We could not be more excited to welcome Maria Thomsen, a talented and highly regarded rail rider, to our Global Team.
Throughout her snowboarding career, Maria Thomsen has stacked up numerous awards and accolades such as the ender part in Jess Kimura's "The Uninvited" which was awarded Women's Video Part of the Year (2018), and an incredible segment for X-Games Real Snow, which marked the first time a woman competed in this segment of the X-Games.
Needless to say, Maria isn't just a talented snowboarder, she is a caring mother to her 5-year-old son, Tao, not to mention a semi-professional handball player, a ripper on almost anything with two wheels, and an all-around amazing person. That introduction hardly conveys how rad Maria really is, so we sat down with her to get to know her better.
Where are you living and riding? What are your plans for the near future?
I live in Pemberton, British Columbia and Whistler is my home resort. I'll be here until after Christmas, and maybe film a little in B.C and Revelstoke. After Christmas, I want to start filming all of the time and I want to go to Norway, Finland, and all around Europe. If there is snow I want to go to Ontario. Mostly want to check out a new scene and hit new spots.
I understand you grew up in Denmark with pretty limited access to resort riding. What drew you to snowboarding?
It's kinda funny actually- growing up, I never snowboarded. I played handball my whole life and didn't live close to mountains. I had a few friends in Whistler and I visited them while I was in business college. After that, there was something about snowboarding that made me say 'I want to do that...'. After I finished business college I moved to Whistler. My life has been snowboarding, and snowboarding has guided my life. I'm so happy I moved here. If not, I'd probably still be playing handball in Denmark.
Yeah, handball is big in Europe. It's either handball or soccer for most people. There was a period where I wanted to be a professional handball player, both my parents were semi-pro players, but there was a time when I realized that wasn't for me. My parents were just visiting me in Pemberton and my dad was watching handball on Danish TV. It's funny to watch because I always wonder if I wasn't snowboarding, if that would be me running around on TV.
Okay, that's enough about handball. What brought you to street riding and what brings you back every season?
I started street riding a year before Tao was born. I watched street parts and thought I could do it, and then I started going into the streets and realized it was so much harder than I thought. My cocky attitude quickly got shot down. I flew to Montreal and bought a camera with my partner and friend. I maybe got two really bad clips on that entire trip. It was funny how it all started, but I guess you have to start somewhere. I just went out and tried to do it that year, I went on a few more trips around B.C. but I ended up just doing a bunch of board slides on everything.
"I started going into the streets and realized it was so much harder than I thought. My cocky attitude quickly got shot down."
What was it like filming for X-Games Real Snow?
I was at the gym in Denmark when I got the call. They asked if I wanted to enter, my immediate thought was, "What? I'm a girl with all of these guys?" So, I flew back to Whistler and had two days of riding before flying to Quebec. It was just me and my filmer, Dave. On day 3 or 4 I broke my hip. I was in the hospital for a few days. I was super disappointed. I was trying to wrap my head around what was going to happen. The doctors told me I couldn't snowboard until mid-February, which was 2 weeks after the deadline.
At the same time, I had to fly to Breck because I had won "Women's Part of the Year" I was super happy and bummed all at the same time. ESPN called and asked if I wanted to pull out. I had this fighter instinct in me and knew I wasn't going to pull out. After New Years I went snowboarding and booked a trip back to Quebec. We had three weeks to film. It was so cold and gnarly, we barely had a crew. I had crazy anxiety and was scared I couldn't finish my part. I didn't want to make women look bad as the first woman in Real Snow, and I felt the pressure. I really didn't want to let women down or disappoint anyone.
I had crazy anxiety and was scared I couldn't finish my part. I didn't want to make women look bad as the first woman in Real Snow.
Out of all of your awards, accolades, and video parts, do any of them stand out more than others?
They all stand out and they are all proud moments for me. What matters the most to me is that I'm happy with what I'm filming. The awards are an added bonus for sure and I really just want to make something I'm happy with.
What kit are you going to run this year?
The product is all pretty new to me, but it's fun to try new product when you can choose from the best.
Bindings: Lexa EST
Boots: Heated Limelight Boa®
Tell us about your son, Tao. Between dirt biking and snowboarding, it sounds like you are raising him to be a ripper.
Tao is super adventurous, he prefers his dirt bike over everything. He bikes a lot. He does not want to ski, and if he wanted to, that would be whatever. I just want him to be outside. I've been snowboarding with him and he's ripping. Last year was the first year he was ready for it and this year is going to be good. I'm excited to see how good he is going to be. It's nice that we can actually ride together. I haven't put him into school yet because I want him to have another year to play outside, I don't want him getting sucked into the system just yet.
How does it work with you being from Denmark and Tao living in Canada?
Tao is both a Danish and a Canadian citizen. He can go to grade school and college for free in Denmark so my parents are really trying to get him to move home. It's so nice that he has that option.
What's the story behind your lip tattoo? What does Tao think about it?
He loves the tattoo, like any 5 year old he loves dinosaurs. I got it many years ago in Vegas. I wanted to get my septum pierced but I was too scared, so I got my lip tattooed instead.
You only just joined the Burton Team, how does it feel so far? Are you as stoked as we are?
Super stoked. I think it's a really good fit. I've been thinking about my weekend in Vermont, I left with such a close family vibe and I have never experienced that from a company before. It's clear that everyone is tight. Burton is such a true snowboarding company and supports snowboarding for the right reasons. It feels really good to be a part of something real.
What do you have planned for the rest of today?
I'm going to go boarding with Tao today.
"Burton is such a true snowboarding company and supports snowboarding for the right reasons. It feels really good to be a part of something real."