We recently sat down with Natural Selection Tour finalist, Hana Beaman, to talk about her experience on the first year of the NST and what was going on inside her head during the finals at Tordrillo, AK. Thank you Travis Rice, the NST, Hana and all the riders for putting your vision and riding on display for us all to enjoy.
Interview conducted on 4/9/2021 by 686 Team Manager Patrick McCarthy 1 week before we watched Hana's performance on finals day. All photos by Erik Hoffman (@erikhoffmanphoto)
Patrick McCarthy: What was your favorite take away from competing in the NST?
Hana Beaman: I really enjoyed the crew we had. It was awesome to get to hang out during the week and see how differently people would ride and interpret the finals course. The tour offered a different group than I usually ride with, and such a variety of people. It was really cool to see the younger girls ride and specifically see how Zoi (Sadowski-Synnott) improved and progressed over the entire tour. It’s not often that I get to ride with the girls who are completely dominating the contest scene. Overall, it was a rad experience to see where this tour is heading and know that we were a part of it.
What made Natural Selection a contest that you wanted to be a part of?
The first thing is that it was Travis (Rice) putting it on. I put complete faith in him sometimes, well, all the time. Maybe I shouldn’t, (laughs) but I tend to have complete faith in whatever Travis is doing. It sounded like a really appropriate platform for the people that have been riding backcountry to display what we do a little bit more to the general population. I felt like it was a good opportunity to shine a light on that, because we don’t get the views and the eyeballs that X Games and those other big contests get.
We met in Mammoth back in 2001 at the Snowboarder Mag Superpark. That was kind of both Travis's and my break out year. I got signed to Rossignol after that event and we traveled together a bunch for a few years.
In your opinion, which event was more fun: Tordrillo, Alaska lines or riding the manicured course in Jackson Hole?
I really had fun in the Jackson event because that style of riding is more my personal jam, ya know? I like jumps. Alaska was awesome and fun in a completely different way. Riding there is always so challenging, yet epic at the same time. It’s hard to beat Alaska, but there’s a bit more of a serious undertone in AK because you could literally die...
In Alaska, what goes into your line selection when it's such a large face?
I tend to seek out more pretty lines than technical lines. I've never considered myself to be the most technical line rider. I prefer to go with lines that are more "straight forward” even though nothing in Alaska is really that "straight forward" (laughs).
What do you do to clear your mind before your run?
I try to let go of the pressure and think about having fun and doing my best. It's been a while since I've competed in contests, so I think my competitive drive is something I need to improve on for next year. I need to be a more strategic and push myself harder than I did this year. I’ve gotten so used to filming video parts where you can try tricks and different lines over and over until you get them right. That strategy doesn’t quite work so well with events like these. My mental game can improve for sure.
What music do you bump before you drop into your line?
I get pumped up with some high energy/positive dance music. Either that or some booty whomping sh!t (laughs). Sometimes it helps to get in the mainframe of a bad b*tch before you get after it.
I noticed you sharing a lot of insight with the younger riders. What motivates you to do that?
The better we ride, the better off we are as a whole. I just want female snowboarding and snowboarders to shine as much as we can. I also want everybody to be safe at the end of the day. I’m always happy to share insights and tricks that will help the other girls who aren’t familiar with this type of riding so they can ride to the best of their ability. It’s hard to navigate a course like that, interpret speed, features and tricks and all of that on top of being somewhat new to riding pow, so the more I can help the better.
We're all curious, any after event party shenanigans you want to share with us? We all definitely had some fun after the finals in AK. Let's just say that I’m glad everybody is OK, (laughs)… You’ll have to watch the Instagram stories after the finals air to see what went down.
What does the remainder of your season look like?
I just got home from a week at Mt Bachelor with the Ride crew. The season is pretty wrapped up for me now, so I’ll be kicking it at home in Bellingham. I’ll probably get out for some fun mini shredventures this spring with friends while I’m taking an EMT course for firefighting.