Jess Kimura

SEE ME NOW: Jess Kimura’s Process of Belief

Jess Kimura has been through a lot. Despite all the accolades, the Video Part and Rider of the Year awards, the Nike and The North Face contracts, pro model snowboards and on and on, she had to struggle for a decade to get anyone’s attention as an athlete. She didn’t get her first real sponsorship until her mid-20s, an age by which most aspiring pro riders would have given up and moved on to other things. Jess was told she wouldn’t succeed, a lot. She got hurt, a lot. She’s been through some dark days—misdiagnosis of mental illness, institutionalization, addiction, withdrawal. The loss of the love of her life. Heavy stuff that would have broken some folks for good.

Yet Jess has hung on. Even thrived. She second-guessed herself plenty, but she kept her foot on the gas, sometimes without respect for her long-term health. And, eventually, she succeeded. Still, her demons chased her through life. The slams, the anxiety, they took their toll. Still, she’s here. And she’s as influential as ever.

Recently, we caught up with Jess at her home in Squamish, BC. She’d been buried in learning to edit a video on the go, pushing to give more ladies the chance to succeed as snowboarders, to finish The Uninvited II. The sequel to an all-female, street-oriented action flick funded by her personal savings account, it’s as grassroots as it gets. It’s evidence that Jess is embracing her role as mentor. It’s evidence of her willingness to lay it all on the line for what she believes. And it’s evidence of her own healing process…

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