To be fair, it was a no-brainer for SBESMag to start this new “Badass Moms” interviews since our magazine is led by the one and only Alba Pardo, a snowboarder, badass mom and role model for many others. So today we kick start this new series of interviews with the Italian Chiara Grisorio, also known for her filming skills behind the lens of Rusty Toothbrush.
Chiara Grisorio is a strong woman with a lot of ideas to make snowboarding more inclusive. She fights for equality, not with words but with actions, so she focuses on putting the spotlight on female snowboarding through her job at Drake and Northwave. She spends her winters in an RV with her family (Alex and India) and the whole Rusty Toothbrush crew. She is a filmer, a Team Manager, a mother… and an overall badass woman. So, obviously, you need to keep reading!
Hi Chiara, how are you doing and how is little India doing?
Ciao bella! Really really good thanks! She’s on my lap while I’m doing this interview. I’ve learned hard to multi task.
Where are you parked at the moment?
We are at Dusan’s house in the Czech Republic. Well, not really his house, we’re more in his parking lot with the two vans hooked onto his power.
Is it snowing a lot? I hope you get some fresh snow for the streets.
Oh my goodness it has been snowing since we got here which was about two weeks ago. Czech is not really a place for pow, even though it has some sick mountains. But its INSANE for street. Literally, everywhere you look there’s a spot.
Did you get some cool clips last week? Give us a hint!
Hell yeah! Niqi (Veroniqi Hansen) joined the crew so we got some insane clips this week!
Just in case our readers don’t know, what do you actually do for Rusty Toothbrush and in the snowboarding industry in general?
So for RT, I mainly do all the music and help out Alex during the trips so anything from finding spots, to parking the van to groceries etc… Before, I used to also help him film. It started out here and there. And then, I was actually at the spot setting everything up ready to hit. I can’t really do that now because of Indy. I mean, we thought about strapping her onto me. But it’s quite heavy to have all day long (haha)! So, instead, I’m just focusing on my other job. I can’t really sum it up but let’s say I focus on the women’s side of Northwave and Drake, from the team to the products to the trips to moral support, anything and everything.
I first-hand know that you are also really involved with female snowboarding in particular. What are you doing or promoting through your job at Drake and Northwave?
The most important thing for me is to be inclusive. It’s been way too long for this to continue, we need to make an existential shift. What we have been doing at Northwake and Drake is not only creating a team but getting everyone involved in any way possible. That’s why I wanted to celebrate the team with PMS (please make space, the “please” is actually crossed out), a street and park video with some of the women in our team. It was important for us to release it right away so we could show people that we are here, we are active and we are ready to go.
In general, I’d like to be able to give more space to women. Back in the day it was Jibgurl, now its Jess Kimura and I wanna be able to follow their footsteps and create a new path for other women who really work their asses off and want to inspire other women to just get out there without feeling judged or scared.
In the last Rusty Toothbrush movie you were pregnant! When did you learn about it? And how did you handle this new situation?
I found out during Christmas and it was so funny because I did a test and thought it was negative but it was actually positive. My sister had to buy me the one that says ‘PREGNANT’ on it for me to actually believe it. Honestly, Alex and I were super stoked! We got in the van the next day and left to film Two Vans No Plans.
Were you filming the entire season with a baby in your belly? How was that? Was it more difficult than normal?
It was intense mostly because of my hormones. They were all over the place. I remember when we went to Passo Rolle and we were walking uphill in deep snow and the strap of my backpack broke. Yeah, that was a moment i’ll always remember! I think i cried at one point but I didn’t want to show the guys I was having an emotional breakdown. It’s fucking hard being a women sometimes. Maybe the lesson to be learned is that everyone gets emotional in one way or the other. But on the other hand, I can’t wait to show India the movie we’ve made.
I’m 100% sure you have some funny story related to pregnancy and filming in the streets.
The funniest was for sure the day of my labour. I wasn’t filming because I was already 9 months pregnant, but the night before, I got up to go to the bathroom and told Alex my water had broken. I think his exact words were “are you sure? i think it would be way more intense, you seem pretty chill” so we went back to bed. The morning after I was pretty sure I had to go to the hospital so we took the van and drove down. Unfortunatley, Alex has this really bad habit of running out of gas. So yeah, we ran out of gas. Thank god it was downhill.
Did you ever feel judged for being pregnant and not being at home just patiently sitting and waiting for 9 months?
I think the snowboarding world is quite good in that because I was never really judged by any of our friends. I also went snowboarding while I was pregnant. A couple of turns here and there but it’s really up to how one feels.
And how is it now? Does India like the cold and living in the van?
She adores it! Alex made a DIY bed for her. It’s attached to our bed so I don’t have to get up to breastfeed which is so sick. We also try to go to the spots as much as possible. I try to shovel a bit (when Indy’s sleeping) and give some moral support. Alex really makes us part of everything that’s going on. I think we couldn’t be apart, it wouldn’t feel like we’re creating something. And also, he’d miss so much of India’s growth. So yeah, anyone filming street who’s got a family “You can bring them with you, no problem!”
Do you think she will have the filmer blood of her mom or the snowboarder side of her daddy cool? I hope she gets to read this in a few years to see what happened in the end.
Yeah I hope she’ll read this too, actually I want to thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to talk about this incredible experience. Oh wait, the question (AHAHA!). I think Indy will be free to do whatever she wants, be whoever she wants as long as she’s a respectful person, Alex and I don’t really care. But, on the other hand, she is half Kiwi so if she becomes like Zoi, I would froth hard! (haha!) No pressure Indy!
No pressure at all, Indy! Do you take her on street missions? How is she handling it? Please, you need to tell us the story of her first kick-out!
That was hilarious because the guys had shaped and built this awesome spot that Alex was gonna do and 5 minutes after we’d gotten there, a guy showed up and kicked us out. India was in her car seat in the middle of a snow storm (she loves snow storms, snow, cold, ice… She’s def her dad’s daughter. We then went to the tourist office and talked to some people there and finally got permission to hit the spot a couple of nights after thanks to Dusan. I’m happy that we got to see it. There’s a photo on insta of me holding her like Simba while Alex is hitting this C rail. I’m so lucky to have a daughter like her. She’s so cool and sooo chill.
It sounds like she’s having a cooler life than most of us. Has she changed the way you guys go about or altered your plans for the winter?
Well, for Alex I don’t think it’s changed much. For me its changed because my life now revolves around India and her needs. But we’re still in the van filming a movie so I guess, nothing’s changed that much. Plus, we love traveling with her. Even if she’s only 5 months she’s already been in 5 counties. I hope we can keep up this lifestyle for a little longer so she can become a citizen of the world. I’d love for Indy to explore as much as possible, both culturally and socially the corners of the world.
And what are you cooking this season? Any new movie coming next fall or will we have to wait longer?
We’re filming for the new RT movie but we still don’t know if it will be a 2 year project or release it next fall. We’re also coming out with a sick new line for Drake. I fucking love the new collection! All the boards were designed by Michele Tombolan (mega shout out!!!) but also we’ve had a lot of contribution by Paula Benito (another shout out!) who’s always been super helpful and invested since the first day we got her onboard. Paula and I managed to create a new board called the DFL PRO. You’ve seen it already and i’m so stoked we got really positive feedback from all you guys. Can’t wait to show it to the world. Also, we’ve got a UNISEX board which the Simpson Brothers and Paula designed. It’s really rad, it’s gonna be called the TAO of Drake. It’s definitely my choice at the moment.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what you’re doing in the streets! Thank you for the interview and keep it up, mommy cool! Would you like to add anything else?
Thank you Mari! And I’m so stoked that you joined Northwave and Drake. Yeah I’d like to add one more thing:
If you’re a brand without a women’s team, wake the fuck up. Go to resorts, contests, events or even sit at home and open up instagram. There are thousands of women waiting to get the opportunity to ride. No more time for excuses.