Girl On: Alexis WaiteApr 06 2007 / Los Angeles, CA
Alexis Waite may not be a name you’ve seen every year at the X Games or the US Open, but if you are in the know on the snowboard scene, you’ve definitely seen her video parts. Ever since she was 17 she’s been charging hard in the park, with style and grace, showing the world that girls charge hard and can look good while doing it. Beyond the regular mags like TransWorld Snowboarding and Snowboarder, she’s proven she has cover girl abilities appearing in mags like Vogue and Men’s Fitness and of course in her sponsors ads.
Lat34 caught up with the Roxy gal as she was driving to Whistler to spend a week riding kickers in the backcountry.
Alexis Waite: My first contest was a Bud Light Boarderfest at Sugarloaf, Maine and I did a halfpipe contest. It was my first day in the pipe and I won. I got a free snowboard and it was my biggest feeling of accomplishment at a contest ever.
Lat34: What's your earliest memory of snowboarding?
AW: I was in Sun Valley on a trip with my friend and her family and we all rented snowboards. We went to Dollar mountain and fell all day. I was hooked though.
Lat34: What was it like growing up in the NW? Are the girls tough and how about the boys?
AW: The NW is a really great place to grow up because it’s generally less materialistic than the rest of the US and people live a very outdoor oriented lifestyle. You still have the plusses of having a big city up there though, so you kind of have it all. I find girls from the NW are very down to earth. So are the guys. I think everyone is pretty tough up here too because of the rain. We have to be. When the sun does shine everyone takes advantage.
Lat34: When did you first know you wanted to be a pro snowboarder? Was it accidental or intentional?
AW: I first knew when I was 15 or 16. That’s about when I realized people did that as a pro. I wasn’t clued into the mags and videos, but I heard about pro snowboarders being in the NW and it looked like fun.
Lat34: What was the snowboard scene like when you were a kid and how has it changed?
AW: I was never really part of the snowboard scene growing up. I just went up with my friends. We were really nerdy weekend warriors and I started getting more into it when I got to high school and paying attention to the culture. The NW isn’t a big scene ever. People are so spread out and there isn’t a central scene like Utah or California. The resorts aren’t destination resorts like other places either. As soon as I went to the east coast and went to Stratton mountain school I was opened up to that whole world. I started realizing there was a scene and it was hectic. It was fun. Halfway through my junior year and my senior year I went to Stratton Mountain School. It was a boarding school where you could focus on snowboarding. I had just turned 17.
Lat34: Who did you grow up looking up to?
AW: Any pro who had ever been nice to me. Shannon Dunn and Leslie Olsen took me under their wings. Michelle Taggart. Being from the NW I looked up to guys like Jamie Lynn and Peter Line.
Lat34: So you had female heroes and it wasn’t just all guys?
AW: Yeah I didn’t idolize the guys. They were cool but it was easier for a female to idolize a female because it’s more attainable and you understand more about what it took for them to get there.
Lat34: What are the girls like who you compete against?
AW: Everyone I compete against is super cool. There are a few exceptions. Everyone is nice and because we all film together on the side we all get along. It’s more like riding with friends instead of competing against people.
Lat34: With all of the amazing places you have snowboarded in the world, where was the coolest place and why?
AW: Kind of a tie between Whistler backcountry. And then I like the Swiss and Austrian Alps a lot. That place sucks when it’s bad though. The conditions can get nasty.
Lat34: What's the best and worst parts of being a pro snowboarder?
AW: Worst and best part is traveling 110 percent. Traveling is fun and brings you so many places. I would be so bored if I couldn’t travel, but I travel so much that I don’t even have a home anymore.
Lat34: What are five things you HAVE TO HAVE when traveling?
AW: I travel heavy. I take a lot. I travel with my transceiver, all of my shampoo and conditioner, vitamins, I have a lot of things I have to travel with. Running shoes. If I don’t bring them I feel bad even if I don’t use them. And I have to have nice outfits.
Lat34: What's on your iPod this week?
AW: I just downloaded the new Bloc Party Album. Shiny Toy Guns, Peter,Bjorn and John, New Strokes Album, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Organ are always on rotation.
Lat34: Favorite recent movies?
AW: I just watched "Babel" last night. I loved that movie. And favorite snowboard movie I liked the Mack Dawg movie “Follow Me Around.”
Lat34: How do you feel about the Roxy image and what's it like being part of it?
AW: It was hard three years ago to sign with Roxy knowing I was going to be a part of it because it’s so happy and clean and I didn’t feel I fit into it. Now being a part of it I love everything it is and it’s become really legitimate in snowboarding. It’s good. It’s a really healthy image and it’s promoting the good parts of life. I feel more and more like I belong.
Lat34: Do you have a fan club that you know of?
AW: No I don’t think so. Someone made a fake Myspace page pretending they were me, so I guess that’s sort of a fan.
Lat34: How do you feel when someone asks for your autograph?
AW: When someone asks for my autograph I wonder how the heck they know who I am. Then I am stoked because it’s not like we are movie stars or that the world recognizes us so it’s cool when it happens. It’s not old yet.
Lat34: What’s it like to slide a big rail or hit a big jump? Do you get scared?
AW: I always get scared. I hate hitting things for the first time but once you get over that then it’s fine. Or you realize it is to big and then you don’t do it.
Lat34: Worst crash ever....where and when?
AW: I had one crash where I broke my eye socket and my wrist at the X Games. At Winter X 2005. I hit the last jump and caught a rut and did a backside 450 and went on my face and on my arm. I also had a fall when I was 17 in Vermont doing a Swatch Boardercross. A girl hit the back of my board and I caught an edge. I broke my tailbone and my humerus. It’s a tie. They were both pretty bad. I had a big black eye. People thought I got beat up. Guys hated walking around with me because people would think he hit me or something.
Lat34: If you could be any other kind of athlete what would you be?
AW: I would be a surfer but I have no surfing skills at all….so I would need to somehow magically get those.
Lat34: Next project?
AW: I am filming with Roxy and Runway Films. They are doing something like Shimmer but more snowboarding style.
Lat34: What are you most looking forward to this season?
AW: I just bought a house in Utah. I can’t wait to move in there and paint it up. I am also doing an intensive summer program for fashion at Parsons in NY so I am looking forward to that.