Jess Kimura is redefining women's snowboarding, both in terms of style and the beatings she's willing to take in order to push her gender forward. Kimura let the world know what she was really capable of in Think Thank's "Right Brain/Left Brain" and last season she proved herself again in Capita's "Defenders of Awesome" movie. Because of her willingness to, literally, make it or break it the snowboarding world has awarded her with accolade upon accolade.
With the snowboard world in the palm of her hand, Kimura went a surprising direction this year and decided to film a web series instead of focusing on putting together a standard video part. We sat down with her to find out more about it.
How did the web series idea come about?
Webisodes have really come about in the last couple of years and, some people have succeeded with it and some people have really missed the mark. I always end up talking with other snowboarders about it. Something I always try to do before I hate on someone or something else is to really ask myself whether or not I could do a better job.
It was just an experiment to see if I could pull it off. TransWorld offered to be a part of it and my sponsors thought it was a good idea, so I thought I would try something new and see if I could be successful with it.
Is this replacing a regular part, or are you also filming a full part?
I'm still going to have a full part that is going to come out in the fall. It will just be released on TransWorld -- like what Jake Blauvelt did. We will have a full part with some original footage, and some of the bangers from the webisodes.
So your part is going to be as good as Jake's is what you're saying?
No way! [Laughs] It's going to be totally barely even good. The reason we called it "Barely" is because Jake's was called "Naturally," and my snowboarding never comes naturally -- it barely comes to me. We are clawing and scratching our way through this process.
Will you be eligible to win Best Female Video Part with a web release?
I'm not sure. We will see about that -- that's part of the experiment. Those awards are based on rider's votes, so if people watch it and it has a similar impact then it will for sure... So, yes, technically I can still be in the running.
Is this a one-year thing, or is this going to be an ongoing process for you?
I will probably go back to filming a regular part. I just want to try everything that life has to offer. Next year I'm going to be filming for the Nike video so I will put all my effort towards that. The web series is super stressful because you have five deadlines instead of the one you have when you're filming a regular part.
Is there going to be a "girl day" one, where you like go get your nails done and go shopping?
[Laughs] Uh, no.
What's been the biggest challenge so far?
Just the stress of getting hurt and not being able to spend time on my board. It's a challenge to push it that hard at the beginning of the season. It's tough because mentally you are thinking, "Should I send this? I could get hurt and end my season early or I could have the best shot of the year."
It's a total time crunch and it's totally on me, because it's my thing. I can't hide behind a bunch of dudes in a video. That's part of the reason I thought it would be a ballsy move, because there's no hiding or blending in. It's just me.