Rippingest. Chick. Ever.
Who is the best snowboarder without a Y chromosome? With so many factors to consider style, technique, industry influence, individuality coming up with a definitive list of ladies was no easy task. But it had to be done, because everybody loves lists and the women deserve some cred. (Head over here to give the gentlemen props.)
So here is EXPN.com's roster of the best female snowboarders of all-time. Read over our uber-riders, then be sure to vote in the poll.
Tara DakidesTara was once a Rock Star of the Year nominee. No shocker therewe've always been awed by her face-melting riffs.
Back at the turn of the century, Tara took home gold medals in Slopestyle and Big Air at Winter X 2000, and was one of the only female snowboarders to push the bar of women's riding by pulling huge, consistant inverted airs. She went on from the X to nab back-to-back TransWorld awards for Best Overall Female Rider in 2001 and 2002, and then cruised back to the Slopestyle podium at Winter X '03. Janna Meyen has said of past X Games that a Slopestyle win didn't feel the same if Tara wasn't a part of the competition. Tara is to women's snowboarding what rice is to China.
A staple food and a rockstar; that's hard to come by. And so, to thee who rocks, we salute you.
Barrett ChristyIn 1997, Barrett Christy became the first and only snowboarder to win both the pipe and big air events at the U.S. Open. That same year, she also snagged Gold at the Winter X Games in both Big Air and Slopestyleas a rookie. From there, she went on to the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, as a member of the first U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team. She was a staple on the podium of the earliest Winter X Games, with a confident style and groundbreaking maneuvers like her signature Barrett Rolla switch barrel roll late 180. Barrett has been driving women's snowboarding forward through its most developmental decade to date, collecting ten X Games medals along the way, earning her the prestigeous distinction of the most medaled female athlete in X Games history.
A progressive pioneer and methodical trailblazer, Barrett Christy shoulders much of the credit for where we are today.
Torah BrightHailed since her early teenage years as one of the future leaders of women's snowboarding, the Aussie Olympian put it all together in 2007 and scored her first Winter X gold in the superpipe, beating out two-time pipe gold medalist Gretchen Bleiler and Olympic gold medalist Hannah Teter. No small feat.
The shelia is a true competitor with steely consistency, whether she's in the pipe or on the slopestyle course. Torah's all-around skill and progressive style hint at a time when she could reign over women's snowboarding like a Blieler/Dakides Transformer/Terminator, all in one. It's this depth, and potential, that warrants her a spot on our list.
Victoria JealouseThis world-class former Canadian National Team skier traded her two planks for one in 1994, and she's been changing the face of the game ever since. Opting to take the road less traveled, Victoria set the standard in freestyle progression.
Earning her chops through filming sessions with the gentlemen, 'Louse has starred in boatloads of cult snowboarding films, including the IMAX classic Extreme. Crowned "the Grande Dame of first descents" by Snowboarder Magazine, she has "more years filming under her belt than most of today's female phenoms have outside the womb."
Janna MeyenJanna is much more than Oregon's most successful Winter Xer, although it is a distinction we love to mention. Before long, we're lost like everyone else in the web that is her dizzing competition record.
Meyen won U.S. Open pipe in 1991. She came to Winter X as a Boarder X Betty in its inaugural year, back in 1997. She switched from racing to Slope in 2000 and was named Transworld's Female Rider of the Year in 2004. Two years later, she became the first Winter X athlete other than Shaun White to win four consecutive golds. Though she has been plagued by injuries, she still managed to round out her repetoire, spending seasons filming for Volcom in the backcountry.
A vanguard of women's competitive snowboarding, Janna's contest experience dates back to 1989, the very first year she started to ride.
Honorable MentionsGretchen Bleiler, Hana Beaman, Leanne Pelosi, and Hanah Teter. Don't worry girls, you're all right up there with the best of the very best. But what's a list without an "honorable mentions" section? Come on.
Mary Buckheit is a Page 2 columnist and EXPN.com contributor. Check out the full archive.