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Thursday, September 23, 2010
Updated: September 24, 4:19 PM ET
Anything but standard


Among the dozens of snowboard videos that are debuting this fall, Standard's "The Storming" took on a challenge that no other film company set out to conquer: offer a headlining segment to an entire crew of women. Erin Comstock, Leanne Pelosi, Hana Beaman, Raewyn Reid and Kimmy Fasani are five of the Standard faces in this year's production, which includes a roster of power riders such as Torstein Horgmo, Kazu Kokubo and Xavier De Le Rue.

In this six-minute ladies segment these five heavy-hitters venture around the world to prove that they're anything but standard. Check out the exclusive ESPN ladies-segment remix if you don't believe us.

ESPN: Do you think it's important for the average woman riders to form bonds with each other on the snow?
Erin Comstock
Erin Comstock:
I think it's huge to have a crew of women to snowboard with. Each female rider has a trick that another one can't do, and it's gonna push that girl to not be so timid. I hope this segment can open up women's eyes about the potential that's out there for women.

Where did your riding improve over the last year?
Comstock:
In my confidence. I was able to hit bigger backcounty jumps, bigger gaps and bigger ledges. Most of my improvement was just bigger -- applying the basics to every trick. I filmed with Heikki Sorsa most of the year, and the chemistry filming with him was really positive. That whole mind block that I've dealt with in the past was gone. Heikki was so confident that he put confidence in me. I'm grateful that he let a girl come film with him.

Leanne, you played a big role in Runway Films. Where do you see the direction of women's snowboard videos going, now that Runway isn't around?

Leanne Pelosi

Leanne Pelosi: When we decided to shut down Runway Films, I was questioning what was going on with the women's side of the sport. I didn't know if the guys would embrace the women and put them in their movies or not. When Standard said they were putting all these girls in the film, I was worried they were gonna cut our segment short. But when Travis [Robb, of Standard] showed us the footage, I was completely shocked and so happy. I feel lucky to be with a company that supports us and realizes that it's not just guys who snowboard. This is the first time ever that a video has given a big chunk of time to a women's part. It's much needed progress.

Were there moments that tested your limits filming with Standard?
Pelosi:
Hana, me and Kimmy went to Alaska this spring, and it was unimaginable. I've ridden for ten years all around the world. Even if you've been to every other mountain in the world, you go to AK and you're thinking, "Holy s---. These mountains are so big! The helicopter is gonna land on that?!" Standing on top of a mountain in Alaska was a learning curve to the max. We progressed mentally because we weren't prepared for such extremes. I was thinking, "What am I doing here? I should be pushing an office job." But we'd get to the bottom and want to do it all over again. We went through a whole cycle of emotions.

What helped you get through those tough lines in Alaska?
Pelosi:
We had an amazing filmer, and he trusted our crew. He would tell us what to look out for and where our safe points were. Once you're on the top of one of these mountains, you can't back out. You know the consequences, but you can't think of it as a matter of dying or not. You just figure out how to do it right and get to the bottom. You have to trust your crew because they're the ones on the walkie-talkies guiding you through the terrain.

Hana, did your perspective on snowboarding change after filming with Standard?

Hana Beaman

Hana Beaman: The Alaska trip changed my whole outlook on snowboarding in general. It was a rough season mentally just to keep going because it was so stop-and-go. To get to Alaska and have this whole, new world open up and experience this new way of snowboarding revived my love for riding. I have this new outlook of what I want to do with snowboarding. Alaska was fully a soul trip for me. I was riding for myself. It felt so good and made my heart start beating again.

Were there times that tested your limits?
Beaman:
Throughout the season there were a lot of moments that were mentally challenging. Like, going out with the guys and sitting for days on end waiting for a storm to clear. I thought this year was the hardest, filming with different crews and trying to find features in a new area and make it work. It taught me a lot about patience.

There's a little snowmobile mishap in The Storming that involves some pretty big flames. Tell us about that.
Kimmy Fasani
Kimmy Fasani:
Well, we were really craving s'mores and no one had matches so I decided to start a bonfire. [laughs] Actually, I don't really know what caused the fire. All I do know is I looked down and the flame was hip-high. I tried to put the fire out, but the oilcan had already caught on fire and there was nothing I could do. We just had to sit there for about three hours and watch my snowmobile burn.

Where did you improve the most last season?
Fasani:
Filming with Standard taught me how important confidence and motivation are in snowboarding. I learned a lot about scoping features, making decisions quickly, and being efficient with blue sky.

Raewyn, you've had video parts in Stance and Runway over the past two years. What was the transition like going from an all-girls crew to a co-ed film?
Raewyn Reid:
The bar was set a lot higher. Lots of boys are watching, and for them to be stoked on it, you have to step up your game.

Raewyn Reid

Did you feel pressure trying to get the shot?
Reid:
Definitely. I had a few pretty bad falls in the backcountry in early February. I compression fractured my T12 in my back so I was out for a couple months. That was a big hurdle.

What do you hope women will take away from this ladies section in The Storming?
Reid:
I hope people will be stoked on it and that girls will not separate themselves so much. Girls always put such a barrier on things and think that 'cuz they're not a guy, then they can't ride like that. As long as you're pushing yourself and having fun, that's what matters. There's a ton of girls who are really pushing the rail tricks, and I think girls can put themselves on a whole other level if they don't cap themselves mentally.