Veroniqi Hanssen is one of those women pushing the snowboarding female scene and its limits. We heard about her new project “Fast Forward” and we couldn’t resist to reach her out so she could explain a little bit more about this. Last season, she managed to gather a bunch of motivated girls together to hit the streets of North America. The result of this is a fresh mini series of 2 videos with good vibes that will make you want to get out there and shred!
Hi, Niqi, for those who still don’t know you, please, introduce yourself!
Hi! My name is Veroniqi Hanssen and I’m from the Netherlands. I’m a snowboarder from the flatlands I usually spend my winters in North America and have been living in Whistler, Canada for the past year and a half.
So you are a Dutch girl living and travelling around North America. Why so? Why not Europe?
Originally I just went to ride the parks in the US because there weren’t many popular ones in Europe back then, and the EUR to US $ Exchange rate was really good (haha). I made a lot of friends and kept coming back. Another reason is that I always felt like the women’s street riding scene is more alive in North America, but now it seems like a lot is starting to happen in Europe. If anyone is down to do a video project in Europe with me, I’ll come back. I think the spots are way better there.
What is Fast Forward? And why that name?
Kayli Hendricks and I came up with the name «Fast forward» because we were thinking about fast forwarding to the future and what we wanted the world to look like. We decided we wanted to do a project that would be inviting and open, and involving a lot of women supporting each other to ride street. Then we decided to do women’s park events on our trips to help more women to get involved in snowboarding. We tried to be conscious of our carbon footprint and the environment because we know climate change should be our number one priority.
What was your project last winter and where did you film?
We went on two trips last winter to film. However, I started off the season still healing from ankle surgery and I couldn’t snowboard the first few months. For our first trip we went to Minnesota/Wisconsin in December but there was no snow for street riding yet. It’s always risky planning trips like that. But we had an amazing event at Trollhaugen that had such a good turnout. We were really hyped on that. Also Jenaya Jenkins and Madeline Kuss flew out there to meet and ride with us, we’d never met them before and they were awesome. For our second trip we flew to Edmonton, where they’re from, Sophie and Georgia joined us for that one too and we got to meet Taylor Davies there. Our crew kinda grew during the winter just purely by women being stoked to do what we wanted to do.
For this project, did you get any support from the industry to travel around?
Yeah, Kayli and I pitched the project to our sponsors and got support for it from Protest Sportswear and Rome Snowboards to help us paying for filmers, editors and Airbnbs. We’re so thankful that they actually invested in a women’s project. I think it’s pretty rare, which is unfortunate. But we also funded a lot ourselves by just working. And no one made any money from it (haha).
You’ve been filming with a bunch of motivated girls from all over the place, how is that mix, did the crew worked well together?
Amazingly well actually! I don’t remember any kind of tension or drama whatsoever. Everyone got along so well and they’re all so genuinely nice. Even with our frozen toes and being out there in -30 we would just joke around and everyone would keep working until we all felt like we had given it everything we had.
Tell us some behind-the-scenes stories that we are not supposed to know!
(Haha!) I don’t know, Kayli and I were stuck at Vancouver airport for 14 hours on our way to Edmonton because our plane broke. Oh! and when we were in Edmonton, Sophie and Georgia couldn’t find a lighter so they used a bread toaster instead, which actually worked!
You are a European girl living in North America, so what’s your opinion on the girls scene from both, America and Europe?
I think industry support for women seems to be extremely low in both Europe and North America (unless you’re competing). I really wish companies would realize the marketing potential of having women on your team, not just one token girl but an actual women’s team. I think so much is possible if women actually got the support they deserve. My favorite part about women’s snowboarding is that all the women I’ve met are so passionate about what they do that they’ll do it regardless of whether anyone is going to support them. And I’m not sure if there is a huge difference in the scene, it does sometimes feel like you have to be in North America if you want to get anywhere in snowboarding. I wish it wasn’t like that. Like I said, I’m definitely interested in growing the women’s scene in Europe as well and riding with women there.
I’m definitely going to plan some trips with Ivika Juergenson this winter. She’s definitely an inspiration to me for being from Europe and putting together such good street parts.
How would you motivate other girls to try and film their own project in the streets?
Honestly, if you’re waiting for something to happen or someone to invite you, it’s probably not going to happen. We have to create our own opportunities, so go out and find women around you and create a crew and support each other and make it happen. Get a camera and film eachother if you have to! Or reach out to people if you like what they’re doing, just ask, that’s what Jenaya did and we were so hyped to have her!
What other projects do you have in mind involving girls for next season, and for the future?
We’re planning on doing a full movie next year, so if anyone is interested to be involved in any way, just shoot me a message!
Thank you for this interview, Veroniqi. Now it’s your turn if you want to say anything else!
Thank you as well! I just want to say I’m so hyped on this crew and I love riding with these women and if you want to follow what we’re doing check out @fastforwardsnow
And a huge thanks to Protest Sportswear, Rome Snowboards, Trollhaugen, POW Canada, Tyler Miller, Robert Anderson and Jenaya’s family for letting us crash.