Name: Helen Schettini
Born: October 9, 1984
Resides: Whistler, BC
Sponsor: YES Snowboards, Vivo Headwear, Billabong, Electric, VIVO Gloves, Addias
Helen can you explain your turning point from an amateur snowboarder to pro?
Well I’m not entirely sure where that line exists for anyone. Is it when you are getting a pay cheque? … because I still work a waitress job in the off season. I’ll say that my snowboard life is going really well right now and I’m going to keep pushing to take my riding to the next level.
How did you first get hooked up with Vivo headwear and what does the brand mean to you?
Vivo is a new sponsor for me. Rube Goldberg, my best friend, knows Anthony Leffelaar (owner of Vivo) and he kept forwarding him pictures of myself and talking me up. I met with Anthony during the Telus Festival in April 2010. Since then Anthony and I have been working together a bunch to create new designs and ways to promote the brand and myself. It’s been so much fun. Vivo Headwear is rider owned and rider driven. Anthony created this company a little over a year ago and he has done so much since then to grow it into a professional, high end snowboard brand that is blowing up! I’m super excited to be a part of it!
Do you have plans to help designs some collective women’s items with Vivo headwear in the future?
Yes! We’ve been talking a lot about future designs… ideas and looks that I’m into. Vivo uses really high end material to create there hats.. all environmentally friendly which is even better! This next winter line is going to have a hat or two that are based from my favourite hat styles, yet have a creative twist that Corey Shepard (designer) has thrown into it. I can’t wait to see the outcome.
Its looks like you had a very productive season can you give us a quick run down on your season?
I had a really great 09/10 winter season. I mainly rode the hill (since we had a record amount of snow) and did a bunch of sledding with so many different people. I had some super productive days shooting out in the Whistler backcountry with many different photographers and had the chance to learn from Annie Boulanger, Kevin Sansalone, and Rube Goldberg… everything from sledding, to finding lines, to creating a great shot. I headed out to Revelstoke in February to check out new and different terrain. That place is endless! But unfortunately, with our sketchy avalanche season, we weren’t able to make a second trip. The coastal area was the safest this year so I was able to be home for most of it!
You just signed with YES snowboards this summer, what is your plans with them and what do you think about their company?
I am beyond excited to be with YES Snowboards. I have looked up to the owners (DCP, Romain De Marchi, and JP Solberg) from day one and to be a part of another rider owned company that is making major moves in this industry is a dream come true! I am one of their only women riders right now. In the future, they plan to create a women’s board which I can help design and create. I’m so excited to be a part of this company, both behind the scenes and on the front line!
What is the most favourite country you have traveled to and why?
I would say I am well traveled but compared with some snowboarders, I haven’t even scratched the surface. So my favourite country I have been to isn’t even a snowboard trip. I went to Italy for a family reunion a few years ago and it blew me away. The Italian lifestyle is something that we definitely need to incorporate into the North American way of life. They have amazing food, an unbelievable history, and the most beautiful landscape. I hope I can get back there soon and check out the mountains as well.
Hands down what has been the scariest moment snowboarding in your life?
Snowmobiling has been some of the most nerve wracking experiences ever. From busting up 2 sleds in one day, to flipping my sled into a rock garden. I guess that’s the name of the game!
What is the funniest moment you have had while on a snowboard trip?
Probably my first sledding trip ever. We went up to Bralorne with 6 chicks and Jeff Corbett, a photographer, trying to get a story. We all suck at sledding, our sleds are so old and in shit condition, and Jeff had to pull us out of the most amateur situations. Looking back now, I can’t believe we attempted it. Haha!
How can you describe your snowboarding style?
You can catch me in the park and hit run on those fun spring days but my passion is the powder and the backcountry. Thats what I’m here for and that’s what I love.
Do you have any riders that have inspired you through your snowboard board career?
I have looked up to Victoria Jealouse (who is also from Kamloops) and Annie Boulanger from the start.
A lot of new school girls seem to be ripping around the park jibbing rails these days but you have keeped your riding in the backcountry while ripping around on a 800cc snowmobile whats your thoughts about park vrs back country? Each to their own. I’m not into rails and crazy weird urban jib sessions but other girls are ripping it up doing that. There is some amazing talent out there, but at the end of the day, you gotta do what makes you happy. Hitting a double kink doesn’t excite me… going out back and riding pillows and different features does.
What is a day in the life with Helen?
In the summer months I’m devoted to the gym… I have had a ridiculous amount of broken bones and I’ve learned that staying on top of your health and body really minimizes the injuries. I also work at an Italian restaurant in the summer and do some correspondence courses to keep my mind activated.
As for winter, the working stops, the gym slows, and my life is seriously devoted to riding. I ride the mountain most days that I’m not sledding. I believe any day out shredding with your friends is just as important as being in front of the camera. You have to love snowboarding to continue pursuing it so that is a huge part of it all for me.
Any advice you can give to up and coming girls trying to turn pro?
Do it because you love it.. not for the money or the status of it. There is a lot of opportunity in this sport but keep a level head on your shoulders… you can really get chewed up and spit out in this industry so you need to make sure you have your priorities in check.
What are your future goals with snowboarding?
I have so many! I would love to start filming a video part. I have been devoted to the backcountry for a few years now, I have my base set, and now I think I can start my progression in the video world and continue getting as much exposure as possible.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
The Helen version of Annie Boulanger. Her snowboard career is one I look up to… and I know I have the passion and determination to get there too. I am also very interested in learning the other aspects of the industry, so hopefully I’ll be able to incorporate myself into the design side of brands and give input into the companies I ride for.
My parents and my brother Dave, the best support group I’ve ever had.. Rube, Annie, Kevin, Paul, all the photographers I’ve worked with and.. My sponsors! (Anthony at VIVO, DCP and Romain at YES, Geoff Andruik at Powder Room, Steve at Electric, Addias