Tess Wood brings some serious multi-sport talent to the Paradis Pro team. Wood grew up in Portland, OR, where she was a skier, swimmer and rower. She was recruited by college rowing programs and ultimately went to Harvard. There she was a member of not one but two Division One varsity teams, a feat that was extremely rare for men or women in 2010. Wood was elected co-captain of the Crimson ski team for both her junior and senior years. After graduation, she took a different path than most of her classmates and moved to Jackson Hole, WY, where she joined the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club. There she met a group of talented skiers, started training with them at the Mountain Tactical Institute, and began competing in big mountain competitions. Wood competed all over the West and made one stop in South America on the Freeride World Qualifiers from 2012-2015 and was inspired by the opportunity to “push (her) skiing, explore other areas, and meet people with the same stoke!” A multi-talented artist, designer, and writer, Wood has contributed to Ski Magazine and Teton Gravity Research. She continues to coach young racers at Bridger Ski Foundation and finds every possible way to get out to discover new terrain and enjoy the sport she loves. We are inspired by her passion for skiing and the outdoors and are stoked to welcome her on board.
We also find inspiration in the Freeride World Tour (FWT)’s commitment to equal prize money for men and women. The FWT is the oldest competitive big mountain freeride ski tour in the history of the sport. Its annual series of events hosts the best freeride skiers and snowboarders, who compete in individual events and vie for the overall title of World Champion in their respective genders and disciplines. The events take place on what's commonly referred to as "backcountry", "big mountain" or "extreme" terrain - essentially ungroomed powder on dangerously steep, mountainous slopes.
Recently, FTW made great strides in their progression towards equality for male and female athletes. In January 2020, with the kickoff to the first FWT competition of the year, it was decided that all participants, regardless of their gender, should receive equal prize money across all categories. Prior to this decision, it was argued that, because there were more male participants competing than female participants, the men should receive a larger earnings. However, after much thought and consideration, the FWT management decided it was time for a change. Many factors influenced this decision, including the acknowledgement of World Surf League’s commitment to offer equal prize money for their participants and the argument that, regardless of the number of participants, men and women take the same risks and share the same cost. Now, regardless of gender and category, the FWT prize money is equal for men and women at all World Tour events everywhere, showing a commitment to consistency across the sport. This change has also elevated the women in Freeride Skiing and Snowboarding, which helps to change attitudes towards female athletes across all sports and boosts a sense of empowerment for generations to come.