We had a chance to sit down with snowboarder Hana Beaman, one of the women that have changed the face of female snowboarding over the past decade. Hana dominates the backcountry and is always a threat in slopestyle competitions, and this year she was given a shot to try out for the 2014 US Olympic team. We talked with Hana about the Olympics, hitting the Mt Baker road gap and her favorite movie quotes and much more.
MWN: Do you think the Sochi Olympics will be your final snowboard contest or have you ever thought about competing on the Freeride World Tour or North Face Masters of Snowboarding Tour?
Hana Beaman: I don’t think I’ve ever said that Sochi would be my last event, but I would always be open to competing in another event if it seemed fun and worked out. If I wasn’t doing Sochi this year I would probably try and do the Freeride World Tour, but just with all the craziness for the Olympics this years, it’s not possible for me. But I would totally do a Freeride Tour.
MWN: How do you stay in shape and stay flexible for snowboarding throughout the years? Do you do yoga or stretch on daily basis?
HB: I do, I wouldn’t say I’m really consistent with anything, but I definitely do yoga, all different kinds, whether it’s Yin yoga or whatever classes I can hit wherever I’m at. And then I tend to do a lot of stretching at home, just kind of after a hike or a long day of riding. I just try and stay active and keep the body moving. I feel like that’s one of the biggest things is just to stay active. You sit for too long it just kinda starts to tighten up and won’t be as easy to get back into whatever activity you’re doing. You know?
MWN: That makes total sense. I try to stretch a little before and after I ride. My girlfriend just did a big yoga teacher training course, so she’s been trying to get me into yoga. And it sometimes kicks my butt. I can’t believe how good of a workout it is.
HB: Yeah. It’s crazy. I went to a class in San Monica this summer and was like, oh it’ll be nice and mellow with some girlfriends and it was awesome and the next day I was so sore. I haven’t been sore like that for a while. It snuck up on me.
MWN: How do you feel about the human-powered lifestyle in snowboarding? Have you been getting into splitboarding more these days or are you still snowmobiling a lot?
HB: I would say I still mostly rely on snowmobiles cuz they’re just more efficient and we can get out to the spots that we wanna go and not be exhausted and still have all that energy to go out and hit jumps and ride lines all day. When it comes down to it, we’re kinda out there trying to get as much as we can with the good weather and the good conditions when we have it. So, I definitely rely on snowmobiles a lot. But when I can early season I love to go out and do a little split. Like hike and split. We did one the other week with Chad Perrin. You probably know him. When I get a chance it’s awesome to go out and do a little split. And it’s more for me just getting out and walking around in the mountains, not so much trying to bang outlines here and there. It’s just another way to get out and go for a walk in the mountains which is always really nice. And it would be awesome if we could do that more and not be so worried about getting stuff done, but that’s usually not the case.
MWN: Speaking of Chad, he wanted me to ask, what’s your favorite Anchorman quote?
HB: Oh geez. Favorite Anchorman quote. There’s just so many to choose from. I would probably say when he’s speaking to Dean in San Diego. When he’s walking around the phone booth yelling, “I’m trapped in a glass case of emotion”.
MWN: You mentioned going out to hit jumps, on that note how was the Mt. Baker road gap?
HB: It was pretty cool. I’m not like super local at Baker, I’d go up there and ride with friends. One of my guy friends was like, oh you should hit it, the conditions are really good right now. And I was like, okay. I’ll go look at it. Like I’m not gonna commit to anything that I don’t wanna get into without seeing it. But we went up, and I got a little peek at it the day before. It was supposed to snow a bunch, and it ended up snowing a good amount. So the next morning we were like, let’s do it. Let’s go up there and check it out. I got up there and it looked great. Wyatt(Stasinos) had been up there getting a run in and dusting off the take off already. He beat us up there by probably like half an hour. He was just hitting it by himself, I was like can I just watch and check it out so I can see and feel it out. And he was like, yeah for sure. So I just kinda watched him and saw what he had to do. So I just decided to give it a go and it kinda worked out. I think it’s a lot more of a mental game than a psychical challenge. For me I’m very aware that I can hit larger stuff, I’ve gone on bigger things that have been scarier, but for some reason it just wasn’t, it wasn’t as scary as I had heard it to be. The conditions were really good and I think I’ve been through a lot kinda tagging along with Travis (Rice) in the last ten years or however long. I’ve gotten into some gnarlier stuff with him that has been a lot scarier.
MWN: For sure. That’s crazy that Wyatt was up there just up there hitting it by himself. That guy’s a beast.
HB: It’s pretty crazy. He’s was just out here doing backflips. So I was like, okay. I guess there’s nothing to it. It’s kinda that group mentality. Like if you come up to somebody and they’re committed to having fun. You don’t automatically assume it’s scary or dangerous, it’s just like, oh, yeah. Okay. It’s fun. Why wouldn’t I hit it? And then afterward everybody’s all, whoa. And I’m all, oh. Was that a big deal? Yeah. But it was, it was super fun.
MWN: I saw recently you mentioned that snowboarding is one of the longest relationships you’ve ever had. How do you find the balance between love and personal life with the tireless pursuit of chasing pow?
HB: That’s a good question. It’s definitely hard. I think I feel like I always meet awesome people and I always have really cool connections with people when I travel. It’s hard to kind of carry that on once I’ve already moved on to the next spot. So, it can be hard to feel like you connect with people and then be like, oh, well, I’m not gonna see you for like six months or something like that. I don’t know, it’s been really cool to meet so many rad people and it’s nice when it does work out. Like if you do get to hang out with somebody for longer than a couple weeks and something actually comes of that, like a relationship. But, I don’t know, I think it’s just kinda part of the territory. I’ve learned to just accept and deal with it and take it for what it is. There are lots of rad people out here and I’m lucky if something grows into more than a real cool friendship. If things are meant to happen and you’re supposed to hang out with somebody it will fall into place, everything has a way of working out. That’s kinda how I stay sane.
MWN: In the span of your career, have you seen opportunities for female athletes change, what do you think the future holds for female athletes?
HB: Yeah I think I have. I mean, it’s kinda hard cuz it comes and goes. They’ll be a time when there’s room for one girl on a team and girls kinda get a little overlooked. And then there was the time I would say from like 05 to 08 or 09 where we had multiple girls on the teams, women’s snowboarding was exploding it was awesome and there was so much going on. And now it’s jumped back down again. But at the same time, the ones that are hanging around and sticking it out are getting a lot of really cool opportunities and maybe some of those things we wouldn’t have gotten if there was a saturation in the market. So I don’t know it’s hard. It’s always cool to see more women get involved with snowboarding and I think that’s really what it comes down to. As long as more women are being involved in snowboarding it’s gonna give us as athletes more opportunities to get out here and push our riding. Kind of a big circle of life.
MWN: With so many women looking up to you as a snowboarder and a role model, who’s inspired you over the years?
HB: I mean, there have been so many people. I would say, Travis definitely is a big one. He kinda showed me the ropes and got me into backcountry riding, like, back in 02, 03, 04. Back in those days, when I was just kinda tagging along with him and the Absinthe crew around Jackson (Wyoming)… I looked up to Tina (Basich) and Barrett (Christy) and Tara (Dakides). There’s a lot of the girls that I’ve ridden with over the years, like Erin Comstock and Jenna Meyen for sure. It’s just a big group of rad people. Everybody influences you in one way or another.
MWN: If you could spend a week riding anywhere in the world with your friends, where would you choose to be?
HB: Ooh. That’s a good one. I don’t know, I would say…ooh. That might be a toss-up between Argentina down in Bariloche. I had so much fun down there this summer. If we just had a little bit better snow, it would have been awesome. That or I have yet to go to the North Island of Japan and go ride all the powder. I think that would be so much fun. Have a big crew and go and shred there epic pow and then eat good Japanese food and sit in some hot tub and chill out and do that whole deal.
MWN: When you’re not riding what’s your ideal day look like?
HB: I don’t know. It kinda depends. I wake up and have breakfast and go for a hike or go work out and then come home and just kinda kick it, meet up with some friends for lunch, and then, I don’t know. Just go do something outside, whether it’s biking around town or farmer’s markets, do some shopping in there somewhere. Maybe make dinner, catch a movie with friends, or got out, go out and get some drinks. Chilling with people and hanging at home, I dig, that when I’m not out traveling.
MWN: Last but not least, if you could be pro in another sport, what sport would you be interested in?
HB: Ooh. If I could be pro in another sport. I know everybody says surfing. It’s like the obvious answer. But, uh, I don’t know. That’s tough. Maybe tennis I would say.
MWN: I appreciate you taking the time to chat with us we’re super stoked to see everything that you’re gonna do this winter and we know you’ll kill it in Sochi. And keep putting out those amazing backcountry parts, they’re just so inspiring to watch as your career has been over the years, cheers to many more to come.
HB: Cool. Thank you. And yeah, keep your fingers crossed for me for Sochi. Nothing’s, for sure yet.