Maria Thomsen didn’t even know what snowboarding was until a fateful trip from Denmark to Whistler Canada back in 2008. After a smooth street part in Too Hard’s It Lit and an impressive display of technical mastery from Whistler this past summer, Maria has been nominated for Rookie of the Year for the 2016 TransWorld Riders’ Poll Awards. And, oh yeah, she did it all with a brand new baby.
How did you hook up with Too Hard initially?
A couple of winters ago I lived in Tahoe, California for a couple of months. I hung out with Fancy from Too Hard who lives there and she got me in contact with Danyale. That sort of got the ball rolling.
To film your part for It’s Lit, did you film your part separately or get to travel with the Too Hard crew?
A bit of both. I did a trip with Joanie and Marjorie from the crew to Quebec City and we met up with Danyale for a couple of days. Most of my shots were filmed on that trip. I didn’t have that much time to film last year.
How has riding with Too Hard influenced you as a rider?
Boarding with the Too Hard ladies always pushes me to get better. They’re all killing it and we inspire and motivate each other.
Best wreck out in the streets?
Probably the first rail I ever hit outside the park. Its not that gnarly, just a good laugh.
I heard you had a baby not too long ago. How have you been able to balance riding and raising a kid, especially while filming a full urban part?
Good question, It’s kinda a bit of a blur. I had lots of help from family and friends. At times it was a little bit hectic because Tao was brand new and I was trying to juggle between snowboarding and learning how to be a mom. I think in some ways it motivated me, and Tao just came on trips with us and I learnt how to do a rail trip with a baby.
What brought you over from Denmark to Whistler?
I started snowboarding in 2008/09 when I came to Canada for the first time. A couple of buddies from back home went to Whistler and I pretty spontaneously decided to go visit. To be honest, I don’t think I even knew what snowboarding was before. Denmark is flat and doesn’t have any mountains, but after my first time on a board, I knew that that was all I wanted to do.
You got pretty technical up at Whistler this past summer. How long did it take to nail that switch frontboard through the down flat down?
COC is so much fun and we had a really good crew with Darrah, Danyale and our filmer Seb, so it made everything a bit easier. The switch frontboard probably took me a couple of hours to land. It was a good feeling when I finally got it.
It seems like you’re setting your own standards for what’s possible in women’s snowboarding with tricks like the switch frontboard pretzel. What motivates you to try new things?
I get motivated first of all from having fun, but also from like-minded snowboarders and skaters. I like pushing myself and working really hard on making a trick look good, that gives me the most satisfaction. I always have motivation because there is so much more I want to learn, it never stops.
What has it taken to take your tricks from the park to the streets? And even more so, to keep them looking good?
Its hard, street is so much harder than anything you do in the park. I’m still working on figuring out what it takes, practice I think, confidence, and balls.
I remember seeing your Roxy Shooting Star Contest entry from 2013. Your progression has really taken off in the last few years. What has that journey been like?
My journey has been full of friends and snowboarding. I’ve been traveling all over the world. I had a baby. After all I still just do what I love and it looks pretty similar to 2013 when I tried to be a shooting star, haha.
Plans for this upcoming season?
My plans for this season is just to put all my energy into filming a good street part. I just got home from a trip to Kamloops and I’m heading to 100 mile tonight. I might go to Quebec again but it all depends on where there’s snow. When spring comes around I’ll get down with the Whistler park again and hopefully GNU and Camp of Champions will have another ladies week this summer. I’m super exited and motivated for this winter.
Cover photo by Toby Cowley.