Girlpowder: Sandra Lahnsteiner, 17-10-1980 Gastein

By Juulski on 2 November 2010 · 4

Birthdate: 17-10-1980
Home moutain: Gastein
Ski’s: Fischer
Sponsors: Fischer, Recco, Peak Performance, Uvex, ABS, Mammut and Riggle
Website: [url=]klik-klik[/url]


[b]Did you always know you wanted to choose skiing as a profession/ to be a skier?[/b]
Well, as I grew up in Austria I started skiing very early, I think I was just 2,5 years old running
around on skis made of plastic behind our house. I then started to train in the local ski club and I
really loved to ski between the blue and red gates. Winning some races then for sure motivated
me to get better and better and this is when you dream of a ski racing career. But a knee injury at
the age of 15 stopped me and I first concentrated on school and started quite early with the ski
instructor educations. I always knew that skiing would always play a great role in my life. Working
as a ski instructor allover Austria helped me to get a better skier and finally brought me back on
competitions: I was doing skier cross races for some years. When I was 25 I started to work as a ski
coach of young racers in a special school and stopped my own career as a skier. But I always have
loved competitions and that was why I started at my first Big Mountain comp in 2008. This definitely
helped me to be where I am now: being a passionate skier who in winter is able to concentrate on
that what she loves most: [i]freeskiing[/i]

[b]How long have you been a pro?[/b]
I still work as mental and athletic coach of young racers, especially in spring, summer and fall. So in
some eyes I’m not a real professional freeskier but I’m really looking forward to my first winter as a
professional freeskier.


[b]How do you become a sponsored athlete?[/b]
I’m on FISCHER skis since years, I always got the greatest support for them. In December 2009 I
got offered an own part in the all-Austrian freeride movie „Made in Austria“, produced by Ydream
production. This was when I started to work with sponsors. This year I’m super happy to have
Fischer, Recco, Peak Performance, Uvex, ABS, Mammut and Riggler as my partners. I’m super happy
and looking forward to winter!

[b]How was your last season?[/b]
The last season was an absolute outstanding one for me. In spring 2009 I had the idea of producing
an all girls ski movie and I started to work on a concept. I asked cinematographer Mathias Bergmann
to be part of the project and then invited 5 other female freeriders from the Alps to help to realize
this unique movie. Last winter we were out on road trips through the Alps to the home spots of
every girl for skiing and get footage for the girls ski movie AS WE ARE (you can read more about
this movie in the second blog.) It was amazing and I got to learn so many things: how to present a
concept at possible sponsors, how to organize all the trips to Gastein, Lech, Verbier..... but more: I
was in Verbier for the first time which is an amazing place, I got to ski faces I never dreamed of and
we established such a great friendship among us girls – a winter I’ll always remember for sure.

[b]What were your highlights/low points?[/b]
One of my highlights was to ski down the shoulder of the Bec du Rosses in Verbier after 2 hours of
hiking up in hip deep snow. Thanks Giulia and Laura for guiding me up there! I was also competing at
some contests of the Freeride World Tour and did well in the qualifications but to be honest, I’m not
absolutely satisfied with my performance in the final runs, so no result to be proud of.;-) as I crashed
a lot. Looking back it was definitely my most exciting season so far but organizing so much for the
girls ski movie and being responsible for the whole project sometimes resulted in lack of time for my
own skiing performance.

[b]Girlpowder, what does it mean for you? How do you feel being a girl surrounded by guys (or
maybe you don’t care?[/b]
I mainly used to ski with guys before last season and I really enjoyed it. I was the only girl in the all
Austrian freeride movie „Made in Austria“ and I liked it – but on the mountains it doens’t count too
much. Riding with guys helps me pushing my limits, it’s easier. Travelling and skiing just with girls like
I did last season on our road trips was something new for me, for all of us. Especially decisions are
easier made up when you ski with guys so we girls had to find out how to arrange it: ...who is skiing
first, who does the cliff, who takes over the responsibility for skiing down a face, where to go.... lots
of decisions... ;-))) not always too easy for our two male cinematographers Mathias and Kenny, but
they did such a good job!!! Nonetheless, we were such a great girls team and although we were
made up of lots of different characters we got really good friends.

[b]Do you think skiing/freeride a male sport? Do you think there is a scene just for girls? Should we
try to create something like that, or just focus on skiing instead of gender?[/b]
Skiing or freeskiing – both is for sure NOT a male sport, but it’s still male dominated. For sure there
is a difference in power and strength between the guys and us girls. But women can ski steep faces,
rock cliffs and go fast. I think there is a difference in jumping cliffs – for most of the men it’s more
natural, they maybe have less fear. But watch the winning run of American’s Jacky Passo at the
Freeride World Tour stop in Squaw last year, she was killing the same huge cliffs as the men!
There is definitely a scene just for girls ,it’s a small one but growing!! – so many girls and women
were motivating us during the season and following the making off of the girls ski movie [url=]on facebook![/url] We wanna get them out into the snow and have fun!! „Grab your friends girls, go out and have fun – like we did last year!!“

[b]Did you know Holland has a big freeride scene?[/b]
To be honest I didn’t know that the Dutch freeride is that big, but now I know and I’m really looking
forward to meet some of the guys at [url=]the freeride film festival in Amsterdam in November[/url]. And when I was working as a ski instructor and did the coaching license I got to know lots of good Dutch skiers. I take my hat off to those guys because they definitely have to put lots more effort to become good skiers than us growing up in the mountains. Lots of them go to a ski resorts for whole seasons and work there.

[b]What do you do over summer?[/b]
I love summer and windsurfing is my greatest passion during the summer months. It’s a great sport,
I do feel so free being on my board, it’s just me, the wind, the water and my sail but it’s also the
challenge I like when it’s time to learn new moves. Luckily I had a lot of good windsurfing days at
home but especially in Italy and on Fuerteventura. But I was also working in summer as I took over
the responsibility of the athletic training of alpine ski racing girls of the Austrian Europe cup team. I
really liked to work with them on their skills. Besides I was organizing the movie tour for the girls ski
movie AS WE ARE.

[b]What are your goals in skiing? (Japan, Alaska?) ski mountaineering, other?[/b]
I do always set myself new goals in skiing and as I can concentrate just on skiing this winter I’ll
definitely try push my own limits. Both, Alaska and Japan would be great, I would love to go there
but there are so many other places where I’d like to ski like some Scandinavian fjord, Canada and
some of little secret spots in the Alps.


  • op 2 November 2010 · 06:48
    Als ik zoals iedere ochtend deze site ff zit te checken valt mijn oog op het tijdstip dat dit topic is gepost 2 nov. 7:22 terwijl het bij toch echt pas 6:45 is terwijl als ik dit topic open de tijd wel goed staat 6:22 . Kleinigheidje maar toch .
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 2 November 2010 · 08:24
    @witbrood.. heeft te maken met de ingetreden wintertijd, techniek en ff geen tijd om ernaar te kijken.. Maar hij staat op ons to-do lijstje.. (wat een scherpte.. 😉)
    May the powder be with you.
  • Miski
    Miski op 2 November 2010 · 09:59
    Gezellig dat ze er ook is op 19 November, heb met haar in de groep gezeten tijdens de opleiding. Leuke gezellige meid.
  • Nicky
    Nicky op 2 November 2010 · 10:17
    Leuk interview! En herkenbaar: "Especially decisions are
    easier made up when you ski with guys so we girls had to find out how to arrange it: ...who is skiing
    first, who does the cliff, who takes over the responsibility for skiing down a face, where to go.... lots
    of decisions... 😉))". Voor mij was het iig heel leerzaam: ik denk dat ik door de tripjes die ik alleen met Yvonne (aka Fons) heb gemaakt zo veel meer heb geleerd over keuzes maken (welk gebied, welke afdaling, wie gaat er eerst, 's avonds kaartlezen en samen bespreken) dan ik geleerd zou hebben als ik alleen maar met dudes onderweg was geweest. Niets ten nadele van alle toffe mannen met wie ik op pad ben geweest (ook daar heul veul van geleerd, maar wel andere dingen: meer speed, uit mn comfort-zone etc). Dus ja: ik denk dat het zeker een aanvulling is op je freerideskills door een keer een girls-only trip te doen. Maar ik ga ook nog altijd graag met m'n mannelijke poedermaatjes op trip 😉.


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