Women Jumping Off The Snowboard

Photo by Richard Tsong-Taatarii

Photo by Richard Tsong-Taatarii

A winter sport known for its cool demeanor is having a hard time keeping women interested. Star Tribune, February 2013

Like many teenagers, Ellen Kurtz, 15, doesn’t have a lot of patience — especially when it comes to strapping her feet onto a board and speeding down a snow-covered hill. But a month ago Kurtz persuaded her friend, Ashly Serres, 15, to head out with her and give snowboarding a whirl. The excitement wore off fast.

“I just got sick of falling and falling,” Kurtz said.

The girls, both sophomores at Cannon Falls High School, had tried snowboarding in middle school, only to turn to skiing instead. Hopes ran high that their second time on snowboards would turn out differently.

But girls like Kurtz and Serres just don’t seem to be sticking with the sport. While snowboarding has long been a mainstream staple, the gender divide is still vast — 65-35 by some accounts. While women are being wooed by female-centric equipment and bigger prize money at the competitive level, some are taking off their boots for good. Read more