Real Women: Jess Kimura
Jess Kimura is fiery, wild and charges at handrails with the type of reckless abandon that would make any parent cringe and curse. But this Vernon, B.C. native's willingness to go for broke is one of the reasons she's one of the most exciting and tech-savvy females snowboarding today.
Kimura's breakout video part in 2010's "Right Brain/Left Brain", with the always-adventurous Think Thank productions, set a new standard. It's one that she's been pushing higher ever since. In the last three years she's collected more awards than any other woman in snowboarding -- including a full sweep at the 13th Annual TransWorld awards, where she won "Readers Choice," "Female Video Part of the Year," and "Female Rider of the Year."
After "Right Brain/Left Brain" Kimura went on to land a part in Capita's predominately-male "Defenders of Awesome" video. The following year she produced her own web series titled "Barely," that followed her and her friends around the world, showing every aspect of their snowboard adventures -- good and bad.
Throughout it all, Kimura has maintained the same cool and humble approach to all her endeavors that she brought with her when she first set fire to the ideas of what it was possible for women to do on a snowboard in the streets.
This could be in part due to the the years she spent as a construction worker in B.C. -- Kimura wasn't able to quit her summer job slinging hammers to pursue a full time winter job dropping hammers until 2011. Her work ethic and grit shows in everything she does.
After dominating every other avenue of women's snowboarding videos, Real Women seemed like a natural progression for the 28-year-old Canadian.
"It seems like a good opportunity to reach a larger audience and try something different," says Kimura. "I also think it's cool to be a part of something that is happening for the first time, no matter how it turns out. I have a lot of respect for the guys that do Real Snow."
Filming a full video part can be a grueling task -- for any professional snowboarder. To turn out a few minutes of presentable material for a part often takes a seasons worth of slams, near makes, and intense travel.
"I took pretty much the same approach as I would filming a regular video part and just kept my head down and kept up the grind," explains Kimura of her approach to filming a segment for Real Women. "The difference was that I didn't have a crew of riders to film with. I was the only one riding for a lot of the sessions, so that was pretty tough, mentally."
Even though she is most well known in the snowboard world for her prowess on urban and street features, Kimura is no one-trick pony. She spends ample time in the backcountry, and her Real Women part is a testament to the diversity in her board skills.
"I traveled to the interior of B.C. and to Minnesota for filming and did a lot of stuff locally around the Whistler area," says Kimura. "Revelstoke (B.C.) was the most productive, though, because I had people to ride with."
When the dust settles on this contest, and the judges announce their chosen winners, one of the eight women will get a shiny X Games gold medal. But for snowboarders Kimura is already gold. Not since Tara Dakides has a woman completely stormed the scene and pushed the idea of what is possible to do on a snowboard.
And as we wait for the snow to fall again in North America, we can all rest assured that Jess Kimura is out there somewhere, preparing her next move, waiting to strike.
Vote now for your favorite in the X Games Real Women contest and stay tuned to XGames.com to find out the judges' favorite and fan favorite during X Games Barcelona, taking place May 16-19.