this up. In 2014, the Pretty Faces Kickstarter website posted that even though women make up around 40% of the skiing population and about 30% of the adventure sports film viewership, only 14% of the athletes in major ski films were female. And this was a record of female representation, up from 9% the previous season.
If you’re thinking about taking a women’s clinic, you’re in luck; there are plenty to choose from. They’ve pretty much become a staple in resort ski school offerings. Why? Well, a lot of women prefer learning in a testosterone-free environment. Women’s clinics focus on building skills and confidence while providing the camaraderie that comes from skiing in a group of women and working with skilled female instructors. Research actually shows that women are more supportive and men more competitive in a learning situation. And this can carry over to the ski hill, too.
Remembering our moms is important. They give us life, bring us up, and then bravely, inevitably, let us go. But this Mother’s Day, let’s give a special shout-out to the Ski Moms. After all, it’s the Ski Moms who make sure everyone has the hats, goggles, ski pants, boots, etc. they need on the slopes. Who dress and undress the kids. Assemble the lunches. Haul the equipment. Harbor a secret stash of tissues/sun block/chap stick/energy bars for that unavoidable emergency. Accommodate multiple bathroom breaks and all the dressing and undressing that goes with them. Provide encouraging words after a fall
Really, it’s not up to us. This is something for the International Ski Federation (FIS) to decide. Still, it’s an interesting discussion that’s been going on for a while – at least since 2012, when Lindsey raised the idea of competing against the men at Lake Louise. At the time, the FIS rejected her request, saying “one gender is not entitled to participate in races of the other” and that “exceptions will not be made to the FIS Rule.”