Nadia Samer
Big Mountain, Freeride

HOMETOWN Whistler, BC. Canada

AGE 25

NICKNAME "Nads"

MOVIES Fourcast 2, BRAAAP 10, Boondockers 8, Ruffriders 6, Our time is Now, Rise, Pretty Faces, Shades of Winter 2

HISTORY Former Alpine Ski Racer, Canadian Ski Cross team invitee and current Big Mountain skier

A perfect day would involve lots of big cliffs,
natural side hips, whips and zero mechanical failures finished off by a beautiful sunset and quick ride out
Nadia Samer
Nadia Samer

How did you get into snowmobiling?
I was racing ski-cross and my room-mates convinced me to enter a few Big Mountain comps when I had free time, I really enjoyed it and was doing quite well. To progress in Big Mountain skiing, getting a snowmobile to access gnarlier lines is the natural progression around here in Whistler. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities and opportunities. So I saved up my pennies for 3 years and bought a 2nd hand machine, but nobody wanted to take a newbie out, let alone a girl, so my first year consisted of doubling friends up FSR ( Forestry Service Roads) that I had looked up on Topographic maps and spending a lot of time digging, and doing things the “wrong way”. If you love it, you will stick with it no matter how much the brutal learning curve sucks.

What are your current plans for this winter?
This winter I filmed for Shades of Winter 2, which is a follow up to Sandra Lahnsteiners movie from last year. This year it is being co-produced and distributed by Red Bull Media House - which is pretty darn exciting! I had 3 days out here filming with Momme Halbe, formerly of Sherpas Cinema. It was my first time filming with a Red Epic, and we got some pretty amazing footage. I can't wait for it to come out! I also filmed for Pretty Faces, which will be on itunes and Netflix October 1st, and have a large snowmobile segment in that movie as well. It's a big year for women in winter sports, that's for sure! I'm pretty stoked and humbled to be a part of it.

What do you do the rest of the year when it isn't snowing?
I attend Simon Fraser University May through December where I am over halfway to completing my undergraduate degree in Health Science, going Pre-Med. I like to keep busy, and love a challenge. Jumping off cliffs seems like a joke after Organic Chemistry, let me tell you! I also enjoy working out, years of racing die hard and now I either Crossfit or hog the squat rack at my university gym in the off season combined with Downhill Biking, hiking and swimming to stay fit for winter. I dabble a little bit in photography and journalism too, I've had my images run in over 20 magazines and publications worldwide, including RedBull.com, ESPN.com. I am also a part of a Nation-wide speaker series talking to High School youth about overcoming obstacles, challenges and dealing with failure. Last fall I spoke to 12 highschools in 5 days, it was pretty darn amazing. Like I said, I like to keep busy.

What FOX products are you currently using?
I use the FOX Float 3 Rs on my 2014 Ski-Doo XM and the Tom's Snowmobile skid in the rear complete with FOX Float 3s.

Describe a perfect day.
Receiving 3+ ft of fresh on top of a stable snowpack(low avalanche danger) midweek, with no crowds, getting out there for sunrise and having a zone completely empty for me and my friends to ride and pillage. This day would involve lots of big cliffs, natural side hips, whips and zero mechanical failures finished off by a beautiful sunset and quick ride out. This is seldom how things go, haha. It's a rat race for features and more often than not pow days are cut short by needing to tow someone out.

Favorite thing to do on a snowmobile?
Big nasty right hand whips, or big steep drops. There's something about standing on top of a big drop that gives me the biggest rush of excitement, fear and nerves when you see nothing but horizon from your takeoff. I have a routine that I do before I drop, where I clear my running boards, crack my neck and give a test brap before I count myself in. The moment the count down starts I'm 100% committed and there is no backing down.

Guilty pleasures?
Sleeping in and lazing in bed with a good book that isn't on the mandatory reading list for one of my classes haha.

Pet peeves?
Slow drivers in the passing lane, slow walkers, slow people on the trail.. after years of racing Ski Cross I have this ingrained need to be out front and there are too many people at my university who text while walking painfully slow when I have to sprint across campus between classes.

What's for dinner?
If I'm not broke from sled repairs or my gas bill, Sushi! Living on the west coast we have the freshest seafood imaginable, I love sushi! I grew up in Campbell River, which is a big time fishing town. We used to catch dinner fresh from the sea, and I actually won a bunch of Salmon Fishing derby's growing up. Seafood is pretty much the best.
Nadia Samer
What are your goals?
One of the most important things in sport is to measure yourself against your potential. Are you giving it everything you can, pushing your limits, based on conditions, your equipment, body and mental state? There is a right time to send it, and there are times you need to walk away from features, especially if you want to be in your sport for the long run. You only truly find out what you're made of and what's possible when you get beyond your comfort zone, and I LOVE that feeling of butterflies, nerves and knowing that I've committed 100% and it's all in. It's so rewarding, it's hard to sum up in words. I would like to keep pushing myself and my comfort zone as safely as possible, and stay healthy. A lot of the filming, and photos I do are with my own equipment that I pack into the backcountry and film using a tripod. There isn't much awareness or exposure of female snowmobilers, and what they're capable of. I'd like that to change, but I realize it's going to be a long uphill battle and at times it feels like we really aren't welcome in the sport, it's a bit of a boys club. If you love what you do - you wont take no for an answer. I love getting more women involved in the sport, and seeing them conquer their fears and blow their preconceived notions away of what they are capable of. Backcountry snowmobiling can be pretty darn empowering, and I am so thankful for everything this sport has given me. If you asked me 6 years ago when I first got on a snowmobile, if I would be doing what I'm doing now, the answer would be “not a chance!” Don't sell yourself short by limiting your potential, you have no idea what you're capable of til you fully commit and give it 100% trying. Failing is part of learning.
Nadia Samer
Any words of advice to newcomers to the sport?
Get strong. Really strong. You're going to be throwing around a 500lb+ machine for up to 12 hours at a time, possibly hundreds of km's away from cell-reception or help. I recommend doing lots of full body lifts, like Clean & Jerks, Snatches, Squats and Deadlifts. You have to be truly self-sufficient out there. Make sure you get avalanche training, and know how to use your equipment (and that your group members are trained as well). I have my Industry Avalanche Operations 1 course which was 9 days and 70 hours of training, along with my Occupational First Aid 3 ticket, which was an additional 80 hours of training. Anything can happen in the backcountry, and you have to be prepared to deal with anything and everything. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't, you aren't good enough. I was told I couldn't come out for years with people because I was a girl, because I was a beginner, because my track was too short (I rode a 137” for 3 years, which around here is considered TINY in the mountains!) I kept my head down and worked at it, every day you're out there you are learning, no matter how stuck you get. Learn to wrench. This is 100% essential. There is no way I could afford to sled if I didn't learn how to wrench and fix my own machine. Not only that, you are able to pick up on when things are breaking before they break and save yourself hundreds in parts by doing preventative maintenance. Learn to love drilling rivets, haha.
Nadia Samer Nadia Samer Nadia Samer Nadia Samer
Nadia Samer Nadia Samer Nadia Samer Nadia Samer

Photos shot by Nadia Samer, Nic Alegre, Jameson Florence, and Fraser Britton.

Follow @nadia_samer on Intsagram


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