A pioneer in women’s snowboarding, Leanne Pelosi thrives on fresh powder. Leanne is a sponsored athlete that tours the world in search of Mother Nature’s best terrain. Her contributions to the progression of women’s snowboarding are significant and she’s still continually pushing the sport’s boundaries. When not on her snowboard or filming others as a videographer, Leanne advocates for sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint with the non-profit organization Protect Our Winters. Since International Women’s Day is fast approaching, Leanne shared with us her inspiration and insight on how the sport of female snowboarding is growing.
Vega: How do you continue to push new boundaries for yourself and the sport of snowboarding?
Leanne: The most exciting part about snowboarding at a high level is being able to come up with a creative idea, something that hasn’t been done before, and then executing it. Of course it’s always scary the first time, especially if you think of what can go wrong! It’s a constant mental game of warding off fear and knowing your ability to do something great. I usually visualize a trick in my mind from several angles looking at a jump, cliff, and all other factors. This raises my comfort level and gives me confidence. I also listen to my instinct to know if something is right or not. The fear of sluffing, avalanches, cornice breaks, obstacles, flat landings, having the right speed, grabbing my board and executing the trick all come into play but once I have made the decision to hit a feature, I just focus on the good things. Sometimes you surprise yourself with landing things you never thought you could. The mind is the most powerful tool in my snowboarding for sure! And if all else fails, get up and try again.
Vega: Women have reached new heights in snowboarding in the last 10 years. What do you think the next step is?
Leanne: We are on the right path. Women are killing it right now in all their respective disciplines. From Jamie Anderson’s gold medal run at the Olympics, to Danyalle Patterson’s street riding, to Marie France Roy in the backcountry, to Elena Hight in the pipe, there are too many amazing women doing great things on their snowboards to name them all. It’s so inspiring and I think the next step is just pushing for more coverage so that the next generation of girls will have someone to look up to. There can always be more stories and pictures in the snowboard magazines with women, and I think sometimes we are left out. I especially admire the girls who are creating their own destiny by producing their own films, going on trips and just making it happen for themselves. The industry is taking note.
Vega: Tell us more about Protect our Winters—what can we all do to save the snow?
Leanne: Besides little things like turning the lights off, not idling your car, or recycling, you can start to get involved politically. The main focus for our generation needs to be to take a standpoint politically so that our government can make some changes to legislation. The bigger we voice our opinions, the more the government will have to be forced into doing something to reduce emissions. It would be nice to see more renewable energy technology being used for a more sustainable future. You can join Protect Our Winters here.
Vega: How do you use media to enhance the sport and introduce others to the sport?
Leanne: Snowboarding is a lifestyle and also an amazing community to be a part of. I think having fun is the main factor that sells the sport. Who doesn’t want to surf powder? I post often on instagram and twitter and am currently filming my own webisode series that will air on SnowboarderMag.com this fall.
Vega: How do you stay fit when there isn’t snow on the ground?
Leanne: I love being outside and having fun so I usually try to surf as much as I can in the summer. When I’m in and around North Vancouver, I love hiking with my dog in the North Shore mountains, along with stand-up paddle boarding, yoga and mountain biking.
Vega: Are there any Vega products you can’t live without?
Leanne: I keep a Chocolate SaviSeed protein bar in my pocket in the backcountry and in my purse at all times for when I’m on the road.
Vega: In your words what does it mean to Thrive?
Leanne: You will only get the best out of yourself when you’re passionate about something and following your dreams to make them a reality every single day.
Check out some of Leanne’s moves here!