Toro! Toro! Watch out for Fasani’s horns!

The last time we caught up with Kimmy Fasani, she was flying high.  As in, ripping it slopestyle, like a little birdie with a gnarly set of DC sponsored wings and a film crew to capture every fall from the nest.  Lucky for her, this Taurus always lands on her feet.  Nowadays, it’s a bit more of the same, although Fasani’s finding more time to play it low-key.  And by low-key, she means more filming – in Alaska.  No biggie. http://powderroom.net/files//main/features/KF_headshot2010.jpg

Catch Kimmy Fasani on the phone and she’s the opposite of what you’d expect.  Humble, gracious and completely chilled-out.  You’d have no idea she rips the way she does.

“I’m doing really well, just hanging out in Mammoth.”

By ‘hanging out’ Kimmy actually means living dangerously.  She’s taken up bicycling and rock climbing in between flights to shred around the world.  No surprise – Fasani’s latest adventure has taken her to film in Alaska with Standard Films – where she shredded with Powderroom favorites Leanne Pelosi, Hana Beaman and Raewyn Reid.

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“It was totally just about all of our first times to Alaska…  We were just kinda thrown to the sharks, and they just kinda wanted to see how we performed in Alaska, and you know, it’s a big boys playground…”

It’s a big girls playground now, thanks to Fasani’s willingness to throw herself off just about any pow covered cliff.

It was so overwhelming, but it was so amazing and life changing.  It’s a place I would love to be able to go every year because that is true snowboarding.”

Fasani grew up in Tahoe, aka the ‘land of many resorts’, where she tore up her local mountain on skis before converting to the board full-time.

I started riding at Northstar.  Basically, I was on the ski team till I was 12, and then I started snowboarding when I was 15, before I was actually competing and stuff. And then I joined the Northstar snowboarding team.”
And what good did that do the already naturally talented rider?

It was awesome!  I learned so much, I had really good coaches, and we had a lot of really talented athletes in that program.  It actually inspired me to graduate from high school early and kind of pursuit it, because they gave me really good guidance.”

Guidance that was so good, in fact, it led Fasani to win USASA Nationals slopestyle three years in a row – a move that attracted a heap of hungry sponsors.

(Disclaimer: I – the writer – am really into star signs and couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was that made Kimmy’s path to stardom seem so effortless.  I just had to ask!)

Kimmy’s a Taurus, and it shows.

Well, I think the independent part of it, for sure.  And I’m really organized, and um, I don’t know… I was an only child too, so I think I just have a really creative mind and I think all that added up to make me the athlete that I am today.”

Outgrowing the Northstar scene, Fasani took on the world of snowboarding all by herself – with little guidance, and for good reason.

“It was definitely a lot of responsibility and sometimes I was frustrated, but in the end it was so much better for me because I learned everything on my own, and I developed relationships with these companies that wasn’t based on what my mom said.  Instead, it was on how I was riding.”

And can you believe it?  The first sponsor to approach Fasani was Burton.  No biggie.

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“I kinda freaked out.  It was actually a local rep for Burton that told me that he wanted to give me free products, and that was just such an honor.  I was so excited…  And then I had actually sent out a ‘sponsor me’ video, and I sent it out to like 8 companies and got 2 replies and one of them was actually from Velvet Eyewear, and Shannon Dunn rode for Velvet back in the day, and I actually got a phone call from Shannon Dunn telling me that Velvet wanted to sponsor me!”

It was at that point in her career that Fasani started to seriously stand out and realized that she could actually make a living as a professional snowboarder.

“I guess. I went to junior worlds and I got second in a half-pipe contest, and that was a really cool moment because I realized I was only traveling with elite young adults that were trying to do the same thing, and none of my friends understood what I was doing.  That was definitely the moment when I was like, okay, this is totally an awesome career, and I’m going to make something awesome out of it.”

Make something awesome out of it, indeed.  Fasani is hard to take your eyes off of.  The control she executes when she rides is something any rider would aspire to.  Not only that, but Fasani has also tackled her career path after snowboarding – so taboo to say, we know (as if such a thing exists!) – with just as much simplicity and confidence.  The rider has a BS in Marketing, which she obtained during her most competitive of snowboard days.

“A lot of influence from my mom helped me to decide that that would be an okay path.  I had a lot of resistance from some sponsors.  They wanted me to focus on snowboarding.  However, DC, right when I signed with them, they totally had both feet behind me and they said, yeah, we would love it if you finished school, we think that’s a great image to promote, and I just made it a goal because I wanted to be less stranded if the economy is doing what’s it’s doing…  I wanted to be able to have an easy way out if my contracts were not negotiated again.”

153As if.  Fasani has been with DC for four years now.  An accomplishment that feels like a record for any female snowboarder in such a male dominated industry – though with more riders like Fasani in the industry, change is happening.

“I feel so privileged because I’m one of two girls that’s part of the snow program, and they really give us a voice, and the guys are so supportive and they push me.  It’s truly like a family.”

What’s the point of talking about sponsorship if it’s not about the perks?  We got Kimmy to dish…

“The DC Mountain Lab is unbelievable.  It’s like a tool, a secret training ground, you know?  And not even that you have to go there to train, but to clear your mind, have fun, play ping pong, go hit rails.  It’s just like a really mellow fun place to be that is only specific for DC.”

As for what’s next in Fasani’s future (Kimmy’s Alaska-pades were released last month – be sure to check out ‘The Storming’) the road ahead isn’t always so easy.

“I definitely have got burnt out, and it comes and goes.  Like, this season I traveled nonstop. I drove 17,000 miles in 5 months.  I was chasing the weather and it was just not cooperating with me, so I got really, really frustrated, I guess.  So come April, I went to Alaska and I had to enjoy the trip for what it was, come home and rest for a little while, and now, I’m back on it.”

And as for what that means – Powderroom is excited to see what Fasani comes up with this season.

“I still live by doing one thing every day that scares you…  But you have to learn the balance between pushing it for other people and pushing it for yourself.”

Backside 360 tail grabs, Kimmy?  Not pushing it?!

No Biggie.

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