Take a second to absorb that video above: Rachael Burks slays the whole time. Even in the goofy spread-eagle shots, she’s killing it — skiing hard, huge smile on her face.
Because that’s what Burks is like. She doesn’t do anything halfway.
That’s apparent here, in her B-roll edit that she put together from filming with Warren Miller and for Pretty Faces, the all-women ski flick she had a big hand in last winter. Pretty Faces was groundbreaking and Burks was its runaway star, stomping bigger than anyone else, including Lynsey Dyer, the film’s director.
This edit is all velocity. Burks’ joy and fire are evident the second she rips through the first big-boy Alaskan spine line in the edit.
I say “big boy” intentionally, because she skis in a way that only a few other women, like Ingrid Backstrom and Angel Collinson, match, taking down big Alaskan faces and huge pillows — and she’s been at it for a while. Burks, who grew up in Utah and has been skiing around Snowbird and Alta for years, is constantly trying to push the level of women’s skiing. But she’s always been a little bit under the radar, even when she was the only woman in TGR films.
A big part of that is because she’s doing it in her own way. She keeps it a little bit, as she says, punk rock.
Burks doesn’t have Facebook. She’s not much of a self-promoter. She’s never pushed for sex appeal or ski modeling, something that other athletes, like Dyer, who was on Bravo’s “Apres Ski,” have been slammed for. She just wants her fun, full-throttle skiing to speak for itself, but that’s not always easy in the world of skiing, which has, historically, had a pretty narrow attention span for female athletes.
Burks hasn’t always fit into that, but we think that’s even more reason why you should be paying attention to her.Burks has talked a lot about how best to be both a professional skier and a force for growth and diversity in women’s skiing. Before Pretty Faces, she started a website called Female Wolf Pack, which was an aggregator for women’s action-sports content that wasn’t getting play anywhere else. She thinks the key to evening the playing field is having a lot of role models, more competition and more women in the sport.
She says it’s a numbers game. That was the point of a project like Pretty Faces, and now her edit is doing the same thing. She says that’s her value in getting her name and her skiing out there. She wants some kid to watch it and be like, “Yeah, I could probably do that.”
So watch this and be inspired. If you’re not already familiar with her name, pay attention. Now get out there and try to ski like Burks.
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