Every Wall Street stock trader dreams of finding that startup that will one day be worth a fortune. Separating the Bitcoins from the Groupons is not always easy, but if snowboard athletes can be considered stocks, here’s a hot tip for anyone looking to invest now with a guaranteed dividend in the coming years. The IPO is called Realwildkittens, traded on the Instagram exchange under the name @realwildkittens.
words :: Brian Finestone
The Realwildkittens are a young, ladies-only snowboard crew consisting of Irie Smith (16), Juliette Pelchat (13), Amalia Pelchat (10) and Maggie Crompton (13).
After cleaning up at last year’s Legendary Banked Slalom at Mount Baker, these talented young women recently returned for the ‘Lay-Back Weekend,’ an all-female snowboard event focused on inspiring girls to get out and ride. Mountain Life managed to coral these feral cats for an interview. Due perhaps to age, excitement, or crew unity, the answers came as a single group voice.
Why the Realwildkittens? How did your crew get its name?
Ever since Juliette and Amalia were little, close friends called them the Wildkittens because their dad (JF Pelchat) was part of a (notorious Whistler snowboard) crew called the Wildcats. When we all started riding with the Whistler Valley Snowboard Club (WVSC), we used that name for our girl-only group. But since that name was taken on Instagram, we chose Realwildkittens for our profile.
Why don’t more girls compete in snowboard events?
Riding at a competition can be intimidating with all the boys throwing down. It can also be hard to perform in front of others when there are fewer contestants, which can put even more pressure on you. We need more cool contests just for girls like the Lay-Back Weekend. These types of contests are super encouraging, open to all levels, low stress and so much fun.
“Hopefully we can all leave our mark in this sport at different levels and encourage other girls to be a part of this amazing community.”
What do you love the most about snowboarding?
It’s fun, challenging, you meet new people. You travel to new places and it’s like a second life.
Amalia: Making new friends. You do your own things and you get to hang out with your broskatskis.
Irie: It’s fun. The community is awesome, the possibilities are limitless and the pow… what’s not to like?
Maggie: The snow, self-expression. There are no rules, and I love the challenge.
Who are your biggest shred influences?
Full Moon crew: Marie France Roy, Robin Van Gyn, Annie Boulanger, Leanne Pelosi, Hana Beaman, Helen Schettini. Spencer O’Brien, Mercedes Nicoll, any girls who shred, Mom, Dad, Wildcats, WVSC, each other, and all of the “chudes” out there.
Where would each of you like to take snowboarding? Contests? Career? Just for fun?
All of the above, but for sure the last one, hopefully we can all leave our mark in this sport at different levels and encourage other girls to be a part of this amazing community.
There still don’t seem to be very many crews of young women your age who all rip together. What do you want to say to other girls who look at you as an inspiration?
Get out there, find other girls, reach out to other girls, invite people to join in and the most important is to just have fun and do something for yourself!
With ferocious enthusiasm, tenacious abilities and coaching and influence from some of the industry’s top female riders, these confident young athletes elevate themselves, each other, and the sport they love by being inclusive and encouraging. As they raced off, the Realwildkittens left one last insider tip for any parent, in any part of the world: get your kids outside, in the mountains, and let them be free. It will be the best investment you will ever make.
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