Jess Kimura is basically the liberator of women's snowboarding. She is an athlete, mentor, confidant, protector, and she is bringing us all to salvation. So naturally, when I called Lauren Derminio to touch base on The Uninvited Invitational victory, she said she would only do it if Jess did it with her. To ease Lolo's nerves, we started the conversation with Jess as the main character and ended with Lolo. But it was pretty back and forth between us all. They were able to ask each other questions. Haze, the angel, was there and jumped in. I can’t think of a better way to put an exclamation mark on The Uninvited Invitational than speaking with these three.
Katie: Congratulations, Jess, on a successful event. Do you think it went well?
K: Why do you think events like The Uninvited Invitational haven’t happened yet? What was the force behind putting this together?
J: Honestly, I have been watching a lot of contests lately and everyone, including myself, leave them complaining about this or that. I found myself being like, it should be like this for the girls or they should build it this way to help the girls perform at their best. I said to myself, man, you bitch, don’t be one of those people that say why things should be better and don't do something about it. Then I met Haze serendipitously last year. And we did it. We made it so other people can complain about it.
K: Is it easier or harder to host an event or create video projects?
J: They both break you down equally. They both break you down to being like, I can’t do this, I can’t pull this off, what are we doing, this is never going to work. The event was a more physical form of that, whereas when you are editing a movie and you don’t know how to edit, it's on a screen. At least for this, you are outside. I have never had help all the way and this time I had Haze and if I hadn’t I would have canceled it and ran anyway.
K: What was the most special moment of the event for you?
J: Definitely writing the checks out. That was the most satisfying moment of this entire process was writing those checks out and writing the names into them. It was really emotional actually. Me and Haze were just crying, writing names, and trying not to drip on the checks so it wouldn’t smear.
K: Are we going to see The Uninvited Invitational again in the future?
J: I hope so. If we can get funded.
Lauren: Jess, why were the trophies not different sized dildos?
J: There were different sized dildos floating around the area but d**** are always getting celebrated. Why not celebrate gothic butterflies.
L: Jess, was there a moment where you were like yup, it's happening, I did it? Something that made you aware of how dope you are?
J: This wasn’t something that made me aware of how dope I was but writing the checks was so powerful for us.
Haze: I think that moment too was in Taylor’s handplant. There was just this eruption of energy. It was the climax of all the things into one. The crowd, the people, the moment.
J: Taylor has been in every Uninvited movie. I’ve seen her handplant walls before and that was the peak of what she could do. At that moment, I was like.. first of all she can’t even see out of one eye right now and second of all this is exactly what this event was for. To take people who have always had this potential inside them but why would they take that big of a risk or be able to summon that much determination to do something. That was that moment. And when Lolo went rail to rail too, I had to change to goggles because I was crying. That was the feature that the guys were like no one is going to do it. And I said PUT IT UP.
K: Wait Haze, WHO ARE YOU?
H: I am a small town girl, in a bad boy package. Bad girl package, good girl at heart. I would say who I am is someone who can see opportunity and potential in individuals. I love snowboarding and have no relationship to it in any professional capacity. For me, it was just getting to support someone and grow something that showcases athleticism, creativity, and endurance of these riders. It was an easy yes to work with someone like Jess who is so passionate and dedicated to the craft of snowboarding and has helped so many individuals. It was an easy yes to be like we are going to fucking do this and we are going to do it big. We don’t care how much money we can get this first year, the time is now.
The highlight of my week was spending quality time with Mikey LeBlanc. He said “you have the gift of gab” and then I blacked out and he was still talking.
J: She lost the gift of gab.
H: Yeah I went silent and just yelled, can someone take our picture!!
K: Are you a fan of his?
H: I want him to be my maid of honor if I ever get married.
K: Lolo, what did being part of this event mean to you?
L: It was super humbling to be a part of the first event like this for women. Especially not snowboarding for a very long time. Just to be in a place where the environment is created by someone as amazing as Jess. It brought so many amazing people together from all over the world. Any event that brings the homies together is the sickest. It was inspiring to see how much work people put into getting to a place. A lot of people are like, you must have so much fun snowboarding all the time but they don’t see how much shit we go through to get on our board as much as we can. Being able to see it all come to life from Jess’s vision and brain made it the sickest event ever in the history of all mankind. I’ve never been surrounded by that many chicks ripping so hard in my entire life, it was epic.
K: What genre of music were you listening to on your headphones?
L: The first time I hit the roof to rail I was either listening to Dolly Parton or Silver Stallion by Highwayman because I have to chill out sometimes. I listen to Wu-Tang radio a lot which has a lot of The Game and Big L. Always Rihanna, it's on my shuffle. It just kinda shuffles through and I make sure I have playlists that don’t have anything I don’t vibe with. Because why would you want to skip a song you don’t vibe with.
K: Was there a moment you thought that you could win?
L: Absolutely not. I was just boarding. The second I saw that rail to rail that's all I was thinking about. I don’t think it's beneficial to think about anything other than what you’re doing in the present moment. Actually, when I front boarded to my face, I was like Oh I got this.
J: She said earlier that when she won best trick she thought that was all she won.
K: Having that kind of money is a pretty big deal to a snowboarder. What are you going to do with your winnings?
L: I am going to save quite a bit of it for next season. I am going to get my truck out of the shop. I don’t think I will be buying a lot of toys.
J: What does winning that money mean to you?
L: I don’t think it has hit me yet at all.
J: Because we haven’t paid her yet.
L: I have worked my whole life and haven’t made that kind of money in two hours. It will be very nice to be able to film all season and get to where I need to go.
K: Jess, you just gave someone a 3 year contract which is crazy. Most girls never see money like that.
J: It is fucked up and wrong. They post their picture on international women's day and don’t pay them. And then they're like “oh they're not doing anything. She’s not here or there or filming video parts.” And it's like, yeah because they are broke and working three jobs. And I know that. This whole thing was originally meant to be almost like a scholarship program to give them a boost to keep filming instead of having to take that shift that makes them miss an opportunity to go out with a sick crew when they come to town.