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What We Mean To Them: Stories from our Athlete & Ambassador Team

What We Mean To Them: Stories from our Athlete & Ambassador Team

Our mission at Coalition Snow has always been to create kick-ass skis and snowboards AND cultivate an amazing community of value-driven mountain lovers who are celebrated wherever they are on their skiing and snowboarding journeys.

Skiing and snowboarding mean so much to so many people, and every relationship is different. We asked our Athlete & Ambassador Team to share what Coalition and the Community Care Sale means to them. We’d be lying if we didn’t admit they all brought tears to our eyes...

Andrea Slusarski @drawingfromnature

One of my favorite moments this winter was ripping around in the Colorado sunshine at Winter Park with my first-ever snowboard partner this season. We could not help our massive smiles.

When we got to the lift following that run, we immediately hugged as she exclaimed, “Can you imagine? We’ve come so far!”

Sure felt like ages ago when we were pulling as many tricks as we could to save up enough money to go on our yearly church trip to Wisconsin to snowboard. We’d do anything for that day, we both have been chasing that feeling ever since.

On the chair lift, we reminisced about how we’re glad we wear helmets now, discovered waterproof bibs, and learned what powder feels like.

Truth is, however, without a cool “older sister” like her offering to drive me, or a community trip that helped make access to the ski hill possible, I would have never discovered how important snowboarding would be in my life. As I keep watching lift tickets and gear prices soar, I can’t help but ache in knowing that there’s still a huge barrier to riding with costs.

Which is why I’m so stoked to share Coalition Snow's Community Care Sale. A pay-what-you-can sale event on their skis and snowboards breaks down financial barriers so you can gain access to high-quality gear at affordable prices.

There’s absolutely nothing like this in the snowsports industry, but hey that’s the Coalition Snow method, fucking shit up (in a good way).

This sale is equity in practice. It’s rooted in the solidarity economy. Those of us who have the financial means can help make purchasing skis or snowboards easier for people who don’t.

 

Ceci Gichner @cgich 

Grateful that I have been able to make skiing the center of my career for the past two years.

Even with the free ski passes, pro deals, and free gear, it is an incredibly expensive sport and lifestyle to maintain.

Coalition Snow is aware of how out of reach snow sports are becoming. To try to help they are having a pay-what-you-can sale, where you pay what you can afford for new gear and if it’s above the threshold it will get approved, and if you pay full price the money will go to subsidize the price of other people’s gear.

I am feeling incredibly grateful to be a member of such an incredible community, team, and family. Thankful to represent such a fantastic company

 

Photo Credit: Jacinta Gordon

Genny Mae Rowed @gennymae._

Pay what you can on skis and boards?!

I wasn’t born into a family with money, but I was blessed to be raised by a dad who shared his passion for the mountains with me from the time I was born. I was put on skis not long after I could walk and learned how much joy can come from sliding down snow on two planks. Growing up, especially in a predominantly white, expensive ski town, it always felt like there was a competition to have the best, most expensive new gear on the market each season, in addition to participating in the most expensive ski classes AND having passes to the local hills.

I skied on whatever gear my dad could get his hands on for me. Sometimes it fit, but rarely was I able to access gear that felt like it was made for me. I just got good at skiing on anything and everything (there were a few seasons where I was on some racing skis for all terrain and conditions lol). Even though I had a different experience in that aspect from a lot of my peers growing up, I can’t deny that I was privileged as hell to even be able to be in the mountains in the capacity I was (especially as a half-Filipina) and as I grew up and moved away from the several aspects of the shelter of the Bow Valley, I began to understand this more and more.

I certainly didn’t understand how much of a barrier to entry this sport has, but I’ve been lucky to experience first-hand how much joy and enrichment people can experience in their lives by spending time in the mountains through working with and seeing the work of organizations that provide a space for marginalized folk to access sports like skiing.

If you’ve read this far, congratulations, you’ve made it to the juicy stuff. This is the longest and most authentic promotion for the best ski sale that has ever existed. When I say this sale is for EVERYONE, I truly mean it.


Gyulia Borbely @snowdump

Snowsports are increasingly out of reach for more and more people 😞

I started skiing back in the early 90s when $10 lift tickets were a thing, and when used equipment was just about the same as my birthday and Christmas cash combined... my parents couldn't afford to support my newfound love of skiing, so it was mostly on me. As a teenager, I could realistically save my money to go ski and upgrade my equipment as needed — but sadly, this is just not the situation for most folks anymore 💔

So what can be done? How can we collectively help?

Coalition Snow's pay-what-you-can sale is actively breaking down financial barriers so those who need it most can gain access to sweet high-quality gear at affordable prices.

This sale is for everyone — not just those who can’t afford to pay full price. Anyone who is able to  pay full price (or close to full price) will unlock an offer for someone who has less money to spend on new skis and boards. The humans that can pay more will help us help others who need it.

Ps - Stoked and honoured to be an ambassador for such an amazing company 💖 I legit lost it when I heard we were doing this!!

Let's work together to help make what we love to do more accessible to all 🍻


Photo Credit: Danielle Vilaplana

Hannah Matranga @hannah.matranga 

A list of reasons why snowboarding means so much to me:

1) It has provided me with some of the best friends and most incredible communities I've ever had the pleasure of being a part of.

2) It has given purpose, direction, fulfillment, and joy to my life.

3) It's given me a true sense of belonging.

4) It has taken me to some of the most amazing places I've ever been.

Snowboarding is for everyone. Or at least, snowboarding SHOULD be for everyone. There are SO MANY barriers to becoming a part of this world... financial, cultural, geographical, time.

I have devoted a large amount of time and energy, over the past two years especially, to finding ways to break down these barriers and make snowboarding more accessible to those it should be accessible to: everyone.

One huge step on that front has been aligning myself with companies who share these goals and beliefs, companies like Coalition Snow.

Coalition is making waves in the snowsports industry and doing unprecedented things to increase accessibility to snowsports. One big way they are going about this is the Community Care Sale, going on now through the end of the month and possibly into May.

The Community Care Sale allows ANYONE to go on the website and make an offer of what they can afford for a board or pair of skis. For every person who has the means to go on and offer full price or close to full price for a piece of gear, they are able to accept an offer that is below what it costs them to produce something. Basically, think of this as a community-driven Robin Hood-of-snowsports sale.

So, to those of you who can afford it and want to help make a difference, go and buy yourself some rad new sticks. And to those of you who want to get into this world but have struggled, go make an offer of what you can afford and see what happens 🖤


Photo Credit: Alexander Stephens

Hannah Spendlove @rather_b_wrecking

Attention EVERYONE! If you didn’t know, Coalition Snow is hosting a Community Care Sale. With the continuously growing cost of activities like skiing and snowboarding, it is becoming increasingly less accessible. This is not even taking into consideration that knowledge and access are also huge barriers that prevent many folks from getting into these sports. I feel extremely grateful that the right storm of people and opportunities allowed me to get into skiing. That is a privilege that is certainly not lost on me. Even still, continuing to ski likely would have been out of reach for me, at times, if I didn’t work in the outdoor industry. Why does this matter? Well, skiing means a lot of different things to a lot of different people and everyone deserves the opportunity to experience their own version of this joy. So check out the Coalition Snow community sale where they are doing what they can to make this sport a little more accessible.

 

Heidi Hoang @hoang.heidi

I started snowboarding in my 20s. I would have started earlier, but I didn’t quite have the time and the money. Anyhow, one day a friend of mine took me to one of the local hills and taught me how to snowboard. Hand-me-down gear, including a board way too long and uncomfortable boots… I ended up lasting the rest of the season, surprisingly! The following year, I totally committed and rode at least once a week to finally make it to “decent” snowboarding. Thanks to one of our local hills that had “ladies' nights” where Wednesday nights were FREE for women! I really miss those kinds of deals!

The following season, I was finally able to afford my first brand-new boots and snowboard! And luckily, we had a really good local skate/snowboard shop that was able to suggest the right equipment for me.

Fast forward to 2016, when I finally came across Coalition Snow. I remembered reading about the brand and was amazed by the guts Jen Gurecki had to launch her own business in a male-dominated industry. I bought my first snowboard from CS and I’ve literally only ridden the Myth since then!

I’ve always believed in CS values and their open-mindedness… and this year again, they didn’t disappoint with their Community Care Sale—a “pay-what-you-can” type of sale to break down financial barriers! This is HUGE, and only they could come up with this brilliant idea! I wish I had this opportunity when I started riding (instead of riding a board not suited for me)! So for everyone who would benefit from the sale, please share and give it a shot!


Jaime Averil Gilchrist @jaime.averil

As I begin to gear up for Winter and decide on ski passes vs touring gear, I really appreciate my last eight years working in the ski and snowboard industry. Countless free passes and discounted gear were things that made skiing achievable, especially as someone who didn’t grow up skiing!

Coalition Snow has held my hand through my whole skiing career and has yet again created an avenue to get more women on snow, elevating access and affordability through the Community Care “pay-what-you-can” Sale.

This sale is for everyone. Those who need a little financial help and those who can give a little financial extra, when you pay full price you’re helping others pay what they can!

As always I am incredibly grateful to be a part of such an incredible community, team, and family on and off the snow ❄️


Jillian Raymond @tahomajillian 

COMMUNITY CARE SALE! All caps — yelling what Coalition Snow has brought so much to the industry over the past 10+ years and this Spring is no exception. The Community Care Sale is an opportunity to break down financial barriers to give skiers and riders access to women’s hard goods in the incredibly expensive industry in which we all exist and love to play.

Growing up in the suburbs, not having access to skiing or riding until later in life, I recognize the barriers that exist not only financially, but geographically and also based on gender. Coalition has yet again created an avenue, created access through the Community Care “pay-what-you-can.” This sale is for everyone. Those who need a little financial help and those who can give a little financial extra. Thank you Coalition thank you Coalition thank you Coalition Snow. 


Kayla Riker @kaylariker

Grateful for the sport of skiing for:

- Lifelong friends and community

- Confidence in my daily life

- Appreciation for all weather and landscapes

- Passion for a sport forever

- Pushing my comfort zone

- Amazing views and new places

- Many, many jobs!

- Getting to inspire my athletes on the daily

- Endless smiles

I’ve been lucky enough to grow up being introduced to skiing and experience the joy it brings me every winter. Being able to go to UVM, work at ski resorts for four years before coming out West, and continue to work at resorts coaching freeride (and now directing the program!), has been a priceless experience. Skiing has put food on the table and ultimately brought me to Colorado where I have been so happy living for the past 3 years.

While this sport brings me so much joy, it also has some of the largest financial, social, cultural, and accessibility barriers of any sport. Being a part of the Coalition Snow community helps remind me every day that I am lucky to be where I am and that not everyone has that same opportunity. Coalition Snow is breaking down barriers by creating welcoming spaces and more access in our snowsports community that no other company is even remotely close to doing.

The Coalition Snow Community Care Sale allows ANYONE to put in a bid for top-notch ski and snowboards, to get the equipment of their dreams for a price they can afford. Those who can afford to put in a bid for full price or above will enable a lower bid to be accepted. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or a first-timer, this sale is for you! Go on Coalition Snow’s website today and check it out! Help make a difference and enable yourself or others to get the equipment everyone deserves!


Photo Credit: Powder Day Photography / Mary Toft

Liz Toft @grandma_samomo

I’ve been with Coalition Snow for a good long time.

They take care of me, in work and in life.

Coalition Snow is an incredible family,

they are also a board and ski company that I proudly represent.

This next next is going to change the game ⬇️

Coalition Snow is having a pay-what-you-can-sale—

This is for homies that need to get on the hill, they need the life the mountain gives.

This sale is also for those of us who can pay a little more, making sure that we’re there together.

Family dinner.


Lulu Avila @itsluluavila

This season has been magical ✨ purely because of the people I got to share it with. Without Coalition Snow, I wouldn’t have ever experienced the magic of a new board and the community that is riding and skiing with women. This month is a pay-what-you-can sale on skis and snowboards to break down financial barriers.

So yes I want all of my friends to ride Coalition skis and boards but more importantly, I think my friends should have access to high-quality gear at affordable prices, Coalition just happens to do both. 💜

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