Ride Like a Girl
Posted Thursday, April 2, 2009, 02:00AM
Igna Muscio reclaimed the word “cunt” back in 1998, and in February 2007 pro snowboarder Alex Masterson did the same for “bitch” with the introduction of her company BitchBoards, a line of snowboards designed specifically for women who refuse to settle for anything less than style, design and performance. Masterson, who is a down to earth 25-year-old, has single-handedly taken on the entrepreneurial task of filling the “bitch niche,”—female riders’ desire for a sexy and powerful board. “Men’s boards’ manufacturers slap butterflies on their boards and it doesn’t cut it. Boards need to be more sophisticated and there needs to be a company to represent women’s interests,” says Masterson.
The design of the boards is unique, made for women by the ladies of the industry who know a flimsy board with a flower does not evoke style and a heavy men’s board is impractical for the female physique. Masterson’s first women’s board was designed by Roxy and broke within a week. “It’s interesting,” the designer says, “because in the scheme of things, the women’s market is saturated, but [the men’s boards manufacturers] aren’t filling the niche in a good way.” Her search for a sleek, sophisticated and functional board ended with herself.
BitchBoards are made to last with carbon fiber construction, a variety of sizes and they’re shaped specifically to suit women’s lower center of gravity. “It makes a statement wherever it goes,” claims Masterson. Designed using abstract photographs that have been enhanced and magnified in high resolution, rather than the industry-typical animation graphics, each board is also a unique work of art.
When she’s not busy taking the women’s snowboard industry by storm, Masterson works with Downhill Riders’ Chix on Stix program—the only female exclusive ski and snowboard club in Edmonton, Canada, where she donates boards to the organization that teaches over 7,000 members how to snowboard. A one time fee of $25 covers a lifetime membership and helps women find confidence in their riding as well as female company on the mountain. “You’re a girl hanging out on a guy’s mountain,” says Masterson. “There’s a definite bond.”
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