Top 50 Female Athletes in Action Sports
50 Women Of Action
As part of our ongoing series Women Of Action, the XGames.com editorial staff got together to determine the top 50 female athletes in action sports today. Compiling this list wasn't easy -- there are a lot of talented women in surfing, freeskiing, snowboarding, BMX, skateboarding, motocross and more -- but these 50 women stood out among the rest for their dedication to pushing their sport, their raw and unbridled talent, their success in competition and most of all, their passion and grace in the sport they love.
1. Stephanie Gilmore
Stephanie Gilmore came out swinging in 2014. After a lackluster, injury-plagued season that saw her slide down the ASP ratings to an uncharacteristic fifth in 2013, the five-time world champion proved she's just as much a competitive threat as ever, dominating the Roxy Pro Gold Coast to take the first event of the new year. Transcending surfing, Gilmore is also an ESPY winner, as well as a Laureus World Sports Award recipient.
2. Kelly Clark
Not only did Kelly Clark's SuperPipe win at X Games Aspen 2014 bring her total X Games medal tally up to 12 (seven of which are gold) making her the most decorated female in X Games history, it was also her 70th career win. At this point, there is no accolade in snowboarding that the three-time Olympic medalist has not garnered. She holds four TTR World Snowboard Tour Halfpipe Champion titles, in March she won a record-setting seventh Burton U.S. Open, and she is the only woman consistently landing and throwing 1080s in the halfpipe. "Kelly Clark has been on top of the game for so long," says 2010 Olympic halfpipe gold medalist Torah Bright. "I remember looking up to her when I was 12 years old. She's always been one of the ones at the front of the sport." To say Clark is the most dominant competitor in snowboarding, next to Shaun White, would be an understatement.
3. Leticia Bufoni
Hailing from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Leticia Bufoni is part of the second wave of street skateboarders to make an impact on the skate scene. Taking influence from skaters such as Elissa Steamer and Amy Caron, Buroni's approach to street skating emphasizes style alongside tricks, and her early successes in Brazil allowed her to gain sponsorships, move to California and learn English while continuing to skate. In 2013, Bufoni returned to Brazil to can an X Games gold medal in Women's Skateboard Street at X Games Foz do Iguau. "She's got that talent and the attitude to be a huge force in our sport," says Steamer.
4. Carissa Moore
In 2013, Hawaii's Carissa Moore claimed her second ASP Women's World Title, but at only 21 years old it's obvious she's only getting started. Almost single-handedly responsible for raising the progressive level of her sport, she's forced the other women on tour to play catch-up. "If there's a rivalry between me and the other girls it's a friendly one," says Moore. "I really respect their surfing and who they all are as people."
5. Kaya Turski
The most decorated woman in ski slopestyle history, Canadian Kaya Turski earned the first women's ski slopestyle four-peat in X Games history in 2013 in Tignes, France. She won again at X Games Aspen 2014, just five months after undergoing knee surgery. She's constantly pushing her sport to the next level. In 2011 at a big air contest in Europe, she became the first female skier to land a switch 1080 in competition.
6. Maya Gabeira
After nearly losing her life in a big-wave surfing accident on the unruly break in Nazare, Portugal, in October 2013, Maya Gabeira is on the mend and she's intent on riding surf of unusual size and power again. With five Girls Performance trophies -- four of them consecutive -- from the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards to her credit and experience conquering waves topping out at 45 feet, Gabeira will soon be back tempting fate in the heaviest waves in the world.
7. Ingrid Backstrom
A professional big-mountain skier for nearly a decade now, Ingrid Backstrom has appeared in nine films from Matchstick Productions, won five Best Female Performance Awards at the Powder Video Awards, and in 2013, she won the inaugural X Games Real Women fan vote. Not that you'd guess any of that by meeting her: She's also known as being one of the nicest, most humble pros around.
8. Jamie Anderson
Though Jamie Anderson made her X Games debut as a racer when she was 13, since moving to the terrain park she has medaled in all eight X Games Slopestyle contests she's entered. Four of those medals are gold. Like Kelly Clark, Anderson is the most dominant female competitor in slopestyle. Her Olympic gold in Sochi was no fluke -- it would have been a shock if she didn't win. "Jamie doesn't even look like she tries," says Olympic Slopestyle silver medalist Stle Sandbech. "It's just so easy for her. Her back tail on the rails is better than all the boys."
9. Torah Bright
From 2006 to 2009, Torah Bright won four X Games Aspen SuperPipe medals in a row -- two gold and two silver -- and then went on to win gold at the 2010 Olympics. Then she took a break from competition, opting instead to get back into snowboarding just for the love of it. "For a while there I just wanted to go snowboarding," says Bright. "It was important to remind myself that contests aren't everything -- or even anything, necessarily." When Bright did decide to step back into the contest scene, she stepped all the way in, becoming the first and only snowboarder to compete in three separate disciplines -- halfpipe, slopestyle and boardercross -- at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Despite the hectic competition and training schedule, Bright came away with a silver medal in halfpipe and a respectable seventh-place finish in slopestyle at the end of it. "The thing I love most is that I'm doing my own thing and doing it the way I want to do it," says Bright. "It's never been about winning for me. I'm a snowboarder and not a competitor. I want to be the best snowboarder I can be, and that's always been my goal."
10. Grete Eliassen
Grete Eliassen got her start as a slopestyle and halfpipe competitor at events like the U.S. Open and X Games. Although she still competes, her focus lately has been on filming -- she's shot with Teton Gravity Research and in 2010, she produced her own women's ski film, "Say My Name."
11. Vicki Golden
Vicki Golden has made a career out of breaking barriers and challenging the status quo. A three-time X Games gold medalist in Moto X Racing, Golden became the first woman to compete against the men in any FMX discipline, finishing with the bronze medal in Moto X Best Whip at X Games L.A. 2013. This year, Golden became the first woman to be fully supported by the Metal Mulisha, and she recently became the first woman to officially earn her supercross license after a format change in the series allowed her to race in arenacross qualifying events against men.
12. Courtney Conlogue
Few in the sport of surfing work harder than Courtney Conlogue. Growing up in Orange County's inland Santa Ana, as an aspiring grommet she was relentless in scamming rides through Southern California traffic to the Huntington Beach pier to go surf. Today, after three years on tour, she's cracked the ASP women's top five and is considered the first viable world title contender from the mainland since Lisa Andersen. She also likes to paint and raise baby hummingbirds. That's how she rolls.
13. Michelle Parker
Once an X Games competitor in the halfpipe, Michelle Parker now sticks to big mountain skiing in places like Alaska, where she once attended mountain guide school. She won Best Female Performance at the Powder Video Awards for her segment in Matchstick Productions' 2013 film, "Superheroes of Stoke."
14. Hana Beaman
Hana Beaman has been pushing the progression of women's snowboarding for over a decade. The Big Bear, Calif., native stepped onto the scene as the first and only female rider for Grenade, back when the crew rolled deep with snowboard heavies like Travis Rice and Danny Kass. She was a fixture in slopestyle in the early-to-mid 2000s, and has three X Games Slopestyle silver medals to show for it. Then she turned her focus to the backcountry, and has been setting the pace there ever since. In 2012 she became the first woman to throw (and stomp) a 720 over the Mount Baker road gap. The feat, along with the rest of her segments in her "P.S." webisode series, earned her the peer-awarded and highly coveted Snowboarder Magazine "Rider of the Year" title. She followed that accolade up with a bronze in the 2013 X Games Real Women video contest, and a first place at Travis Rice's backyard Hullabaluge event. Despite all the accomplishments, if there was an award for "most humble snowboarder" it's safe to say Beaman might win that, too.
15. Lindsey Jacobellis
Lindsey Jacobellis is to boardercross what Kelly Clark is to halfpipe, which is to say she's the most dominant competitor in the discipline. She has more boardercross wins than any other athlete. And though those don't include Olympic podiums, over her career, Jacobellis has a nearly .500 win percentage in FIS races. At X Games, she's 7-for-10. Those are incredible stats in any sport, but especially in one as fickle as boardercross, in which a change in wind speed, a mistimed pass or the misstep of a competitor can mean the difference between first and DNF.
16. Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins Pastrana
Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins Pastrana is perhaps the most decorated female skateboarder to have graced skateboarding, boasting eight X Games medals to her name, including three gold, four silver and one bronze in Women's Skateboard Vert (which is no longer contested.) Hawkins is also the first female skateboarder to the land a McTwist and among the only females to attempt skating the MegaRamp. Hawkins has appeared in the Tony Hawk video game "Tony Hawk's Project 8," and is married to motocross legend Travis Pastrana. The couple had their first daughter, Addy Pastrana, in September of 2013. "I want our daughter to see both of us being passionate about something that we love," said Pastrana.
17. Annie Boulanger
The domains of halfpipe and slopestyle riding have seen women advance in skill and style with calculated regularity over the years. Yet in the more complicated arena of backcountry freestyle snowboarding -- a field still dominated by men, where sometimes just getting there is a feat unto itself -- few women have crossed the gender lines as successfully as Annie Boulanger has. "There was a time when there were no girls going into the backcountry in Whistler," says Boulanger. "As a professional girl rider 10 years ago all I could do was competitions. But I didn't like the rules. I didn't like being judged on two runs." Whistler legends Martin Gallant and JF Pelchat started taking her into the backcountry to film. "With the years, I got more confident," says Boulanger. "But it was hard to pull the filmer away when he's getting all this footage of someone like Romain De Marchi or DCP. That took a lot of confidence." Boulanger's fortitude has led to a respected career as one of the only women who regularly gets segments in big mostly male snowboard movies, which has in turn given a new generation of up-and-coming female shredders the confidence to follow her footsteps into the backcountry instead of the contest circuit.
18. Marie-France Roy
Marie-France Roy, or "MFR," is one of the most respected and all-around best snowboarders in the world. From parks to hairy handrails to massive cliffs and backcountry pillow lines, the French Canadian powerhouse can ride it all and has the video parts, "Rider of the Year," "Video Part of the Year" and "Reader's Choice" awards to prove it. Though MFR is one of the very few women who has built a career around her movie segments in predominantly male snowboard films, the past two years she has been working on a project of her own. It's a part snowboarding, part enviro-doc called "The Little Things" featuring riders like Jeremy Jones, Nicolas Mller and Gretchen Bleiler. "I just want to create something that would make people focus on hope and positive vibes," says MFR of the movie. "There were quite a few riders out there taking action and making positive changes and [I felt] their stories should be featured more."
19. Jolene Van Vugt
Stuntwoman. Motocross champion. Television star. World record holder. Those are just some of the words to describe the varied and multitalented Jolene Van Vugt. Once her parents convinced her to take motorcycling seriously at 14 years old, she never looked back. Throughout her racing career she raced many of the most prestigious events, but it was her work on the MTV show "Nitro Circus" since 2006 for which she is best known. In 2008, Guinness Book of World Records certified her as the first woman to backflip a dirtbike and the longest female backflip when she went ramp-to-ramp at a Nitro Circus demo.
20. Alexis Sablone
Alexis Sablone is not just a decorated X Games medalist (two gold, one silver) in Women's Skateboard Street -- she's also an Ivy League graduate with an architecture degree from Columbia University. With her skate roots firmly planted on the East Coast, Sablone started skating at an early age and began receiving boards from Element and took to the competition scene, earning a name for herself with consistent placings across the U.S. Now a graduate student in architecture at MIT, Sablone credits skateboarding with leading her to her academic pursuits. "Skateboarding has definitely helped me see my environment in unique and creative ways," says Sablone. "I am more attuned to different angles, textures and surfaces thanks to skateboarding."
21. Tyler Wright
Tyler Wright attacks every section of every wave with unbridled aggression. She's the one pumping her fist when she gets chaired up the beach after a big win. And she's the one downplaying any developing rivalries when it's obvious how much a good result means to her. "I hang out with Lakey [Peterson] and Carissa [Moore] and Steph [Gilmore], I don't go out and look for rivalries and negativity," says Wright. "I only see the good stuff." If she can beat her world title-winning friends, she's ripe for a title of her own.
22. Laia Sanz
Laia Sanz introduced herself to the X Games audience by virtually lapping the field in her Women's Enduro X debut at X Games Foz last April. But to her Spanish fans, it came as no surprise. The 28-year-old trials specialist from Catalonia, Spain, has won 13 trials world championships, 10 European trials titles and has led her Spanish team to five team trials world titles. Last May, she raced to X Games Women's Enduro X gold in front of her home crowd at X Games Barcelona, then immediately flew to Portugal to capture the women's endurocross world championship the very next day.
23. Lacey Baker
Lacey Baker is a veteran competitor on the X Games Women's Skateboard Street scene (she has earned two silver medals and one bronze), but she tends to focus on progressive video parts, including 2013's "Bombshell" video part, which Thrasher Magazine called "one of the best female street/tech parts we've seen." A native of Covina, Calif., Baker is well versed in skate history (she credits Blind's 1991 release "Video Days" as one of her favorites) and has been featured in notable skate publications such as The Skateboard Mag. "I have noticed more and more girls coming into the scene. It's a slow process," says Baker on the growth of women's skateboarding.
24. Lakey Peterson
While not the first female surfer to do an aerial, over the past 24 months Lakey Peterson has made the air game a must for every woman on the ASP World Tour. Just like on the men's side, if you don't have a few crafty, progressive maneuvers, you're in trouble. Because of where Peterson has taken her performances what the women do above the lip is becoming increasingly more important.
25. Chrissie Beavis
As a rally co-driver, Chrissie Beavis has helped some of the best drivers in the world win rally races, including two X Games gold medals as Tanner Foust's co-driver. In 2010, she became her own driver, and last year Beavis crossed the Sahara Desert with Bethany Hamilton (shown here, at right, with Beavis) in the famous Gazelle Rally.
26. Angel Collinson
A former elite ski racer, Angel Collinson gave up gates to start competing on the Freeskiing World Tour, where she won the overall title for two years running in 2011 and 2012. In 2013, she had a breakout performance in Teton Gravity Research's film, "Way of Life."
27. Maria Forsberg
One of the most dynamic female motocross riders on the planet, Maria Forsberg has won competitions all over the country in several different disciplines since turning pro in 2003. Her best year so far was 2012 when she went a perfect 13-for-13 in the GNCC series and went 4-for-5 in the AMA EnduroCross series. Forsberg also has six X Games medals (three gold and three silver) in Women's Enduro X.
28. Paige Alms
No matter who you are, Jaws is a fearsome wave. Over the past two decades it's challenged the best big-wave surfers in the world, including the break's pioneer Laird Hamilton. But a new generation of surfers has emerged to challenge themselves, and among them is Paige Alms. An otherwise quiet girl from Maui, she lets her performances in the water speak for her. Carissa Moore has called her aplomb in surf of consequence "inspiring," and last year she was nominated for an XXL Award.
29. Elyse Saugstad
An Alaska native who grew up figure skating and ski racing, in 2008, professional big mountain skier Elyse Saugstad won the overall title on the Freeride World Tour, still the only American woman who's done so. Now, her focus is on filming: In 2013, she was the only female finalist in Teton Gravity Research's Co-Lab contest, where she produced a cliff-dropping segment that earned her Best Female Performance at the 2013 Powder Video Awards. In 2014, look out for her in the new all-women's ski film, "Pretty Faces."
30. Nina Buitrago
Nina Buitrago is the first woman to gain attention in the BMX skatepark and street scene, and the most influential and well known female BMX pro on the scene today. Originally hailing from Long Island, N.Y., Buitrago started the first website and magazine (Emerald Nation) to focus on the women's BMX scene, and now works with fellow female BMXer Angie Marino on "Yeahhh!" magazine and website. Buitrago is the first female to receive signature BMX components, and now lives in Austin, Texas, where she focuses on riding trails and the bigger skateparks in the area. Buitrago was also the woman to push for female BMX demos at past X Games events. "We're at the point where I think girls BMX is accepted more than ever. Hopefully it will be more casually in the near future," says Buitrago.
31. Sally Fitzgibbons
Australian Sally Fitzgibbons has been proving her worth in surfing from a young age: At 14, she became the youngest surfer to win an ASP Pro Junior event. In more recent times, Fitzgibbons, now 23, was ranked second on the ASP World Tour in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In 2013, she won the Roxy Pro in France, got second to world champ Carissa Moore in Portugal and at the end of the season, she finished third in the world in the ASP rankings, with the highest average heat scores for the year.
32. Lizzie Armanto
Although Lizzie Armanto only started skateboarding in 2007, she is at the forefront of progressive women's transition skating, with an X Games gold medal to her name (Armanto won the first Women's Skateboard Park comp at X Games Barcelona in 2013), first place finishes at the Vans Combi Classic and much more. Despite skateboarding competitions having separate women's classes, Armanto is one of the only female skateboarders to forgo the division and compete against male skateboarders. Armanto credits her progression to persistence: "There was a summer when I was trying to learn a trick every day. And then suddenly everything clicked," she says.
33. Savannah Shaughnessy
In the grizzled male-dominated lineup at Mavericks, located in the cold waters of Northern California's Half Moon Bay, Savannah Shaughnessy has carved out a well-deserved spot for herself. First surfing the infamous break in 2005 as a 16-year-old, by the time she graduated high school she was a regular in the water whenever big northwest swells hit the buoy. Most recently she made a 12-hour drive from her home in Santa Cruz to Lincoln City, Ore., where she competed in the first-ever women's big-wave world tour event.
34. Nathalie Richard
A talented and decorated co-driver from Canada with two X Games appearances in rally, Nathalie Richard is best known as a reporter and TV personality for ESPN, Rally America and currently hosts the Canadian Rally Championship. Her brother is the multiple champion rally driver Patrick Richard, with whom she co-drove at the beginning of her career.
35. Tarah Gieger
With seven medals in nine X Games appearances in both Women's Enduro X and Moto X Racing, Tarah Gieger is the most decorated woman in X Games MX history. She placed second overall in the AMA Women's Motocross Championship in 2012 and was the 2007 AMA Rider of the Year.
36. Angie Marino
Angie Marino is part of the first wave of women to tackle BMX skatepark, trail and street riding. After exiting the race scene at a younger age, Marino took to skatepark riding and noticed the lack of support among women in the sport of BMX freestyle. "There wasn't a girls' website for BMX, so me and my friend started one, along with a print magazine to support the girls," says Marino, who has also lobbied for the addition of a women's BMX Park class at X Games. These days, Marino holds down a sponsorship with Fit Bike Co. and travels the world competing in international competitions. "The global scene is growing for sure," she adds.
37. Jess Kimura
Jess Kimura is fiery, wild and charges at handrails with the type of reckless abandon that would make any parent cringe. But this Vernon, British Columbia, 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 Think Thank's 2010 movie "Right Brain/Left Brain" set a new standard for urban snowboarding for women. It's one that she's been pushing higher ever since. Kimura went on to land a part in Capita's predominantly male "Defenders of Awesome" video. She produced her own web series, "Barely," and took silver in the X Games Real Women video contest in 2013. Kimura's performance on and off the screen has resulted in 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." And just this winter Kimura did it again, taking home Snowboarder Magazine's highly coveted 2014 "Rider of the Year" title.
38. Maddie Bowman
Halfpipe skier Maddie Bowman has been on a roll lately. In 2013 and 2014, she earned gold medals in women's Ski SuperPipe at X Games Aspen, solidly blasting onto the top of the podium just after graduating from high school. She then followed that up by winning a little event called the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February 2014.
39. Amy Purdy
Amy Purdy lost both of her legs below the knee to meningococcus, a rare form of bacterial meningitis, when she was 19. Now 34, Purdy is largely responsible for bringing adaptive snowboarding to both the X Games and the Winter Olympics through the Adaptive Action Sports organization she founded in 2005 with her boyfriend Daniele Gale. Not only has she made the podium in nearly every International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing World Cup event since 2011, in March she won bronze in the Paralympic debut of snowboard cross. Then she boarded a flight to Los Angeles to begin competing in "Dancing with the Stars." "My legs haven't disabled me," Purdy has said in a 2011 TEDx presentation that has clocked more than 500,000 views so far. "If anything they've enabled me: They've forced me to rely on my imagination and to believe in the possibilities."
40. Roz Groenewoud
Roz Groenewoud hasn't been atop a podium in the last year, but we have no doubt she'll be back. The Canadian halfpipe skier has won five X Games medals over the course of her career, including gold in Aspen in 2012. A knee injury set her back during 2014's Olympic year, but just wait, with her consistency and progression of tricks, she'll be back on top soon enough.
41. Mariana Pajon
Mariana Pajon started racing BMX bicycles at age 4 and was a world champion in her age class by age 9. Hailing from Medellin, Colombia, Pajon was named the Colombian Junior Sports Woman of the Year in 2007 and 2008, and she gained attention in BMX circles for her focus and style. Pajon was named to Team Colombia for the 2012 London Olympics, where she effortlessly won the gold medal for women's BMX. It was the first gold for Colombia in the 2012 London Olympics. "You can reach your goal if you believe in your dreams," says Pajon, who is now preparing for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
42. Brooke Crain
Brooke Crain is among the most stylish BMX racers on the BMX race scene today. After earning a two-time UCI World Championship by the time she was 16, Crain graduated high school and began focusing on a full-time race career. Selected as an alternate for the 2012 Team USA Olympic BMX team, Crain was bumped to the team and raced alongside Alise Post at the London Games. During her first seeding event, Crain fell and placed 16th overall in seeding. Now back living at the Olympic Training Center in Southern Caifornia, Crain will be one to watch at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
43. Hannah Teter
Hannah Teter, the 2006 Olympic halfpipe gold medalist and 2010 silver medalist, missed the podium by just one spot in 2014. She also has a total of seven X Games medals to her credit. But she says one of her biggest accomplishments was becoming the first action sports athlete chosen to represent the Special Olympics as a global ambassador. "Growing up, it was always in the back of my mind that if I ever make it big, I want to do something huge to help out in the world," says Teter, who has founded two charities to raise money for World Vision and Children International. "Some people might think it's fame and some people might think it's money or gold medals. To me, it's being able to be a part of world-changing organizations like the Special Olympics."
44. Heidi Steele
Off-road racing and trucks don't often attract female competitors, but Heidi Steele is an exception. Encouraged by her off-road FOX driver husband Cameron Steele, Steele has collected three SCORE championships and a BITD championship over more than a decade of competing. Steele is currently a member of the Desert Assassins off-road team.
45. Elena Hight
In May 2012, Elena Hight landed a trick in the halfpipe no woman had ever done before, and no woman has done since. It's called a double backside alley-oop rodeo, and to qualify its difficulty, it is the same trick Shaun White had been trying -- and failing -- to add into his competition run. White tried to land it during the Dew Tour Mountain Championships in December 2012, but he fell. So when Hight dropped in for her first run in the SuperPipe final the following month at X Games Aspen 2013, no one -- no men, and no White -- had ever thrown and landed it in competition. Hight landed the trick flawlessly on her final jump, breaking a barrier not just for women but men as well.
46. Keala Kennelly
Don't mess with Keala Kennelly. Just don't. An ardent and outspoken proponent for women pushing the boundaries in heavy surf, she says, "I love when I open one of the men's surf magazines and I see a surf shot of me there amongst the men -- and not because I am doing a bottom turn in a bikini, but because I have a worthy shot." A big-wave pioneer in the truest sense of the term, she's one of few willing to go at places like Jaws and Teahupoo.
47. Leanne Pelosi
Pelosi embodies what women's snowboarding looks like in its finest hour: She's talented, as progressive as she is stylish, and while she can be vocal about the direction of women's snowboarding, she lets her actions lead the way -- killing it on her snowboard, no matter what terrain she's riding. Refusing to be pigeonholed into any one style of snowboarding, she rides everything -- from closeout rails to giant backcountry leaps of faith. As a founder of the all-women's snowboard movie company Runway Films, and the all-female snowboard camp MGT -- and most recently, one of the driving forces behind the all-women's snowboard web series "P.S." -- Pelosi has been a voice for women's snowboarding for nearly a decade. With all of her accomplishments, she could throw in the towel now and still claim legend status, but the powerhouse from Canada isn't finished with snowboarding just yet. As to her influence on women's snowboarding as a whole, Pelosi has this to say: "I hope that girls realize that they can create their own career. They don't need to be handed things on a silver platter. They can go film with their friends and follow their dreams."
48. Jackie Paaso
The top-ranked American female skier currently competing on the Freeride World Tour, Jackie Paaso got her start as a mogul skier back East and now she hucks massive cliffs at her home resort of Squaw Valley, Calif. She finished this year's FWT in fourth place overall.
49. Kassia Meador
Harking back to the days when cross-stepping with grace and holding trim were held in high esteem, Kassia Meador's surfing is a pleasure to the eye. She puts her own stamp on everything she does, plus she's been a face for Roxy for years, as well as an accomplished photographer and artist. Hanging with the hipster set, she's proof positive that surfing can still very much be cool.
50. Shannan Yates
Big-mountain snowboarder Shannan Yates has notched podiums around the globe for the last decade and this winter, she earned her first overall victory as the 2014 Freeride World Tour champion for snowboard women. She's been a mainstay on the FWT for several years now, earning third place overall in 2012 and 2013. "I love competing at a high level and the tour has given me so many amazing experiences," says the 36-year-old Salt Lake City resident. "I continue with the tour because I enjoy it and I do well."