Since 2007, IF3 Montreal has positioned itself as the official kick-off to the ski season, and this year, in addition to premiering a host of stoke-firing films, IF3 will also be kicking the ladies of freeskiing out of the shadows and into the limelight.
The All-Girls Screening on Saturday, September 15, will feature Kaya Turski in The Edge State of Mind, a SheJumps.org showcase with Lynsey Dyer, the Nine Queens Heli Shoot, Sandra Lahnsteiner’s Shukran Morocco and a tribute to the late great Sarah Burke.
The special screening is for any girls who ski, be they beginners, recreational rippers, competitive athletes or ladies keen to log as many days on the slopes as possible… Which begged the question for us – why a special girls’ event? Can’t girls get enough stoke attending a regular IF3 screening?
Allison Thompson, the brains behind the initiative and IF3′s one-woman show (that’s what “Marketing and Operations Director” means to me, at any rate), was happy to take the question, even at the One-Week-To-Go festival countdown mark. (She’s ballsy that way.)
Girls are always welcome at any iF3 movie screening! Female ski content just hasn’t always had as much exposure in the ski world as male-oriented content. Therefore, we felt iF3 was the perfect platform to showcase female-oriented freeski content from female amateur skiers, coaches, women’s ski group organizers, top freeskiers and future Olympians.
The timing is good, too. After all, the IOC finally having wised up to the star power of slopestyle and half-pipe for Sochi 2014 means the sport has the potential for a bunch of great exposure.
One of iF3′s primary mission’s is to unite the ski community and promote and educate to the non-ski community on what freeskiing is and where it’s heading. With slopestyle and halfpipe skiing being added to the next Winter Olympics there will be a lot of non-skiers wondering what these sports are all about when they see them on TV in 2014.
When talk turns to growing awareness and participation in the sport, (an ongoing obsession of ours), it’s important to identify that guys and girls are different – in their social behaviour. Accommodating those differences gives us a much better shot attracting skiers from both sides of the gender line.
Ever joked about the fact that women don’t go to the washroom alone – but travel to the powder room in groups. It’s no different when the Powder Room is the mountain.
A fundamental social inclination drives the XX-chromosomed. It’s even apparent online: social networking sites (especially facebook, twitter, pinterest and instagram), get 99 million more visits a month from female users. Thompson echoes what anyone who watched #shitskierssay and #shitskiergirlssay already knows: female behaviour in the social world and in the ski world differs from the dudes.
A significant number of male freeskiers look to male-dominated websites such as Newschoolers.com for athlete, movie, product news and inspiration in addition to Social Media networks. Newschoolers.com has been one of key elements in discovering and exposing male freeski athletes to the world.
Many of the freeskiing girls/women have their own blogs, and they post, share and discuss skiing, travel, fashion, and friends on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They are promoting and encouraging each other and skiing isn’t the only thing they are talking about.
Hopefully, come next Saturday, skiing will be top of their feeds, as the girls party, check out some films, and put the Social into freeskiing.