Slope Obsession: TheSkiDiva.com
Wendy Clinch hated skiing when she first hit the slopes as a teenager, but a little sisterly competition drove her to surpass her sister’s skills. Soon she was flying down the slopes on a regular basis.
“I hated it at first because I fell a lot and it wasn’t a lot of fun or anything, says Wendy, founder of TheSkiDiva.com, about her first stint on the slopes at the tender age of 13-years old. “Mostly I kept at it because I wanted to be better than my sister.”
Wendy did get better than her sister after a few lessons. But she got more than bragging rights, she found her passion that is now a business.
TheSkiDiva.com is an online forum and resource for women skiers. Currently, there are more than 3,000 members and the site receives nearly 15,000’s of visitors monthly, says Wendy.
Wendy’s powdery days briefly ended in her early 20’s when she got married, had her daughter, now 31-years old, and a successful career in advertising. Her passion for the slopes was revived 15-years later due to a bad winter storm and her husband’s, author Jon Clinch, whim to hit the slopes.
It was like “Handing Mary and Berry a crack pipe and a hooker,” she says quoting her husband. She was hooked by feeling the soft snow beneath her skis and the cold wind on her face as she slid down the mountainside again. She quickly “made up for lost time,” since then, says Wendy.
She now skis nearly every day, more than she ever did when she was a teenager, when she made her way to the slopes about 10 times during a season.
From the day she returned to the mountains, Wendy, an advertising executive in Pennsylvania at the time, hit the slopes everyday that she possibly could. Then five years ago her husband and she closed their advertising agency and traded in their city life for Vermont.
The skiing bug didn’t bite Jon, who is working on his next book, quite as much. He sometimes joins Wendy on the slopes, she says.
A different powder room
Craving a place for women skiers to come together to discuss women’s ski equipment and gear, but not finding it, Wendy, 58, created TheSkiDiva.com in 2006 to highlight women who love to ski.
Sorry, snowboarding gals, this is a place for the traditional dual blades.
“I didn’t have a lot of women ski friends and I didn’t know anybody that I could talk to about women skiers,” says Wendy, pointing out that much of the ski media available is male dominated and pays very little attention to the specific needs of women skiers.
“They kind of think if you are a woman you are not a good skier,” continues Wendy, about the testosterone driven ski media filled with competition of who can ski the fastest and the hardest. A very different dynamic from women, Wendy points out.
TheSkiDiva.com’s forum is the center of the website where women connect on all things skiing.
“There are so many interesting conversations, it’s hard not to be involved,” says Wendy. “People in my community are so nice. Everyone is really, really nice and supportive.”
Wendy also blogs about her skiing experiences, interviews women ski Olympians, such as Donna Weinbrecht and Picabo Street, and contenders Iranian Marjan Kalhor; reviews the most recent gear for women, and more.
The days when pink and and supped up girliness plagued women’s ski gear and wear is going away, along with the miniature boy equipment. The manufactures are finally getting that women have long outgrown hearts, flowers, and pink and actually aren’t little boys.
“It was either downsized men’s equipment or it was pretty crappy,” says Wendy about past women’s ski gear. Women need ski’s that are softer and flexible and with weight that is generally forward and a shorter tip to accommodate our different anatomy, Wendy gave an example of the difference.
Wendy is thank full that sporting goods and ski makers are getting away from the color pink and paying attention to the difference between men and women when designing ski wear and gear for the girls.
In addition to spending nearly every snow-day swishing down the trails on the slopes and staying up to date in TheSkiDiva.com’s forum and blog, Wendy is also the author of two ski diva mysteries, Double Black (Ski Diva Mystery) and Fade to White.
Thanks to her own invention, Wendy now has many ski girlfriends to dish on all things snow and has taken the action offline and onto the slopes in recent years. Wendy and her ski girlfriends meet up yearly around the beginning of March to hit the slopes and for some fun.
To get in on the action, visit TheSkiDiva.com at www.theskidiva.com.
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