Unapologetic and bold are just a couple of words that can be used to describe Charlotte Harris. Read more about how she’s inspiring women to get after it.
Name: Charlotte Harris
Home Mountain: Summit at Snoqualmie, WA
Unapologetic, bold and passionate are just a few words that can be used to describe Charlotte Harris, a snowboarder with a refreshingly real no-fucks-given attitude. She has no problem saying she’s one of the best of the best instructors - mostly because, well, she simply is one of the best.
To begin with, Charlotte is level two instructor with nineteen seasons of snowboarding under her belt. Last winter, after moving to Seattle from the east, she stepped into the role of snowboard staff trainer for big mountain at Snoqualmie. In her spare time, she was also a contributor to the dearly departed Yobeat, where it’s possible to find archives of her passionately written Hot Box series here, here and here.
You grew up riding in the midwest to then in the east. How do you like the transition to Washington?
I moved to the west coast two years ago. Before that, I spent seven years on the east coast. It's definitely not a joke if you can learn how to ride on the east coast then you can ride anywhere! In Snoqualmie, a lot of my instructing focus has shifted into the training of the trainer role. It gives me a lot more freedom - as much as I like teaching and I love snowboarding!
How do you like riding the Myth?
It’s good for all conditions, I don’t go in parks a lot because it’s generally under the chairlift annnd I don’t need a full audience. I spend a lot of time big mountain so steeps, off-piste, in trees and in the bumps. It gives me the torsional flex that I really like on complicated terrain. It wasn’t so soft that I couldn’t rip a carve or couldn’t ride in the heavy wet snow or even the spring slush - it held an edge.
What is Ride Like Her?
I tried to start this social media campaign called Ride Like Her (but this was before I had a strong understanding of gender pronouns). I then realized that social media is a full-time job and have a newfound appreciation for those who run accounts.
The idea was that there is a static, tall way that woman ride that doesn’t use the full range of motion that we see a lot of men using in their riding. Especially when I worked in Vermont - I had a lot of women who would say to me, ‘Holy shit I want my body to move like her body and my board to move like her board.’ There is this untapped demographic of women who are now seeing more women really move their body on the board and either wonder if they could do that, or think they can’t do that, or want to do that. I want to inspire those women to think: yes you can ride like that!
I print 3-inch stickers with Ride Like Her and give them out to women snowboarders. All the women on my staff have them and I’ve given them to other women I work within the Pacific Northwest. I actually just want to create this little army that all recognize each other through these stickers!
What’s on the agenda for next winter?
I’ve been working with the events coordinator at Snoqualmie, who is the only female on the marketing staff. This past season her endeavor was to create a women’s night series which was super successful for minimal marketing and not a lot of push. She’s hoping after the success she’ll get to do more of them next season. We eventually want to create half-day and full-day workshops where the women involved will get to choose what they want to focus and improve on for their riding...Which is basically my dream job.