Skier Nadia Gonzales and snowboarder Ruby Peyton took the top spots in the second annual Nikita Girls Who Ride (GWR) competition on the Dew Tour Streetyle course, earning themselves spots in the pro Streetstyle contest later on Saturday night.
Gonzales won the 40-minute ski jam with a great variety of tricks on every feature on course, including a frontside 450 from the tall diamond rail at the center of the course. Land Le Cog finished 2nd, and Darby Pappas was close behind, in 3rd.
“The vibe was really nice after having two days of an intense blizzard,” said Gonzales, the only woman in the ski division returning to the competition from its debut at Dew Tour Breckenridge in 2018. “It’s really awesome to see the sunshine, perfect weather, and everybody seemed to be really stoked. I’m excited to ski with all my friends and personal heroes in the pro division!”
Peyton topped the snowboard podium, with highlight tricks including a gap to frontside lipslide sameway on the diamond rail and a lipslide 270 on the closeout rail.
“The course was so much fun, super creative and zig-zaggy, and the girls were all so much fun to ride with,” Peyton said. “It means so much to me to get to be in the pro contest next, riding with some of the best girls in the world.”
Kaleah Opal Driscoll finished 2nd, and Ari Morrone finished 3rd from the snowboarding field. Lauren Derminio, 4th, was working on what could have been a contest highlight but never quite put it down: she sat down on multiple attempts at a pole jam wildcat backflip over the stair set near the top of the course.
Jenna Kuklinski, marketing manager for Nikita Clothing, organized and helped emcee the event.
“The women’s snowboard scene is growing, but at the same time there are only so many opportunities for the girls that are out there right now,” Kulinksi said. “The goal is to create more opportunities and more platforms for more female riders, and not just at the top pro level but also a step down from that, to help feed into that, which is so important to growing an industry and growing a field of riders and a community. You need to have a good base to be able to keep building your top. We wanted to create this event as an opportunity for girls to be a part of something that otherwise they might not be able to, and it has really turned into an amazing partnership with Dew Tour. They’re taking the top riders from this event and giving them spots in the pro division. It can’t get better or more motivating than that.”
The contests were held on the Dew Tour Streetstyle course a free hike-to terrain park built by the Woodward Copper team at Copper Mountain’s Center Village base area.
“It’s so amazing to have a free hike park like this at a major resort, and that kind of accessibility is a big part of why we’re making events like this, to let girls know that there are other types of snowboarding besides what you might see in a classic slopestyle or halfpipe competition. The vibe today was amazing and so community-driven: these girls, they’re competing against each other but while they’re hiking up they’re building each other up and giving each other props, congratulating each other on things that were done well. Hopefully, it inspires some other girls to try something or to get a little more creative with their friends when they’re out riding.”
Ready to give it a try? The Dew Tour Streetstyle course will be open to the public on Sunday, February 8, the last day of the Dew Tour competition.
1. Ruby Peyton
2. Kaleah Opal Driscoll
3. Ari Morrone
4. Lauren Derminio
5. Abby Ronca
6. Taylor Davies
7. Hannah Peterson
2. Land Le Coq
3. Darby Pappas
4. Mina Itaba
5. Audrey Friess
6. Alice Michel
7. Ali Patrick