Coalition Snow: Innovative Snowboards for Women, by Women

I recently had a chance to chat with Jen Gurecki, founder and CEO of Coalition Snow, and to try out one of their snowboards in Mammoth, California. I have admired this companies’ products and mission since I first heard about them, but after riding one of their boards, and getting an inside look at how the company was created and the people behind the brand, I am even more impressed.

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Jen has been skiing and living in the mountains for 20 years now, and is incredibly passionate about snow sports and the mountains. She originally grew up near Phoenix, but since moving to Flagstaff for college, she has lived in the mountains ever since. Jen wholeheartedly loves the snow and lives for those epic fresh powder days on the mountain.

Where did the idea for Coalition Snow come from? It started to form organically after years of living, working, and playing in the mountains. Being around a group of women involved in snow sports, conversations constantly came up about the industry and the dissatisfaction regarding the quality of gear for women. The idea to fill the void in the market was bounced around often, and started to grow. Jen finally decided to go for her dream of creating Coalition Snow after a backcountry skiing trip sparked the courage and determination needed to finally go for it.

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So why are Jen and Coalition Snow so inspiring to me? Jen is probably one of the most multi-faceted women I have met. She is starting a company with an incredible mission and value system, runs a non-profit organization to help women in Kenya, is simultaneously working on a PhD, and supporting other charitable causes through Coalition Snow. Talk about a woman doing it all!

What do I love about Coalition Snow? All of the specs and designs for their gear are first and foremost based upon their knowledge and experience of skiing and snowboarding, and what kind of gear they would personally want on the slopes. Secondly, they actually talked to women and did extensive market research to find out what women want and need in a product. I think Jen said it best…she would have no clue how to design skis or snowboards to fit a guy because she isn’t one, and doesn’t know what it’s like for them to be on the slopes. She has the advantage in designing gear for women because she is one and has years of personal experience on the slopes.

After speaking with Jen, I was extremely interested in seeing how Coalition Snows’ boards performed on the slopes. I was lucky enough to be able to demo a board in Mammoth this week, and was incredibly impressed by the quality of the board! From the first carve to the very last, I felt completely comfortable on the board. It felt different from the board I have been riding for the last few years, but in the best possible way.

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Although the conditions were not pristine, to say the least, the board handled so well that I was quickly able to trust its capabilities. I was impressed at how good it felt, whether I was carving down a groomed run, steep slope or through ice patches. It felt as if I had been riding this board for years, despite the fact it was my first time. I truly loved my experience on the mountain with this board and had such a fun day because of it!

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As a woman who has been involved in sports her whole life, I thoroughly appreciate that Coalition Snow is a company run by women and making exceptional quality gear for women. Coalition Snow’s mission is to not only to create amazing skis and snowboards for women, but to operate in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. They strive to be an agent of change by helping support and increase the number of women in executive positions in the industry as well as support and give back the the community in a variety of ways. Quality, kindness, compassion, and passion…seems like an incredible combination to me!

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If you are interested in supporting Coalition Snow as well as scoring some of their awesome gear, check out their Kickstarter Campaign!

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