Kimmy learned to love the snow early – skiing at age 2 and snowboarding by age 9. She quickly found that her fearless approach to life fit perfectly with her passion for snowboarding. At 15 years old Kimmy had quick amateur success and was crowned the USASA National Slopestyle Champion for 3 years in a row. These results gave her the confidence to graduate early from high school in 2002 so she could dedicate more time to being on snow. Though snowboarding was a big priority, education was also very important to her. She moved to Mammoth Lakes, CA in the fall of 2002, attained her associate’s degree through Cerro Coso Community College in December 2005, and then completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from University of Phoenix Online in July of 2008. In 2008, TransWorld SNOWboarding Rider’s Poll also nominated Kimmy for “Rookie of the Year.” After bouncing through contests during her professional career with top 10 finishes but no podiums, Kimmy decided to refocus her path, and she pulled out of contests to film with Standard Films, full time, in the back country.
In 2011, Kimmy became the first female snowboarder ever to land a double backflip in both the park and the powder, a landmark achievement in the history of women’s riding. And she didn’t stop there. Kimmy also hung tough with a heavy crew of male snowboard legends in the Whistler backcountry and was one of three professional women selected to film with Standard Films, resulting in her own full segment in ‘TB20’. In 2011, she also nabbed Snowboarder magazine’s coveted Ms. Superpark standout award. 2012 has been just as busy for Kimmy. In January, Kimmy signed back on with Burton, as the only female representing their AK line. She was nominated for three coveted industry awards, including ‘Women’s Rider of the Year’, ‘Standout Performance of the Year’, and “Women’s Readers Choice” from the 13th annual TransWorld SNOWboarding Riders’ Poll. Kimmy spent the rest of her 2012 season once again working with Standard Films and she had a full segment in their movie “2112”. Kimmy has continued to push the levels of women’s freestyle riding in the backcountry and in August of 2012 graced the cover of Transworld Snowboarding Magainze. This was the first time in five years a woman has appeared on the cover and Kimmy is only the 5th woman to ever appear on the magazine’s cover. In 2013, while Kimmy was recovering from a knee injury, she hosted two events in Mammoth. Amusement Park, which will be an annual all women’s park photoshoot supported by Mammoth Mountain and Snowboarder Magazine, and also the last stop of Boarding for Breast Cancer’s Shred the Love Tour.
Kimmy’s resume also includes a stack of published photos. She is a vocal ambassador for Boarding For Breast Cancer. Her and her husband, Chris Benchetler- a professional skier married in 2011, are also Co-Owners in Mimi’s Cookie Bar, an organic/all natural bakery with a storefront in Mammoth Lakes, CA.
Chris’s earliest skiing memory seems to have clearly defined his future. He remembers tumbling down Monument (a run from the top of Mammoth Mountain) in a red one-piece and crying when he reached the bottom. His dad made him get up and ski it again.
Today, the story reads a bit differently as Chris now has his own Atomic ski, “The Bent Chetler,” and has been known to take pictures for Powder holding a camera in his teeth! Chris says, “I try to share how I see skiing in such a way that it motivates people, young and old, to look at our sport and the terrain with a fresh new perspective. I want to inspire them to slash, do a 360, or try a butter, and break away from the norm.”
Born 11/13/86 and raised in the little town of Bishop, CA, forty minutes south of Mammoth, Chris’s parents took him took him skiing from a very young age, but his first lessons didn’t signal a love connection. “I was more interested in being the little kid in the lodge drinking hot cocoa and watching cartoons,” he admits. But along the way Chris did fall in love, and started skiing every weekend he could. He joined the race team, and progressively got more and more involved. Soon, he was taking time off school, traveling and racing.
When Chris entered High School, he discovered the freeride scene. With the full support of his parents, who allowed him to miss school (as long as he still did his work) to follow his passion, he began jumping and training as much as possible. During this time he met Pep Fujas, who introduced him to K2 and helped him get his first sponsor.
Chris started competing. But once he met the film crew Poorboyz Productions, and realized he could ski powder for a living, he bailed on the contest scene and started chasing his true love: deep snow.
Chris has been filming with PBP ever since, and tries to push himself to produce a film segment every fall. He’s also featured in films with his own collaboration in Nimbus Independent (with friends Eric Pollard and Pep), TGR, Warren Miller, and MSP. Chris was one of Skiing Magazine’s 2010 Skiers of The Year.
When the earbuds are in? It’ the same music that skiers have been shredding to for decades: Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones.
Born: September 8, 1979 in San Diego, CA
Hometown: Encinitas, CA
Lives: Mammoth Lakes, CA
Snowboarding since 97/98
Surfing since 1989
Current USGA Handicap: 8.9
Travels: Japan, Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina, Indonesia, Austria, Italy, Germany, Norway, Mexico and Canda
Favorite snowboarding Trip: SP team trip to the Zugspitse in Germay, We had a sick house in Garmish, the snowboarding was super fun and the party time was fun as well. M3 team trip to Japan was also a blast. Playing with toy guns on the streets of Tokyo until 4am makes for some interesting stories.
Favorite Surf Trip: Kandui surf resort, which is in the Mentawaii islands off the coast of Sumatra. The waves were off the hook and we all had our ladies, which made it nice. Costa Rica with Baggs and Romey was a blast as well. Ollie’s point is one fun wave.
Favorite Resort: Mammoth for sure. Nothing even comes close. There is always something to ride, whether it’s the perfect parks or the freeriding, the place is a sure bet.
Snowmobile: 2007 Ski-Doo Summit 800 with a new can, rebuilt clutch and Fox shocks
Car: Toyota Tundra
Wife: Amanda, asleep on the couch next to me.
Cat: Dumbledore, asleep on the couch next to me.
Videos: Xodus Productions “Hi-Fi” and “Voice”, Nemesis Productions “One”, Soldiers of the Frozen Battlefield Productions “Night of the Living Shred”, “Revenge of the Grenerds” and “Smell the Glove”, Standard Flims’ “Draw the Line”
A two-time Olympic medalist – gold in 2002 and bronze in 2010 – Kelly Clark is a trailblazer and dominant force in the sport. She continually pushes the innovation and amplitude of her riding to new heights, making history and setting new records in her wake.
In 2011 Clark continued to bridge the gap between men’s and women’s halfpipe, as she stomped the first 1080 in women’s competition history. And what did that progression get her? Wins at the Burton New Zealand Open, the O’Neil Evolution, the Burton European Open, the Killington Dew Tour, X Games in Aspen, the Burton Canadian Open, the Snowbasin Dew Tour, the Mammoth Grand Prix, the Burton U.S. Open and the European X Games.
The following 2012 season was a sweet sixteen kind of year for Clark. She won 16 straight events in a row, including both Aspen and Euro X Games, the TTR World Snowboarding Championships title, the Dew Tour and Dew Cup. She also celebrated the 10-year anniversary of her gold medal at the 2002 Olympics.
Celebrating her 60th career win in the 2013 season (more than any male or female snowboarder), it was yet another banner season for the unstoppable Clark. With two X Games gold medals, a win at the Burton US Open and a victory at the Olympic venue in Sochi, Russia, Clark is clearly setting the stage for the 2014 Olympic Games in Russia.
The level of women’s snowboarding is at an all-time high. I was very happy with my riding this season and I’m looking forward to continuing to push myself with new tricks next season.
Who would have known that a plastic Mobile Monster snowboard from K-Mart would have such an impact on the world of snowboarding? Well, that’s the equipment on which Clark got her start, linking turns on snow banks in Vermont. A few years later, she was enrolled in Mount Snow Academy, which launched the career of one of the world’s best snowboarders.
OFF THE SNOW
When she’s not riding or when she’s at home, Clark tries to be the same as when she’s on the snow. “I want a life of consistency,” she says. “I’m kind of more of a ‘what you see is what you get’ type of person.” She also has just as much fun off snow as she does on. And that can mean road biking, surfing, hanging out with friends, watching movies and reading. Clark also spends a lot of time fundraising for the Kelly Clark Foundation, which gives opportunities to youth and helps them become successful through snowboarding.