This post is part of a series of interviews with pro riders.
The focus is predominantly on snowboarding gear (this is a website all about snowboard gear after all!) but there some other questions just for fun.
This week’s pro rider gear profile features Jasmine Baird.
QUICK BIO: JASMINE BAIRD
Jasmine, not surprisingly looking at how she rides now!, started snowboarding at age 3, in her home province of Ontario Canada.
Jasmine has battled some injuries over the past year, but is ready to hit the circuit again now – I’m sure itching to get back out there to compete. For more on what Jasmine is up to right now check out her instagram @jasmine.baird
Jasmine Baird Interview
- How Long Have you Been Competing Professionally in Snowboarding?
I have been competing professionally for 4 years now! I first got on the Canadian development team in 2017, and after getting a world cup podium and some other good results internationally I made the Canadian National team in 2019.
- What Discipline(s) do you compete in?
I compete in slopestyle and big air.
- Snowboarding Profiles is a gear site, so that’s what we care most about here – how important do think it is to get your gear right?
Having the right gear is a huge part in snowboarding! You don’t want to be in the park on a hard boot board, so having the right equipment is definitely the first big step to progressing your riding and can be a huge factor in how much or how little you’ll love boarding.
- And for those young riders out there aspiring to be professional snowboarders, what do you consider the most important thing to being successful? Practice? Belief? Desire? Confidence? Gear? Good coach? Good physical shape? Likely a combination of the above, but what would be the single most important thing in your eyes?
I definitely agree having a solid combo of all those factors is super important. Personally, having a big dream and wanting it more than absolutely anything and giving it your all is what has got me to where I am today. If you’re unsure of what you really want and aren’t willing to throw all of your time, effort, focus and money into it, it’s gonna be a lot harder to get there. I think about snowboarding all day everyday. I think about where I want to be with my riding by the end of the day, how much I want to progress by the end of the week, where I want to travel to best improve my riding in the shortest amount of time by the end of the season, and so on. I’m in the gym to get better at snowboarding, I meditate to get better, I eat healthy to get better, I get physio to get better, I stretch to get better, I discuss with my coaches daily how to get better, and I definitely choose the right gear I need to get better. From a good helmet, to comfortable outerwear, to an aggressive board, I specifically choose what gear I use to help me improve.
- Getting back to gear, what do you think is the most important part of your equipment to get right? Snowboard? Bindings? Boots? Outerwear? Safety Equipment? And what would be your 2nd and 3rd choices as to what’s most important?
I would honestly say its a tie between having the right snowboard and the right boots. If your board is too big or too small, it’s gonna throw off your whole game. Same thing if you have a board that doesn’t suit the type of conditions you’re riding. There’s park specific boards, or ones for all mountain, powder boards, race boards and hard boot boards. You definitely want your board to match the terrain you’re shredding. With boots, if they don’t fit just right, you’re either gonna have foot cramps and numb feet by second run, or too much wiggle room which means less control of your board. Different boot companies have different types of fit to your feet and I’d recommend trying out a few before cashing in on them.
I’d put bindings as the next most important thing, as they’re what’s connecting you to your board. You want bindings that feel sturdy and that you can trust aren’t gonna come undone or loosen mid run.
In third place is outerwear. What you’re wearing while riding is gonna make a huge difference in how you feel and can definitely affect your confidence level. I used to ride these snowpants that were way too tight and I could barely bring my knees up to grab my board when I was jumping, or could barely get into a deep press on rails because they were so restricting. A nice loose and long jacket is also gonna make you feel free to move around in any way, I recommend a warm baselayer with a shell type jacket so you can be warm but still have a lot of room to move and not feel stuffed like you have 100 layers on and can barely lift your arms. Also if you look good in you’re outerwear, you’re gonna feel dope and pull off some nice carves or tricks, whatever your game is.
- In terms of the snowboard, what do you think is the most important factor or factors – the thing that can make the biggest difference to the feel and performance of the board? Camber Profile? Length? Width? Sidecut? Effective Edge? Flex? Weight? Base? Graphic 😉
Length of your board is super important. Different lengths will also give you more or less of an effective edge, and getting the right size will give you the ideal amount of control of your board. You also need to consider different lengths for different disciplines. Racers have longer boards to have more edge to dig in and control, park boards are a bit shorter, but then depending on what type of features you’re riding this can change too. Hitting big jumps is better with a bit of a longer board to have more effective edge to get your setup turns, jibbers might want a smaller board so its lighter and easier to get around when spinning on and off rails. Pow boards are longer than park boards to give you more surface area for floating over some deeep snow. The camber of your board will also make a huge difference. Going from a rocker to a camber board was the best thing I ever did for myself as a slopestyle rider hitting big jumps.
- What gear is your go-to right now? Board? Bindings? Boots?
Currently I am sponsored by Vans for boots, Capita for boards, Union for bindings, and Billabong for outerwear. Vans boots are the best in my opinion, I love them and have tried other boots in previous years but nothing compares to the comfort of Vans. I’m in love with the Capita board I’ve been riding for a few years, its a 154 women’s “Birds of a Feather” and the pop I can get out of that deck is insane. Unions are my favourite bindings and the fit, comfort and grip on your boots they provide are incomparable to other companies in my opinion, and their designs are so sick.
- And finally, where is your favorite place to snowboard?
My favourite place out of everywhere I’ve been is Whistler Blackcomb in BC, Canada. I loved the mountains and park there so much I moved out there a bit over a year ago and don’t plan on leaving any time soon! The park crew there is always on point with their builds, and pow days at Whis are unreal. Even if it’s not the best weather you can’t have a bad day riding there!
Big thanks to Jasmine Baird for participating in this interview! And all the best for your career moving forward.
You can find out more about what Jasmine is up to on her instagram page @jasmine.baird