The event is TO HONOR AND CELEBRATE the athletes, pioneers and visionaries of the United States who have significantly enriched the global sports of skiing and snowboarding.
This year marks the first-ever induction of female snowboarder athletes: with the honors going to Shannon Dunn-Downing and Tina Basich, both icons and pioneers of women’s snowboarding.
Few athletes have had as much impact in paving the way for women in Snowboarding as Tina Basich and Shannon Dunn.
Both Tina and Shannon experienced the challenges of being women competitors early in the sport, competing together from 1991-1996 on the World Cup Tour. Sponsor support and contest prize money was nominal, and the norm of the day was that girls were equipped with men’s clothing and boards. Getting any magazine coverage was equally challenging. Together, these two women made it their goal to be the agents of change for women in the sport.
Both women were chosen by their respective board companies to launch a Pro Model board, to be launched in 1994. At the time, the women’s snowboarding market was unproven, as very few companies would take the risk to support it. Shannon’s model, the ‘S.Dunn 150’, with its Sunflower graphics, had a huge appeal to the market and was launched by Sims Snowboards, and by no coincidence, had a female Marketing Director behind it. The ‘S.Dunn 150’ was the most successful
selling women’s Pro Model of its time, reaching numbers equivalent to the Sims men’s Pro Model, the ‘Shaun Palmer’. Gaylene Nagel, Sims Marketing Director at the time says, “It was so exciting to see the sales numbers come in so far above our expectations! But even more rewarding was to give Shannon a check that rivaled what the top pro men were making.” This was a landmark event as the women’s place in Snowboarding had been established.
Tina’s first Pro Model was launched by Kemper Snowboards the same year. The following year, Tina made a move to Sims where she had two Pro Model designs and her boards were equally well received. With the success of their Pro Model boards, Tina and Shannon joined the ranks of the top earners in the sport. Their worldwide visibility expanded their sponsorship opportunities, as well as their influence, opening the door for future pro women snowboarders.
Shannon and Tina took the opportunity of having these successful women’s boards under their feet as a springboard to actively push even more boundaries – which absolutely existed in the early days of the sport – like magazine and film coverage, contests, and clothing!
Tina and Shannon became iconic ambassadors for female Snowboarders, promoting and welcoming women through interviews, personal appearances and by working with all of their sponsors to design new products for women. They joined creative forces with snowboard clothing company Swag, to start a women’s line of outerwear and street wear, calling it Prom. Sales/Marketing Director Lisa Hudson recalls, “The girls weren’t afraid to make a statement – from wearing pink to posing in the first Prom ads in prom dresses! They certainly got everyone’s attention – making the Prom launch a huge success and establishing women’s outerwear as a viable category.”
On the competition front, Tina and Shannon together challenged the organizers at an International Air + Style event that would not allow women to compete in the Big Air, citing it was too dangerous for girls. Risk aside, they seized the opportunity to make a change for the future. After doing a practice run with the boys, they convinced the organizers to allow them to compete. They both stuck their landings at the big event, for a cheering crowd and a stunned announcer. History was made that day for women in Big Air events. They raised the bar on the perception of what women could do – paving the way for future aspiring athletes like Jamie Anderson and Chloe Kim.
The board launches of 1994 were only the beginning for these two champions. Shannon Dunn went on to win Olympic Bronze in Women’s Halfpipe in Nagano Japan (1998). Tina Basich was the first woman to land a 720 in competition, winning X Games Gold in 1998. Both of these events were internationally televised, further solidifying a place for women in competitive snowboarding for future generations.
Today the legacy continues. Tina Basich recently launched a Pro Model with Capita Snowboards in 2021, for which she designed all of the graphics And now, almost 30 years later, they are celebrating being inducted into the US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame together, and being the first female Snowboarder athletes to do so. Shannon Dunn recalls, “What a gift it has been to have a friend like Tina to share the journey through this male dominated sport– I feel like we were able to achieve much more by working together. Instead of being competitive with one another, we complimented each other, wanting the other to succeed. It was always, “Let’s do this!”
1. Tina & Shannon 2022
2. Shannon Dunn Olympic Bronze, Nagano – (Olympic Archives)
3. Tina Basich All Medals 2022 – Basich Archives
4. Tina Basich Board History –(Basich Archives)
5. S. Dunn 150 Pro Model 1994 (Shannon Archives)
6. S. Dunn 150 Pro Model (base) (Shannon Archives)
7. Sims Ad 1994
8. Prom Ad circa 1995
9. Tina Basich Seahorse Pro Model 1995
10. Tina Basich Fairy Pro Model 1995 (Mark Gallup photo)
11. Tina 1986 Donner Ranch – (Basich Archives)
12. Shannon Dunn circa 1988 (Tom Ross photo)
US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
• Justin Koski – [email protected]
Gaylene Nagel (PR for Tina & Shannon; freelance writer)
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Full Schedule of Events at Big Sky: skihall.com/induction/schedule
U.S. National SKI and SNOWBOARD Hall of FAME
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