Snowboarder grabs toe-side of board while carving a groomed run, followed by a skier riding switch and a second snowboarder.

In celebration of International Women's Day, we caught up with Sun Peaks Ambassador Team members Katie Brayer, Gabi Dinn, and Zuzy Rocka for a fun filled morning of powder stashes, side hits, and park features. We asked the Ambassador Team members about their careers and what they wish for the future of women in skiing and snowboarding.

Katie Brayer smiles at camera while holding snowboard.

Katie Brayer started snowboarding at 11 years old and began riding freestyle at 17. Now 20, she is competing at the North American Cup level and has earned an invitation to her first World Cup event this season. 

"I spend almost every day snowboarding at Sun Peaks and other various resorts across Canada for competitions."

When asked to describe a memorable moment in her career that she’s particularly proud of, Katie recalled placing first overall at the BC Snowboard Provincial Series Slopestyle event at Whistler Blackcomb in January, “It took a lot of training, and I landed one of my best Slopestyle runs yet.” 

Gabi Dinn smiles for the camera wearing a pink hat with pink skis in each hand.

Gabi Dinn began her career on snow at the age of five in ski racing before switching things up at 13 and joining the Sun Peaks Freestyle Club. “It was definitely a huge change from perfecting my turns my whole life to trying to hit metal rods on skis and hitting jumps, but I fell so hard in it and now I can’t live without it.” This season, Gabi competed in the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games in South Korea. 

“I think the most memorable moment in my career so far was in this past November when there was the “Rail Riot” set up at Thompson Rivers University by Justin Tarasoff. It was basically an event that included a gnarly street rail, and we got two hours to hit it and try some tricks. For me, I was just trying to get to the end of the rail, but every lap I did I would slowly get farther down. And by the end of the two hours, I had made it the whole way and I don’t think I have ever been more proud in my life.”

Zuzy Rocka smiles for the camera on snow. In black and white.

Local artist and photographer, Zuzy Rocka, switched from skiing to snowboarding at 13 and has never looked back. Living in Kelowna, Zuzy was picked up by Island Snow (now One Boardshop) and was promptly added to the Burton Am Canadian Team to begin competing around BC and Alberta. Following injury and a career change, Zuzy transitioned to become a Burton Ambassador, creating content and supporting events instead of competing. Now Zuzy’s interests lie in backcountry and the pull of freeriding although she still loves to play in the park from time to time. 

“With my career in art, I always strive to have a good work balance to give myself a ton of time to ride every winter. I’m so grateful I get to do what I love for a living and still ride often, so snowboarding will always be a huge part of my life”. 

When asked to describe a memorable moment in her career that she’s particularly proud of, Zuzy recounted placing third in the Billabong Flaunt, “I did some big tricks and I’ve never competed against so many women in my life. There were about 30 or 35 of us! It was so phenomenal, not just to place but the energy and stoke of everyone was so fun.” As well as, “dropping into some couloirs in Pemberton last spring and making progress in doing larger drops each season.” 

A photo of a skier riding a rail next to a photo of a snowboarder riding a rail.
Gabi Dinn & Katie Brayer

Being advanced park riders, we asked the team what advice they would have for anyone looking to start riding park. The common theme:

Don’t worry about what other people think. 

“We all know what it's like to learn, and all of us are still learning every day. It can be really intimidating to come into the park as a beginner, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Most of us are happy to help and give pointers.” - Katie 

“Nobody cares if you crash or if you fail and if they do that’s them caring, not you, we’re all just having fun skiing and we love to see people push themselves and try new things.” - Gabi

It can be intimidating to start, especially with our park being under the chairlift. However we all start somewhere, and the majority of people in the park are supportive of each other and its nice to see people just try it. Another piece of advice when starting to learn is, if you feel like you’re going too fast… you’re going the right speed.” - Zuzy 

Snowboarder, Zuzy Rocka, gets low on a toe-side carve on a groomed run.
Zuzy Rocka
Snowboarder, Katie Brayer, launches off a blue canon in the terrain park towards the village.
Katie Brayer

When asked how they would describe the women’s snow sports community in Sun Peaks, each Ambassador struck a similar chord in that it’s small, specifically with a lack of female representation in the park, but it’s growing. 

The women’s community in Sun Peaks is a little small, in the park at least. But it’s definitely getting there, Sun Peaks is a really good place for girls to feel accepted and recognized, especially by the other women. Every girl I’ve met skiing has been so nice and supportive and we all share a similar feeling and can bond and push each other to be as girlboss as we possibly can.” - Gabi 

Skier, Gabi Dinn, drops off a snowy side hit in front of trees.
Gabi Dinn

“There are a few awesome female shredders around Sun Peaks! I would say there is still a lack of female presence in our park and it would be awesome to see some more girls getting out there and learning.” - Katie 

"There doesn’t feel to be much of one to be honest. However, I’d say when we do see each other killing it we get excited though. I love how good Katie and Gabi are and what they’re accomplishing! So rad to watch. We also do have women’s ride days from Nothing in the Pantry, and they are always so popular.” - Zuzy 

Katie, Gabi, and Zuzy smiling with goggles on heads, in black and white, as viewed from the side.

We wrapped up our questions for the group this International Women’s Day with what they hope to see happen for the future of women in snowboarding/skiing.

“It would be awesome just to see more women getting into the sport.” - Katie 

“I’d love to see more support for women, which has been an ongoing discussion since… forever. Especially in getting them spots in filming, magazine covers or spreads, and on professional teams. It’s incredibly disappointing when you see big snowboard brand’s Team Riders page and there’s 20+ men and four women. There are so many insanely good female riders out there so it would be nice to see them given bigger platforms and proper funding. 

When it comes to videos, it feels like in a lot of them, especially backcountry ones… women are still token riders. You always hear people say “there aren’t that many women in it” but I follow so many female shredders on all social platforms. So many that could have a little more support and truly shine. People who say otherwise just aren’t looking.” -  Zuzy 

“I hope to see just as many girls out in the park as there are boys. We deserve to be out there just as much as anyone. And to be honest we have WAY too much steeze to be kept hidden.” - Gabi 

Snowboarder, Katie Brayer, hits a rail in the Base Camp Terrain Park, while Gabi and Zuzy follow.

We would also like to acknowledge Marlie Marchewka and Gabriella Cattaneo as the other talented women of the Sun Peaks Ambassador Team. Thank you to all women and girls behind the scenes and on the mountain who have made Sun Peaks what we are today. We look forward to continuing to support women in sport. 

You can read more about the Ambassador Team and its members here

Words by Melissa Miller. Photography by Catheryne Bossé.