DOM VALLEE AND KRISTI LESKINEN TALK PROGRESSION SESSIONS
Dom Vallee and Kristi Leskinen Interview
What are your individual approaches to coaching?
Dom: I try to get all the girls really pumped and happy, and then everybody feeds off each other.
Kristi: I like to lead by example. If someone is scared to try something, I’m going to try it first, then explain to them how it is done so they will go for it.
How was the vibe of Canyons?
Kristi: The heated chair is the greatest invention. Colorado take notes. Seriously, Whistler? Heat ‘em baby.
Dom: Canyons had so much to offer, from the natural halfpipes to the 1.1 mile park. The heated chairs, I felt like I was sitting in a Lexus.
Kristi: I didn’t really know what to expect coming in. I’ve done camps before at summer camps, but to have all girls, it was a really great vibe. Everyone fed off each other. It’s really important for girls to see other girls doing tricks because they see they can do it, too. What’s really great is when the crash and they laugh at themselves and realize it’s not that bad. They can do things and have fun in a park at a beginner level.
Dom: I think you see the confidence boosting which is so important for girls. They see tricks and realize they can do anything. I have always found that at girls-only camps, the progression is so much higher than if guys are involved. The progression of women together is unreal. I think it because it is a comfortable environment and they feel comfortable trying anything, no matter how they look or feel. They can just go for it; they have nothing holding them back.
Kristi: When I was twelve years old, I compared myself to the guys. The older you get, the more you realize the differences between men and women. And, seeing a women do something really empowers you, because you say, “I can do that, too.” It goes for pro level all the way to the beginners.
Who is the Oakley woman?
Kristi: They have some of the most technically advanced products on the market. It’s huge that Oakley is one of the only women-specific products at that high level. The amazing thing that I wish people would recognize, is that Oakley is really making a push into women’s technical products. They want to see us perform and it shows in events like OPS, there’s no other company doing that.
Dom: It’s women pushing women.
What do you hope women leave OPS with after the weekend?
Dom: Confidence and empowerment that they can keep up with the boys and also do tricks that they didn’t think they’d be able to do, just in a weekend.
Kristi: That you don’t have to be an expert to ride in the terrain park. You don’t have to an expert to hit a jump. You can go in there, have fun and enjoy your day without being crazy. I think a lot of women don’t think they’re good enough to go in the park and that’s just not the case. You know we’re not guys, we’re girls. And, we’re still capable of so much.