Brooke Potter is a 22-year-old park rat hailing from Annapolis, Maryland, who has been skiing the streets of Breckenridge, Colorado, for the last four years. Just 2 years old when her dad first got her on skis at Wisp Resort, she raced for five years before trying her first backflip in the park at 12. She landed straight on her stomach and scorpioned. Two years later she was throwing backflips in slopestyle competitions. For the last four years, Potter has been coaching at Woodward Copper in addition to co-heading and filming with the all-girl urban crew "Diamond Annies," named for the 20th century shoplifting girl-gang.
As part of an ongoing series celebrating the next generation of women skiers, POWDER caught up with Potter to learn how and why more women can and should find their way in urban skiing.
DANIELLE: Being from the East Coast, racing makes sense. How did you transition into park skiing?
BROOKE: I'm glad I raced because it taught me to be a solid skier before trying any tricks. I definitely wasn't a huge fan of the competition scene and that's why I really wanted to push for different types of film opportunities. I think our biggest goal is that inspiration factor – to have other girls checking out our short projects every year. For a while now, girls have put out different shots here and there, but there hasn't really been a girl's crew. The biggest thing is paving the way for other girls and honestly, we just love doing it.
When did you start hitting urban features and how do you keep concrete skiing interesting?
This has been my fourth year putting together a street part, and it is my fourth year hitting street. I've always loved rails. You're constantly looking at features differently. When I ski a building or staircase, I can see so many different opportunities.
Do you think skiers have misconceptions about the urban scene?
A lot of people who haven't hit urban, they think it's a lot easier and quicker than it actually is – a three-second shot could take hours or even a couple days to get. People see something put together and they don't really think about how much effort and background work it took.
What is your favorite trick?
I love switch lipslides and switch tails. I've always felt super comfortable getting on rails switch, so it's definitely my go to trick.
How did the "Diamond Annies" come to be?
Katrina Nicole came up with the name. It was a group of badass chicks that went against society and we really liked what it meant. It's what we're doing, in a way. We're going against what the industry wants us to do and we're trying to be different and put together these projects every year that aren't super girly, they're a little bit more edgy.
Do women skiers—especially in the urban scene—face a specific set of challenges?
It's all about finding that niche that you really want to be in and not focusing on the guys. I know that a lot of girls get down on a lot of the stuff that the industry puts out and it's happened forever. I try to focus on my own progression instead of the comparison between girls and guys.
What gets you most excited about the future of women in skiing?
Seeing how many more kickass chicks are in the industry. Every year it just seems like it's blowing up and girls are just getting so freaking good in every aspect, so I have hope in skiing and in coaching. Last week we had a girl throw a switch backflip at Woodward and she's like 14. That gives me so much hope.
Why do you ski? What makes it important to you?
There is nothing I love more than expressing my creative side through filming. I chose to start hitting street to not only try and inspire other girls to give it a try, but to also express myself through editing and putting together projects.
Skiing street also makes you see things differently. During the off-season, I drive around the Denver suburbs looking at all sorts of different options and spots visualizing what can be done the following season. It's such a rad concept!
What can you say to girls who want to start skiing urban?
Find a squad. Find people who are as passionate about everything as you are, and don't be afraid of hitting street. If you're out there hitting rails in the park, find a mellow handrail in your town and just give it a try. Don't hold back just because it seems like a "guy" thing to do.