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Jenny Vandevelde, Snowboarder (CA)

by Joanna Brashear on May 26, 2017

Jenny Vandevelde - Snowboard/Wakeboard/Wakesurfer - California, USA




 Your Age: 27

Your Location (where do you ride mostly): Southern California

Weapon(s) of choice: Gnu B-Nice Snowboard, Humanoid Oracle, Liquid Force Fiver Wakesurfer; FJ Cruiser for getting me there.

What’s an average day for you like? Weekdays: go to work (I work with insulin pumps), go running during lunch and then hike, mountain bike or play soccer after work.
Weekends: snowboard, wakeboard, wakesurf, mud cave - see who I can talk into an adventure.

What is the most difficult part of your activity/sports for a beginner? The easiest? Difficult: figuring out how to get into it (what gear do I need? when should I go? what do I wear? where do I go?). Especially in Southern California, getting into snowboarding when nobody owns winter clothes and nobody can drive in the snow that is always a big barrier to beginners. I always have extra snow clothes and let friends borrow it when they want to get into snowboarding and I have a 4x4 with snow tires so I drive them. Easiest: having awesome friends who encourage you and having done another board sport before.

What is the best and worst thing about being female in your sport? Best: Meeting other girls who love those sports and having an instant connection - sometimes girls days on the mountain are the best days. Worst: Lack of respect - a lot of men assume girls are just "snow bunnies" and can't keep up; lack of gear options for girls in comparison to guys. I've always bought men's boards since I have size 10 feet, most girls snowboards can't accommodate my shoe size

What would you like to see change in your sport to make it better for you and other female athletes? Equal board options and more girls meetups/girls clubs.

Besides your ability and style factor as an athlete, how would you describe your personal style? Athletic and funky - I love orange and hot pink and other neon colored shorts and snow pants.

What are your favorite brands/designers for your sports apparel and for stepping out? 686 for snow jackets, Billabong/Hurley/Roxy for wetsuits/board shorts, Patagonia, North Face, Columbia and Nike.

Let’s hear your thoughts on how important looking good is to feeling good. “Being” your personal best? When you feel like you look good you carry more confidence.

How dangerous do you really think it is compared to what people do in their regular activities? I think my sports are way less dangerous that.

I bet in your experience you have seen some crazy crashes. Describe one. A few of my friends and I were racing at our local mountain. It was 3 of us on snowboards and him on skis. He was trying to beat me and crashed into the staircase leading to a mid mountain restaurant. He ejected from his skis inspector gadget style and hit his face on those metal cheese grater looking surfaces. He completely tore all his clothes and tore up his face and ended up passing out when ski patrol arrived. Luckily he made a full recovery.

What usually gets people hooked on your activity/sport? The first time they ROCK IT - first run down the bunny hill without a crash; first time up on a wakeboard - the stoke is awesome. When they start asking about buying a board I know I've hooked them!

What is your favorite trick? Ollies over snowmen or surface 360s on a wakeboard.

Do you own any other toys? My FJ Cruiser and does a border collie count?

What gets you pumped up for the day? Knowing the weekend and/or an adventure is coming up.

What are three things you could not live without? Family/Friends, insulin, and adventures.

What are your expectations for this activity/sport? To have fun!

Who have been your biggest supporters in getting you to where you are now? I learned to snowboard from a snowboarding camp for kids with Type 1 Diabetes called Riding on Insulin. I had never done any board sports prior to this camp, which I went to when I was in high school. I thank this camp and the friends I've made from this camp. I now am on their Elite Coaches team, a team of volunteer coaches with Type 1 Diabetes who teach the kids to snowboard. These other coaches have been my inspiration and support to become a better snowboard and challenge myself, especially since a lot of people with Type 1 Diabetes do not know how to manage it on the mountain.

Who’s your favorite rider/shooter (photo/video)? Honestly the girls, especially the little ones, I've seen on she shreds are incredible

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not riding/shooting/competing? What is spare time? I guess look at photos and update my dropbox....and plan my next adventure.

How about in the off season to stay in shape? There is no off season. I play soccer, run and bike year round. We can wakeboard and wakesurf year round in Southern California.

What is your biggest goal to accomplish this/next season? I got a Mountain Collective Pass and hope to visit a lot of awesome new mountains!

What do you do to prep for a competition? Listen to Disturbed!

What competitions and other awards have you won? Include your non sports accomplishments also. -I've completed 3 bike rides in Death Valley to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation - biking a total of 266 miles and raising about $40,000. These rides were all done in 110 degrees and above
-I've competed and come in 2nd and 3rd in 2 wakeboard competitions at Canyon Lake Wakeboard Club
-Throughout the years of soccer & basketball, I've won a variety of 1st 2nd and 3rd places
-Invited to run in the Twin Cities Marathon in 2008 as 1 of 25 honorary "Global Heroes" - people from all over the world who run using a medical device
-Had a day in September several years ago named "Jenny Vandevelde Day" by the County Board of Supervisors of San Diego County

What’s your favorite “way” to ride? Wakeboard - cable. Wakesurf - boat. Snowboard - POWDER! Tree riding

Favorite conditions? Wakeboard/wakesurf - HOT, muggy, cloudy & glassy. Snowboard - POWDER!! Soccer/running/biking - Hot, muggy and cloudy

Where would be your biggest dream place to ride and why? Snowboard - Canadian Rockies or Japan. Canadian Rockies because I love Canada and hear the snow there is epic. Japan because of how much snow they get and because I've never been to Asia.
Wakeboard - Cable: I want to go to all the cable parks in Texas and would LOVE to go to the parks in the middle east.
Wakeboard/Wakesurf - Boat: Anywhere that is calm, glassy and warm - Lake Powell or Rio Harley (Mexico) would be awesome

What song(s) do you listen to while riding that puts you in the zone? Disturbed, Eminem, Linkin Park, Thousand Foot Krutch, The Killers.

What turned you on to your sport? Snowboarding: Riding on Insulin - a camp I attended as a teenager for kids with Type 1 Diabetes.
Wakeboarding: I dated a guy who had a boat and got me hooked (now I'm way more into it than him).
Wakesurfing: I saw an event on facebook to go and try it out at a demo day - went in the pouring rain and loved it.

Any new tricks you’re working on? Having fun! And getting better at cable. We don't have cable in So Cal so my options are limited.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done in your sport? I once had Disney follow me around for a day in my life to make a video in conjunction with an insulin manufacturer about extraordinary people with Type 1 Diabetes. I got a local marina with wakeboard boats to take me out on a rad wakeboard boat on any wakeboard I wanted with the entire lagoon to myself. They let me dock start (usually illegal) and I had a camera crew on the dock and on the boat. I now know what it is like to be pro.

What other extreme/action sports are you into? Aside from the board sports, I really like rock climbing, hiking, soccer, basketball, hockey, footgolf.

If extreme/action sports didn’t exist, what would you be doing with all the free time you’d have? Less extreme sports - or something else outside.

What’s your favorite board/bike/sled to ride and why? Snowboard: Gnu B-Nice - I just got it this last winter after breaking my Neversummer Evo in Whistler. I demoed a billion boards with Whistler's rad demo program and liked this board the best since it is light and ollies well and has magna traction.
Wakeboard: Humanoid Oracle is my board I have now but I really want a Slingshot or something this is lighter - I love finless riding though.
Wakesurf: Soulcraft - now if only I could afford one.

What’s the trick to riding features and not killing yourself? Haha! Don't ride features.

How would you describe your riding style? Always having fun!

What would you say is your signature trick? Ollies.

Favorite drink of choice to refresh yourself after a long day of riding/shooting? Lemon Propel or a smoothie.

What do you want to be when you grow up? I'm never going to grow up.

Any of your own web pages or social media buttons you want links to? Instagram: Jennenergy - Facebook: JennyVandevelde

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