Monday, October 19, 2020

Call Her Fearless: Interview with a Pro Snowboarder

November 15, 2010  
Filed under Profiles / Interviews

female pro snowboarding down a rail

{Photo: Oli Croteau}

Whether she’s jibbing, free-styling or performing other snowboarding tricks over high tops and rails, June Bhongjan is not afraid of taking risks—even if it means shattered bones, bruises and slits.

Thai-American and born in Burbank, California, June began snowboarding in college with a group of friends until they reached pro status. A few years later, she and her posse took this passion and created Peep Show films to “bring a fresh perspective on female snowboarding…in the most honest, unadulterated way and bring a sort of style and creativity that has been lacking in the past.” 

Here we had the rare opportunity to ask her a few questions on life, how she got into the sport and her worst injury.

snowboard season open CM: So you’re a professional snowboarder. How the heck did you get into this cool occupation?

JB: I started snowboarding in college with some friends and it became an addiction. Once I graduated college, I moved to the mountains and started doing competitions, attended lots of snowboard events and talked to companies about sponsorship.

CM: How do you make a living? Do you get sponsors?

JB: Bataleon Snowboards, Holden Outerwear, Active Ride Shop, Elm Company, and Bear Mountain are my sponsors. I’ve saved up a lot from working as a fashion designer in LA, but now I make an all-girls snowboard film called “Let’s Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow.” Our film company is Peep Show. We have an awesome blog you should check out www.peepshowfilms.com.

CM: What’s your background?

JB: I have a BA in Studio Art from UCLA. Born in Burbank, CA. I’ve lived in Big Bear, CA; Tahoe, NV; Salt Lake City, UT, and North Hollywood, CA.

in snowCM:  Do you travel a lot? What do you do when it’s the summer and there’s no more snow?

JB: I feel like I do quite a bit of traveling, but mostly in the states and Eastern Canada. I travel a lot while filming for our video company, Peep Show. We film in cities that receive snowfall, so it’s quite spontaneous and weather dependent. Every summer I make a trip to Oregon. There’s a resort that’s on a glacier and is open ’till August. I used to coach snowboarding at High Cascade Snowboard Camp, so snowboarding is still possible during summer.

CM: From snowboarding have you gotten any major injuries?

JB: The worst injury I’ve gotten from snowboarding was in Minnesota. I was trying to ollie over a rail that was on top of a bridge and land onto a bank below, but missed the bank and fell flat onto my elbow.  I ended up chipping my radius and a fragment was floating around in my joint, which was very painful when I would try to bend my elbow.

CM: When people find out what you do, what are their reactions?

JB: They’re usually surprised because I don’t “look like a snowboarder.”  I’m not sure if snowboarders have a look, but I guess I don’t look like one. It’s probably because I’m pretty feminine with what I wear when I’m not snowboarding? I don’t know.

CM: When you’re not boarding, where do you hang out?

JB: I’m usually in Los Angles working or in Encinitas with my guy. I do a lot of work in LA, editing and working on Peep Show.

CM: What are your three passions in life?

JB: Snowboarding, art, fashion.

CM: Do you consider yourself to be spiritual?

JB: I think so. I know after my best friend passed away I’ve become more spiritual. I don’t think of the meaning of life, but I do like having theoretical conversations of why things happen or agnostic topics in general. Sometimes it’s a little hard talking about it because death is always a subject that gets brought up while having these conversations and I always have flash backs of the car accident I was in when my friend passed away.

CM: What are your pet peeves and characteristics you don’t like about a person?

JB: I don’t have any real pet peeves. If I don’t like a person I usually try to stay away from them.


For summer 2011, the Peep Show crew will be part of the Signature Sessions in Oregon where favorite pros hold clinics, contests, activities and giveaways. To sign up or find out more, visit HighCascade.com.

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