All photos by Sani Alibabic unless stated.
With the 2016/17 season packed full of events around the globe, winter’s been pretty non-stop for Spencer O’Brien, but off the back of her rad ladies-only ‘VIEWS from the Village’ kicker session we managed to catch up to check in on her thoughts on where women’s snowboarding stands right now.
Hi Spencer, great to see you back with the second edition of Views, you had a new location at Sunshine Village this time, how was this year’s session different?
I had originally intended to continue the shoot at Whistler, but due to scheduling conflicts I had to look elsewhere. In the end I jumped at the idea of continuing the name of “Views” and changing the scenery.
Sunshine Village was amazing, it’s an incredible resort that’s family owned and has an insane backdrop. Their builder Ben Suullarik is a total legend and really went above and beyond for us.
“This year was the biggest jump in progression I’ve seen in my career and I think a lot of it has to do with the inclusion of Big Air.”
Do you think the boost in numbers of women’s Big Air comps has affected progression this winter?
Absolutely. I’ve been saying it for years now and fighting hard for us to get into Big Airs, especially the snow ones, as it’s been such driving force in progression for the men. This year was the biggest jump in progression I’ve seen in my career and I think a lot of it has to do with the inclusion of Big Air.
A lot of riders seemed pretty fatigued at the end of the comp circuit this year, is the extra Olympic discipline doing more harm than good in some ways?
I don’t think that’s due to two disciplines but to the lack of a real tour. We’re forced to do all these FIS events to qualify for the Olympics but then need to do the bigger events like X Games and US Open as well. If all the events spoke to one another and worked a bit on the schedule we’d see a lot
If all the events spoke to one another and worked a bit on the schedule we’d see a lot less injuries and burn out. A lot of riders had to fly back and fourth from Europe to the US for over a month this year. Great for air miles, not so much for your body or mind.
Below: Talk about a backdrop! Spencer over the 70ft Sunshine Village kicker.