Line Skier Ashley Battersby Feels the Love
by Jackie Baker
There is nowhere Utah’s Ashley Battersby would rather spend her days than in Park City Mountain Resort’s perfectly maintained parks. This dedicated 18-year-old spends all day every day honing her skills and dialing in new tricks—she absolutely loves park skiing. In 2004, she joined Line Skis and has been instrumental in helping to develop their new women’s ski, the Shadow. She is currently recovering from a knee injury suffered earlier in January, but Ashley is stoked to contribute as much as possible to the future of women’s park skiing.
Let’s start at the beginning. When did you start skiing?
I started skiing on my own at 18 months old. My dad was a ski instructor and my parents were ski bums. I’ve had a pass to PCMR [Park City Mountain Resort] pretty much every year of my life.
Did you race or ski bumps growing up?
I was never on a team or anything. I learned from my dad. I used to want to be the next Picabo Street. I raced the local NASTAR races in Wisconsin, but one day my older brother told me I would be a sucky racer. I think I was 10 years old. The next day I did my first 360. If he hadn’t said that to me, I wouldn’t be where I am today. My family is so supportive. They bend over backwards for me, and they’ve totally helped me get here.
How much time do you spend in the park versus the rest of the mountain?
It depends on the day. When I get shin bang, sometimes I just want to ski the mountain. I think I rode park every day last year and only skied the other lifts once. I just started skiing backcountry this year and I love it. But what I really love is park and urban rails. I used to be a rollerblader when we lived in Chicago, and that has really helped balancing on rails.
How did you get hooked up with Line Skis?
Craig Coker used to ski for them, and he was at a comp at The Canyons. I threw a 720 and won. He gave me a ride home and gave me Jason Levinthal’s number and told me to call him. This was in 2004. I was scared, so I didn’t call. When I finally talked to them, they were awesome.
Which Lines do you normally ride?
The Shadows in a 164cm or 167cm. They’re the best women’s park ski.
Line prides itself on being rider owned and driven. Were you able to give input on the new women’s skis?
Yes. I got to say everything I want. Line really caters to their athletes. I got to pick colors and the overall image for the Shadows. I don’t know much about how the skis are actually made, but I got to demo different flexes and sizes to see what I like. Whatever I wanted to ride, they’d make. I’m so excited about how the Shadows turned out. It’s a girls ski that also appeals to guys. It’s hardcore. It has a carbon band that gives it a lot of pop for jumps and rails.
How important are women’s-specific park and pipe skis to the progression of women’s skiing?
It’s really important because, minus the graphics, girls need a ski that has a softer flex and is made for their size, and that still appeals to them. The industry is getting more flexible—the Vermont Open started including women two years ago. More girls sign up for it each year. I think that it’s going to be as big as the guys’ comps in a few years. I see so many little girls in the park now.
How do you think you fit into the ski industry now, and how would you like to influence it in the future?
Being young and getting into the industry was really good. Just being in the park all the time, I’ve helped a lot of girls start skiing. I like teaching more girls and bringing them into the sport. People are always calling me and saying they want to go out, but don’t know where to start. Once they get out there, they love it. I want to keep the image of being a talented skier and push the sport without relying on naked spreads in magazines. I want girls to look and me and be like, “I want to do what she’s doing,” but I want them to be themselves.
What else should people know about you?
I just want to make sure everyone wears a helmet. Everyone gets injuries, and I always thought blowing my knee would be the worst thing that could happen to me. I’ll recover, though. I had a friend die from not wearing a helmet, so that’s really important.
In addition to Line Skis, Ashley's sponsors include Scott USA, Helly Hansen, PCMR, R.E.D. Helmets, Skull Candy, Ambush Streetwear, Enom Headwear, and Icer Wax.