SQUAMISH, BC, CANADA
One of the most influential snowboarders of the last decade, Jess Kimura’s impact reaches throughout the sport, from hosting grassroots events that support young female snowboarders to sweeping the Transworld Snowboarding Rider’s Poll Awards multiple times. Jess has earned practically every accolade in her genre, but it’s her unique and authentic personality that earns Jess her substantial and varied fan base.
It’s evident to everyone who knows Jess, or knows Jess, that she pours her heart and body into snowboarding. She’s progressed by pushing herself to the limit, mentally and physically, and she has the injuries and life experiences to show for it. Jess has even opened up about her battle with mental-illness. Her all-out approach, honest work ethic and dogged determination inspire both males and females. Her first film appearance earned her the opening segment for Think Thank’s Right Brain Left Brain in 2010, which she earned by throwing down a slew of difficult urban tricks, like the backside tailslide down a big ledge in Alaska that turned most every head in the snowboarding world.
Raised in Vernon, British Columbia, Jess grew up skiing and snowboarding at Silverstar. When she was 14 years old, she hit her first jump on a snowboard, attempting a backflip and tomahawking down the hill. The landing didn’t matter—Jess had found her passion. She competed in slopestyle, halfpipe and boardercross and claimed Canadian Junior titles in pipe and boardercross before finding her home in urban snowboarding and the film world. She has taken her diverse background and translated it into the backcountry and is one of the only female pros who films in both the street and the mountains. Never one to shy away from gritty work, Jess worked a construction job until 2011. She drives an old Ford single-cab long-bed truck with a remodeled 80's Bigfoot camper bolted to it—the vehicle she drove to Baja last summer to surf and rehab from an ankle injury. She also skates and plays guitar. Half Japanese and half Belgian, Jess’ wardrobe matches her jet-black hair, but behind her tough appearance, there’s a genuine kindness that shines through. She’s always taken younger riders under her wing and her two-year film project, The Uninvited, released in 2018, gives screen time and real opportunity to an up and coming female crew.
- Creating, producing, and funding a two-year all-female film project, The Uninvited
- 3 Women’s Video Part of the Year awards, TransWorld SNOWboarding
- 2 Women’s Rider of the Year awards, TransWorld SNOWboarding
- 5 Women’s Reader’s Choice awards from TransWorld SNOWboarding
- 3rd, 2017 Rider of the Year, Snowboarder 2017
- Top 50 Most Influential People in Action Sports, ESPN
- Silver medal, X Games Real Snow, 2013
- Jess Kimura Pro board, Capita Snowboards