- By Jason Dougas Lewis
- In Action Sports
Maiden’s free spirit lifestyle has led her around the world and down several different avenues.
Gabby Maiden competes in the Snowboarding Rail Jam at the 4th Annual Supergirl Jam event at Venice Beach. Photo by Jason Lewis
Gabby is a free spirit who loves traveling around with her friends from one mountain range to another. Photo by Jason Lewis
Article originally published by the Los Angeles Sentinel. www.lasentinel.net
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor (2010-2013)
Gabby Maiden travels down a number of different roads in her life, and they all lead to excitement!
Maiden is recognized as the first black female competitive snowboarder, but that is just one of her many hobbies. She also models, acts, writes songs, plays the accordion, speaks a little bit of four languages, and travels throughout the world. She pretty much lives the life of a rock star that is always on the road.
Snowboarding has led her all over the place, as she and her friends are constantly on road trips from one mountain range to another.
“I love the thrill of being on the road, I just love to travel,” Maiden said.
Maiden, who is from Los Angeles, began skiing at an early age, but she never felt comfortable doing it. When she was 12 she saw a few of her friends snowboarding and she decided to give it a try and she was hooked on it.
“I just couldn’t stop so I kept doing it and doing it,” Maiden said.
Her love for snowboarding led her to a competitive career, where she has done quite well, and it has allowed her to make a living. Nikita Clothing, Von Zipper Sun Glasses, Celtek Gloves, K2 Snowboards, as well as other companies sponsor her.
Maiden recently competed in the 4th Annual Supergirl Jam event at Venice Beach, which featured surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding. She ended up taking 5th place out of 21 participants in the Snowboarding Rail Jam. She was in the top three for most of the event, but she was unable to nail one final trick, which dropped her down to 5th place. But it was still worth it for Maiden, who pocketed $800 from the competition.
“That’s rent money!” Maiden said.
Maiden has seen a major change in snowboarding over the years, and in other extreme sports as well. She has noticed that there are a lot more black people out on the slopes, and she loves that she can inspire blacks to give the sport a try.
“It’s pretty cool that we’re helping kids feel comfortable,” Maiden said. “It feels good to inspire people.”
As much as Maiden loves competing, she really loves hanging out with her friends. They feed off each other. Whether it’s perfecting tricks, creating music or art, they just have a good time.
Maiden is a free spirit whose talents keep her on the move. She has traveled to Portugal, Barcelona, Rome, and she is dead set on retiring in Iceland, where she has been a number of times. She has been all over the US, with one of her favorite spots being New Orleans. She is Creole and has a lot of family in that area.
Maiden has picked up bits and pieces of a number of languages, such as Japanese, Icelandic, German, and French.
An artistic upbringing has led Maiden to do some many interesting things. Her father was the lead guitarist for the funk band Rufus, which launched the career of lead singer Chaka Khan.
Life seems to be leading Maiden in several different directions, and she’s enjoying every moment of it. Her next move is to focus more on her modeling career, possibly in Europe, but snowboarding will always be there for her.