Pretty Good for a Girl: The Autobiography of a Snowboarding Pioneer


When Tina Basich grabbed her rented snowboard and headed to the mountains in Lake Tahoe, snowboarding wasn't even considered a sport . . . yet. It was the beginning, and could have easily gone the way of many other sports and become dominated by male-driven competition.

But not with Tina on the scene . . .

Comments like "You're pretty good . . . for a girl" only pushed her harder to be the best and to prove she was more than just a token player...

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Pretty Good for a Girl: The Autobiography of a Snowboarding Pioneer

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When Tina Basich grabbed her rented snowboard and headed to the mountains in Lake Tahoe, snowboarding wasn't even considered a sport . . . yet. It was the beginning, and could have easily gone the way of many other sports and become dominated by male-driven competition.

But not with Tina on the scene . . .

Comments like "You're pretty good . . . for a girl" only pushed her harder to be the best and to prove she was more than just a token player on the slopes. Representing for women everywhere, she became a snowboarding all-star, started her own signature board and clothing lines for women, founded Boarding for Breast Cancer, and followed her heart, which led her on the adventure of a lifetime.

This is her story.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
A pioneer in the upstart sport of snowboarding, Basich had the skill, drive, and nerve to compete as a professional, getting endorsements, media attention, and the ultimate accolade: becoming a character in a snowboarding video game. Born in Sacramento to unconventional parents, she went to an alternative school where creativity ruled and was soon drawn to skateboarding and later snowboarding for their "outlaw" standing. Her career spans the time from when boarders weren't even allowed on slopes to its final acceptance as an Olympic sport in 1998. She describes the adrenaline rush of helisnowboarding in Alaska and how she practiced a difficult new trick for the Winter X Games. Many photos enliven the book, from breathtaking action pictures to party shots with rock stars such as the Beastie Boys and Foo Fighters to photos of the boards painted by Basich herself. Sprinkled throughout is practical advice, e.g., on choosing a snowboard or how to get sponsored. Young women, especially, would enjoy this well-written book. Recommended for public libraries where winter sports are popular.-Kathy Ruffle, Coll. of New Caledonia Lib., Prince George, B.C. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060532208
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/11/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,537,841
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Tina Basich is an artist, musician, and professional snowboarder who was born and raised in Sacramento, California. When she's not following snowstorms and riding mountains around the world, she's hosting her own girls' action-sports TV show or organizing fund-raisers for her nonprofit foundation, Boarding for Breast Cancer. She lives in Northern California.

Kathleen Gasperini is a writer and an activist. She founded W.i.G. magazine and cofounded Boarding for Breast Cancer and Label Networks. Her writing has appeared in numerous action-sports and alternative publications during the past thirteen years, and she is a frequent speaker about youth culture. She lives in Venice, California.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi
1 Fairyland 1
2 Another option 11
3 Del campo high 21
4 First days 31
5 Snowboarder girl 49
6 Team rider 65
7 Girls on the scene 79
8 World traveler 87
9 Boarding for breast cancer 101
10 The birth of freeriding 117
11 Backside 720 123
12 Rockstar 137
13 Downtime 149
14 Alaska 169
15 Mainstream 185
16 Olympics 203
17 Girls rock 209
Glossary 215
Competition standings 217
Results 219
Ski resort info 221
Acknowledgments 223
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First Chapter

Pretty Good for a Girl
The Autobiography of a Snowboarding Pioneer

Chapter One


I grew up wanting to be like Nadia. I had leotards like hers for my gymnastic classes and learned how to play "Nadia's Theme" on the piano. She was young, brave, and talented. She just rocked it and there was no one like her. I loved gymnastics, too, but unlike Nadia, I always struggled with the pressures to perform. My gymnastics coaches wanted to start training me for the Olympics when I was eight years old because they "saw talent," but I couldn 't handle the pressure. I'd get so nervous, I'd pee in my leotard before my floor routine and run off to the bathroom, refusing to come out until my mom came and picked me up from class. What made me quit wasn't the pressure -- it was because my coach ducttaped up my hair. I'd forgotten to put it in a bun as instructed, but as my mom said later when she was gently trying to rip the tape off my head, "There is simply no need for this." It's ironic that I ended up a professional athlete at all.

Until I was thirteen years old, I lived in a world full of love, magic, and that Christmastime feeling. I was a girl with no preconception of who I was supposed to be or become. I was a tomboy by nature, but unaware of the term. My youth was Little House on the Prairie meets My So-Called Life except that even Laura Ingalls didn't spend six months living in a teepee like I did. Although, at the time, I didn't know this was abnormal. We didn't have a TV when we were growing up because my parents sent my brother Michael and I to an alternative school, which did not encourage TVs in the home so that more time could be spent developing creative talents. Thankfully, I was a creative type, or else I'm sure my early years might not have been so pleasant.

We lived in northern California in the suburbs of Sacramento in a little town called Fair Oaks. My parents were high school sweethearts and they married not long after graduation. My mom went to college while my dad took up the trade of house painting. With dreams of a little house on a hill with a white picket fence, they sold their prized possessions -- a Jeep and a camera -- and managed to save enough money for a down payment on a two-bedroom fixer upper.

In 1969, two years later, I was born. I was two weeks premature and weighed only four pounds, nine ounces, so I had to stay in the hospital for two weeks in an incubator. I was so tiny that my mom would give me a bath with a cotton ball and my grandpa would sing "Tiny Bubbles" every time he saw me. My hair, which was bright red, didn't grow in until I was two years old, so my mom Scotch-taped a pink bow to the top of my head so people would know I was a girl.

The first major project on our house was to convert the garage into a bedroom to get ready for my brother, Michael, who arrived three and a half years later. With Michael, our family was complete. We had a dog named Duke, a cat named Princess, a pony named Candy, and five Angora rabbits that we'd card for fur, then spin into yarn on our spinning wheel, and use for knitting scarves and hats. This was normal to us, although the local paper did a story once and ran a photo with the caption, "What's Wrong with These Children? Hint: Do You See a TV Anywhere Nearby?"

Michael and I lived an imaginative childhood that I only learned later most people cannot believe. We would build go-carts and tree forts all day long and had about ten different tree forts in our yard, with one in almost every tree. We had rope swings and zip lines connecting them like a maze. Michael would always test them, then I'd go down. We'd sit in the plum tree and eat plums and talk about where we were going to hide our next treasure. We'd hide out behind the weeping willow and stare at a dark hole under our deck because a gnome lived in there.

If it rained, it wouldn't stop us from building something new, and we'd go in to make forts from the living room furniture and the '70s drapes. We'd ride to the 7-Eleven on Candy, tie her up to the ice machine, and buy Popsicles. Or, we'd ride over to Rico's Pizza to play Donkey Kong and my favorite song on the jukebox, "I Love Rock'n'Roll" by Joan Jett.

My parents didn't let an experience pass us by. They enrolled us in outdoor clubs like Blue Birds and 4-H Club, put us in music lessons, local parades, and ballet classes, took us to summer camp, soccer, softball, gymnastics ... we had all sorts of sports and art projects going on all the time. My mom was an artist, and from the beginning she was my biggest inspiration for my own art. She always had a paint brush in my hand and we would paint together all of the time. I was always painting and coloring. I didn't even know that painting and doing art projects was out of the ordinary until I first went to public school in ninth grade. My new friends thought I was weird when I told them that I sewed my own clothes. Cool, but weird. I thought everyone knew how to sew, or at least paint.

Up until then, we went to a private school called Waldorf. It was an alternative school based around the arts, music, and creative thinking ...

Pretty Good for a Girl
The Autobiography of a Snowboarding Pioneer
. Copyright © by Tina Basich. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2005


    This book is awesome! This is the best book I ever read in snowboarding. It is very good. This is the type of book you should get if you love snowboarding.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2004


    I love this book...snowboarding is my life and someday i wish to go pro...hopefully soon! if you like snowboarding i know you will like this book! ITS THE BEST BOOK EVER!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2003


    one word! R-E-M-A-R-K-A-B-L-E!! I LOVE snowboarding!!!

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    Posted March 2, 2009

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