10 of the Best Female Snowboarders in the World
Snowboarding’s top females, in terms of reputation, talent and skills have all greatly excelled, possess high profile sponsors and are great representatives of the sport. So, check out our top ten list of female snowboarders so you can see the the ladies who are snowboarding legends in the making.
The level of female snowboarding is at an all time high and its consistently rising. These women aren't just winning prestigious medals in competitions but are also pushing the sport by nailing tricks people once deemed impossible.
Snowboarding's top females, in terms of reputation, talent and skills have all greatly excelled, possess high profile sponsors and are great representatives of the sport. Some of them even work as ambassadors for charitable and environmental causes to help promote awareness.
So, check out our top ten list of female snowboarders so you can see the the ladies who are snowboarding legends in the making.
Silje Norendal was raised with a snowboard strapped to her feet. She started snowboarding when she was four at her home resort in Kongsberg, Norway, and competed in her first contest aged 6.
Some of her biggest inspirations were (and are) Kjersti Buaas and Jamie Anderson, and following their lead she is now one of the leading lights in women’s snowboarding. With a riding style that’s bringing together a combination of progressive tricks and smooth style, Silje has managed to get on some of the biggest podiums of the snowboarding world.
And while her ridiculously attractive looks have have seen her become one of the most recognisable women in snowboarding, it is her riding that will see her become one of the most successful and progressive riders of her generation.
Gretchen Bleiler announced herself with a silver medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, and had since then has racked up six X Games medals, enough contest hardware to fill a storage bin and a place as one of snowboarding’s true greats.
Her talent, accolades, high media profile and A-List celeb mates also see as one of the most recognised snowboarders of her generation. She’s also one that has given much to sport, her support of Protect Our Winters (POW) and the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES).
More than ten years ago Elena Hight became the first woman to land a 900 in competition. It was clear then that the 13 year old was a real prodigy that had an incredible future in the sport. So it has proved, with the just five foot tall Hight now one of the most progressive girls out there.
She was the first woman to land a double backside alley-oop in halfpipe, and then the first man or woman to nail one in competition. She has competed at the last three Olympics, has won five X Games medals, and has been on some of the biggest podiums of the World Snowboard Tour. At just 25, her influence is already huge and she’s nowhere near done yet.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Britain’s Jenny Jones capped her exemplary career with a much deserved silver medal at the Sochi Olympics.
The 33 year-old famously got her start at her local dry slope, and went on to become a pioneer of women’s freestyle snowboarding without ever quite getting the recognition her achievements (such as a couple of X Games gold medals) warranted. Happily, those two stomped runs in the final in Russia now mean her career has the happy ending it deserves.
Kjersti Oestagaard Buaas
Kjersti Buaas has been a professional snowboarder since 2000, and is one of the most successful competition riders ever, being equally dominant in both halfpipe and slopestyle. Additionally, she is regarded as one of the most stylish snowboarder of all time. In one of the longest careers in the history of snowboarding, she has earned countless Olympic medals and TTR, FIS World Cup, Dew Tour, and X Games podium finishes.
Off the course, she has pushed the creative aspects of snowboarding, through her filming with the One Life Snowboard Crew, and through design with own signature lines of goggles, outerwear and snowboards with Roxy.
Growing up in Finland’s far north may not have meant huge mountains and deep snow, but for Enni Rukajärvi, the five-minute hot laps at Ruka (her local hill) added up to some explosive riding.
Blowing up the competitive scene with both the TTR World Tour Title and Burton Global Open Series title in 2010, and continuing to be a favourite and podium stander in every Slope contest she enters, and cementing her cred with a silver medal in Sochi. Enni still lives in the small town she grew up in, but the girl from the small hill has a very big future.
Kelly Clark has a legitimate claim to be the greatest woman snowboarder of all time. Since winning her first Gold in the 2002 Winter Olympics, she has gone on to push the boundaries of the sport. Her amplitude and large bag of tricks have earned her more wins than any other male or female snowboarder in history, and in 2011 Clark continued to bridge the gap between men's and women's halfpipe, stomping the first 1080 in women's competition history.
Celebrating her 60th career win in the 2013 season (more than any male or female snowboarder), a victory at the Olympic venue in Sochi, Russia, will further cement her already legendary place in snowboarding.
This American kills it in the city and on the mountain, nailing competitions as well as laying down some fierce video parts as part of the Defenders of Awesome. Prior to joining Nike she was the only woman on the Capita team and got use to being one of the guys and showing that whatever they could do she could stomp even better.
Hadar has largely foregone competitions though she did manage to drop in to win the North Face Masters Freeride competition back in 2011 and prove her big mountain credentials. She manages to balance being a snwoboarding badass with running an art gallery in Salt Lake City. There really isn't much she can't do.
Torah Bright has a legitimate claim to being one of the most progressive female snowboarders in the history of the sport. Not bad for a girl who grew up in the rather warm country of Australia.
After moving from OZ to Salt Lake in 2000, she was runner up on the FIS world tour, and as a wildcard in the Arctic Challenge in 2005 she announced herself with a huge McTwist. She has since was won an Olympic Gold, numerous X Games Medals and a couple of TTR titles, and despite a horrific accident at Vancouver and 18 months off a board, she is back, now competing in pipe, slopestyle and Boardercross.
Jamie Anderson’s win at Sochi in the Slopestyle event confirmed what everyone already knew. She is the best slopestyle rider female snowboarding has ever seen.
Her gold follows on from her second straight gold medal at X Games in Aspen 2013, meaning the 23 year-old now can add Olympic glory to her five X Games golds. Once again, by again stomping her tricks with authority, she showed why she is the most dynamic and consistent woman in Slopestyle.