Newly signed Red Bull athlete and big hair enthusiast Aimee Fuller took time out of her busy schedule to talk to us about her upcoming season, learning to ride in the US and rubbing shoulders with the best riders in the business. Here's what she had to say.
Hi Aimee, so here we are, start of the season... raring to go?
Absolutely raring to go. I've just come off one of the best trips I've ever had riding, I was out in Hintertux for three weeks. We had some good days and some bad days but those good days were some of the best days I've had riding.
What's it like to be part of the Red Bull 'family'?
It's really exciting. It's always been a brand I have always admired and I think the whole performance side of things I'm really excited about. I've got a whole new line of tricks up my sleeve that I want to work on. So I'm really excited to crack on with them, some of which I learned at the performance camp in New Zealand even before I'd signed (with Red Bull). Having the air bag and the reduced risk environment, it doesn't get much better than that. Also the people you are surrounded by are so positive so I'm really excited about working on some new tricks and riding with the crew.
Generic question to British, Dutch and Belgian riders: did you grow up on dry slopes?
As a youngster I started riding dry slope but only skiing. From the age of 4 I used to go every weekend and then I was lucky enough to move to the States when I was 12 and I lived there for three and a half years and that's really where the snowboarding started for me, on the icy slopes of Pennsylvania.
Ah! So do you have an affinity towards the US of A?
I love the US, I love going there, either on holiday or to ride. Living there for three years it was nice to go to school there and experience the US lifestyle but I am definitely a British girl at heart.
Good to hear. So, has the speed of progression on the female side caught up with the men?
I think there has been a rapid increase in progression in the last two years. You've got Jamie Anderson who in competitions is slaying it and so consistent. In the backcountry we saw Cheryl Maas last year produce those episodes doing tricks we'd not seen before to really raise the bar of women's riding. In the park, in the backcountry and street stuff there aren't many riders that are doing everything so I think as a whole the rate of progression has increased rapidly and hopefully it will keep going that way.
Is it a case of us and them with regards to the men's tour?
I think we are so lucky in snowboarding in general that everyone is so friendly. I can't think of another sport that is similar. I see us all as a pack. We all compete on the same tour, travel with the boys. I think we are really lucky to be involved in the same tour and I'd like it to stay that way.
Sounds like a laugh. What are your expectations then this year?
At the end of the day the main goal for me is to make it to Sochi. I don't want to just go there, I want to go and do well, riding at my best. That's the end goal. Saying that, I'm also really excited about what's going on now, not only competing but filming as well as all the other stuff in snowboarding. I'm loving it. I want to get involved in all of it and do us much as I can really. Obviously there are the Olympic qualifications this year so I'm gonna give that a shot as well as mixing it up with some of the TTR events and filming projects along the way… busy, busy.
Going off on a tangent now, if you had to take one item onto a desert island, what would it be?
hmmm… probably a knife. Some kind of survival tool. It depends what kind of desert island we are talking about. I don't think you could get very far without a knife. You could catch fish, if you got into trouble you could create some sort of dagger device to ward off animals. It would be pretty lonely though.
Smart choice. Was starring in Jackson's Hole the highlight of your career?
Being in Jackson's Hole was the highlight of my career for sure. It doesn't get much bigger than that. Those guys are awesome and it was cool being on there.
It is a great show to be fair. How do you want to be remembered after you leave the sport?
My main thing is to make sure people are enjoying snowboarding for the right reasons. There are a lot of people in the game that say things like: "I don't want to do this, I don't want to do that" and I want to have as much fun as I can over the next few years and I want to be remembered for my progressive riding. I really want to step up the level and hopefully progress women's snowboarding. That's my goal right now. To continue learning and progress the sport.
Is it strange going from the outside looking in to being one of the stars on tour?
It's crazy actually. I remember the first time I met Cheryl (Maas) I was 16 and I thought 'wow, that's Cheryl Maas she's a Pro' and I never really thought I could take snowboarding this far so it's awesome to see there are people looking up to me, writing on my blog . I'm honoured really.
Cheers Aimee, thanks for talking to us.