Shredding the Status Quo

When Jen Gurecki founded Coalition Snow with the vision to create better ski and snowboard gear for women, she ended up launching so much more than just a retail line of high-performing, beautifully designed hardgoods and apparel. With the addition of a sassy podcast, a hard-hitting blog and an international community of outdoor women called the “Sisterhood of Shred,” the Reno-based brand became a bold force in the feminist movement.

By scrapping the outmoded philosophy that women’s gear should be produced by simply “shrinking and pinking” gear originally designed for men, Coalition Snow became the first company to design skis and snowboards specifically for, and by, women. An in-depth R&D process revealed that many women skiers felt the reason they couldn’t keep up with their boyfriends/fathers/brothers/guy friends was because they weren’t strong, brave or skilled enough. What Gurecki and her design team set out to prove was that much of this perceived “lack” could be attributed to using gear that simply wasn’t good enough for hard-charging girls. The result can be summed up by a quote from Coalition Snow’s Twitter profile: “We make women’s skis and snowboards that don’t suck.”

To further support women who desire more gratifying outdoor experiences, or who feel like they are drowning in “dude soup,” a term from the inaugural episode of the brand’s new podcast, “Juicy Bits,” which refers to the under-inclusion of women in the outdoor industry. Coalition Snow assembled a network of ambassadors across the United States (including three groups in the Rocky Mountain region), Canada and Europe to lead ladies-only local outdoor activities and events. The #sisterhoodofshred alliance plays an important role in the brand’s mission by encouraging women to assert their bossy, bold, badass selves from the chairlift to the corner office. As explained in a recent Juicy Bits episode during an interview with Whitney Foehl, founder of Tahoe Backcountry Women, girls-only groups help develop women’s leadership skills by giving them the chance to voice their opinions and make decisions during outdoor expeditions without the risk of being judged by their male counterparts.

Coalition Snow’s skis and snowboards can be found at REI or coalitionsnow.com.

—Katie Hearsum

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