Hall of Fame Class of 2014
Jeannie Thoren, regarded as the Johnny Appleseed of women’s skiing, a pioneer in developing women’s specific ski equipment.
When she started to ski, there was no women’s specific equipment in the sport. She began to customize her own equipment and saw a direct connection between her gear and the improvement in her technique. She would make it her lifelong mission to help other women by making their equipment better. Eventually, in 1981 she held her first women’s gear clinic, at Buck Hill in Minnesota. This inspired her setting up regular clinics, up to 70 per season, around the country, from 1988 to 2006 when she travelled with a trailer of gear in tow. Her “Thoren Theory Women’s Ski Equipment Seminars” helped thousands of women throughout North America to improve their skiing.
Recognizing that women have smaller feet and a lower center of gravity than men, she focused on better fitting boots, including: footbeds, heel lifts and cants under the bindings, along with moving bindings forward on the skis that women used. In 1986, she designed what is believed to be the first specific woman’s ski for Blizzard. Besides her clinics, she worked as a marketing consultant and drew attention from the ski press, thus creating awareness and demand for women centric gear. This raised the bar for the entire ski industry while improving the sport for all women. The Exclusive Carve Ski which she designed for Dynastar became SKI Magazine’s “Ski of the Year” in 2007.
In 2009, Thoren and her husband Tom, opened “Jeannie Thoren’s Women’s Ski Center” in Vail, Colorado. It is the first women’s ski shop in the country to focus on women’s specific equipment. Its succeed has proven once again to the ski industry that if you build it right, she will buy it.
1984-1985: Author of “The Woman Skier” for SKI Magazine
1986: Designer of the first women’s specific ski
1988-2006: Holds women’s gear clinics throughout North America
1999: Skiing magazine ranks her as one of the 25 most influential people
2000-2002: Ranked in the top 100 ski instructors in the United States
2003: Received the Carson White Golden Quill Award from NASJA
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