Annie Boulanger is one of the best snowboarders in the world. Notice that wasn’t prefaced with “female,” “girl,” “women,” or any other adjective. Boulanger straight kills it on some of the biggest, steepest, gnarliest terrain out there, and her exploits and big mountain slay-age have received so much coverage that she has been crowned the Exposure-Meter leader through October. We caught up with Annie to find out what the view looks like from the summit.
Congrats on your lead. This season’s off to a great start for you – what does it mean to you be sitting in first in the Exposure-Meter?
This comes as a huge surprise, that’s so amazing, haha! I know it’s early in the year… but I’ll live in the moment and enjoy it for now, right? It feels really cool to hear that, I didn’t even think that it was possible. Just being one of the top females is huge to me.
It’s still really early in the season, what do you have in the works to keep the momentum going?
Well, I think I have a few more stories and articles coming up, so we’ll have to wait and see. I had a great time filming last season with Absinthe. I didn’t feel at the time that I had a lot of shots, but we had a super fun crew, and well I guess that it worked out after all…
Your Nike ad campaign has give you a huge boost in getting to the top of the EM – how is it working with that crew?
Working with Nike has been a dream come true, seriously. It was a bit scary at first to get involved with Nike, because we had no idea what we were getting into, but it really turned out to be amazing. They treat their athletes like gold, for real! They are super supportive and let us get involved with the line. I’ve always dreamed of designing product and they’ve been so keen on listening and letting me be creative. They’re a sick crew to hang out with for sure and Bobby Meeks is our TM…. so it doens’t get much better then that.
Your recent cover and feature were pretty epic and well deserved as was your part in Neverland. How have you seen women’s snowboarding progress in the last few years and where do you see it headed?
Thanks, I’m pretty surprised, I always worry before stuff comes out…and now I’m happy with how it turned out. It feels really cool to see that the industry has been supporting women so much. That’s huge in helping women progress. It creates new opportunities that just didn’t used to be there. Filming a video part didn’t really used to be an option for women when I started dreaming about it, and now girls have the option to be more creative and free. It used to be so rare for girls to go get shots in the backcountry, nobody was interested in it or supportive of it, and now it’s right there and people are asking to see it. Girls have been pushing themselves so much, and with more opportunities and support girls will just get better and better way faster.
How do you think the industry could better market itself to women?
I think that the snowboard industry has been doing pretty good at supporting women and giving them room in the spotlight. I believe that the biggest key is to to show support for the girls that are killing it and pushing the sport. That’s what people want to see and not so much a cute lifestyle shot. I think most people are tapping into that.
As far as marketing and design go, I think that it’s hard for a lot of men in the industry to step back and admit that they can’t think like a girl when it comes to designing product or marketing. Having more girls integrated in there is really helpful for sure.