From issue 24.1; subscribe for more from Snowboard Canada

When I first met Maria Thomsen she was a talltee wearing, beer drinkin’ thug who sent it in Whistler’s parks and nightclubs with very little control. Next thing I know she’s got a child and lives in Pemby, where everyone seems to go to have babies—she’s come a long way from her native Denmark. I remember one of the first times I boarded with her was a heinously icy day on Blackcomb, and I was trying so hard to keep up I ended up breaking my wrist. Maria doesn’t do warm up laps—while I’m easing into the day she’s already doing crazy maneuvers. She inspires me to try way harder, which I am extremely grateful for. She’s also the greatest, nicest friend I could ask for. The kind of friend who will drive me to the airport at 4:00 am, or tirelessly build a giant drop-in for a feature I may or may not be brave enough to hit. She always offers to share her organic snacks, and almost never gets annoyed of my terrible tales of boy drama and partying. I love Maria. And Tao. And Samuel.

Words Darrah Reid-McLean


How did you get so good at switch front board pretzels? Would you say it’s all in the (child bearing) hips?

I’d say it’s a good hip and shoulder cocktail.

Seriously, how has having a baby changed boarding?

I snowboard way less frequently, but enjoy it and appreciate it so much more. There are no bad days now. I don’t get a lot of time to myself anymore; my world is pretty much run by a tiny human. It’s amazing, but when I do get free time I really enjoy it. I think it’s important to still be myself, not just a mom. True, I think Tao will grow up better for that. He gets to watch both his parents follow their passions, while including him. It’s sick.

Do youthink there’s any snowboard injury that compares to childbirth?

No snowboarding injury can be compared to childbirth. Do we need to talk about this?

Yes, we absolutely do. I think a lot of women would have put snowboarding on the back burner, and I’m so glad you didn’t. It’s almost like you got hungrier—I heard you were using your breast pump out at spots?

I’m sure a lot of people expected me to pull back, but that was never my plan. Snowboarding is such a big part of my life and I want it to be a big part of Tao’s life too, if he’s into it. Tao came on a rail trip to Quebec when he was just 5 months old. Samuel was there, snowboarding with the Dreams crew, so I flew in to meet up with some girls. We’d take turns boarding. A few times, Samuel came out to film us with Tao in the backpack—the ultimate dadcam. I don’t know if I was pumping milk or boarding more on that trip. The batteries in the pump kept dying because it was so cold. I remember sitting at spots with my damn breast pump on, watching the other girls boarding while freezing my tits off, literally. I forgot my milk at a spot one day and lost it in the snow, it was dumping so hard. I could probably have made a better movie about my milk dramas than boarding. I’ve never been that exhausted in my life—it was a 10-day trip where I basically had to film all my shots while learning how to be a mom. It was ridiculous but it gives me a good laugh now, and Tao grew up healthy and strong, don’t worry!

Yeah he definitely seems like a healthy young lad. You met Danyale [Patterson] on that trip, right?

Yeah, we had met on the Internet but we ended up meeting in person there, and next thing I knew she was living in Whistler and we were filming those spring and summer edits.

Those edits were insane. I think a lot of girls have limits on what they think is within their realm of possibility as far as tricks go; but I don’t see that with you. Do you have any limits?

Sure I have limits, but I like to push them. I think what’s possible is all in your mind. There are so many things I want to learn, I can’t just settle for a boardslide. Once you learn that, you need to spin out of it, or go switch or do a grab… I need to challenge myself, that’s what keeps it fun.

This summer a camper asked you to show him a back lip—you said you would later and probably tried a back blunt pretzel or something instead, then whispered to me, “Darrah what’s a back lip?” Was this just a language barrier thing? And on that note, how’s the Residency Application coming along?

Darrah delete that! I just sometimes get a little confused with trick names. It must be a language thing. I’m still waiting for my Permanent Residency; hopefully I’ll qualify. It’s super difficult,
so many papers to fill out. It’s been over a year since I sent in my application. Fingers crossed!

Do you have baby momma superpowers? I think some sort of hormone was released when you had Tao and now you’re snowboard Batgirl.

I think all parents are given special superpowers once they have kids, to help you in overwhelming situations. Hopefully I can figure out a way to use them snowboarding too.

Is Tao breaking many hearts yet?

Haha he’s pretty charming, but he better stay grounded or I’ll have to whoop his ass.

Well don’t raise him too soft; there are a lot of man-eaters out there. Anyways, sorry for all the baby questions… How did the season go? You filmed with the Headstones for a while?

It was a super fun season, not as productive as I would like, but is it ever? We linked up with Headstones in Quebec City. These guys are the truth and I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them. They brought us to spots, invited us into their home, Michael [Scremin] filmed us everyday, and Tao loved playing with the boys. They helped look after him and showed him how to snowboard. They are killing it, so thankful.

You got nominated for Transworld’s video part of the year last season? Has that changed anything for your career?

Yes crazy, it was super unexpected! It didn’t really change anything, but I was honoured to be nominated! I get some support from GNU, Vans and Modest, and they’re all awesome, very grateful. It does seem like snowboarding is going through a rough time these days and there’s not much budget, unless you’re riding for an energy drink company. It’s sad.

What do you think is the first thing you’d do with an energy drink paycheque?

Buy a plane ticket to Australia and go to Perisher, business class. Actually maybe pay for a nanny for the winter.

Plans for next year?

Well I’m hopefully doing it all over again. Being surrounded by snow is my number one plan. I’d love to film somewhere new. It all depends on where the snow is falling and I need to save up a few dollars for travel to be realistic. I’m just gonna roll with it!

Well, let’s get it. Thanks Mamacita!




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