Passion to purpose: Robin Van Gyn, female change- maker, pro snowboarder and filmmaker

The hype is real when it comes to Robin Van Gyn, another powerhouse female taking the sport film industry by force.

After a long and successful career in snowboarding, Robin has now added filmmaker to her repertoire and we’re not mad about it!

For well over a decade, Robin has led the standard for women’s freeride snowboarding by both being in films and as a guide. Whilst beginning her career in Whistler Canada, Robin’s snowboarding skill soon rose to a level few women could match. Amidst the backcountry of Whistler was where she found herself ripping around in pristine powder, charging lines and hitting jumps that stretched and shaped her to become one of the best. 

Her talent quickly took her to Alaska where she stepped up to even bigger lines, meanwhile starting a career as a shred guide working in Argentina every summer.

Now, she finds herself as a filmmaker, creating industry leading films that explore the connection between the natural world, our knowledge of how it makes us master our sport and how we pass this down to the next generation.

‘Heli-boarding backcountry’, image: courtesy of Teton Gravity

So let’s get to know Robin a little better.

Growing up in the town of Victoria on Vancouver Island in British Columbia- where it only snowed one or two days a winter- these naturally became Victoria’s favourite days of the year. Here was where she found her passion for the snow and the mountains. 

Starting off as a skier, Robin grew up going on family ski trips every year. This was until Robin discovered snowboarding as a teen and fell completely in love. She spent her high school weekends snowboarding at Mt. Washington on Vancouver Island and then the minute she graduated, moved to Whistler and the rest is history. 

In a recent interview Robin explained that she didn’t start out trying to become a pro.

“I just knew right away that snowboarding was something that I was going to do for the rest of my life”.

Having been a competitive dancer, track runner and field hockey player, Robin had that competitiveness in her veins and athleticism always came naturally, so she ended up doing what she knew and loved. 

“The first goal was just to have one published photo in a magazine. That was it! And then you hit that goal, and you start thinking, it would be cool to have one video part? I kept hitting those goals, and hitting those goals, and that’s how my career has unravelled. Just one thing after another and I am still doing that”.

Image: courtesy of Robin Van Gyn

Though she’s at the top of her game and probably the best female freerider out there, Robin realised she wanted to explore a new side of the industry, through a new kind of film. 

Whilst high speed action films have their place, Robin wanted to create something that went a little deeper. To explore how athletes, artists and activists across snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding are giving back to those communities, with a cohesive storyline and common themes.

“Fabric is about highlighting not the athletic accomplishments we put on pedestals, but the heroes behind the scenes who use their pursuit as a means to something bigger; women who tirelessly work to make our future better”, comments Robin.

Robin with some of the girls whilst filming ‘Fabric: Knowledge’, image by Snowboard Mag

The film series: Fabric, documents some of the game changing women in action sports who have contributed to their sport beyond just doing it. Robin tells the stories of women who have used their platform to do something bigger and throughout five 12-20 minute episodes of surf, skate and snow she takes us on an incredible journey. 

See one of the Fabric films at this year’s  upcoming She Surfs Film Tour. Featuring world class surfers like Paige Alms and Izzi Gomez, Robin explores the connection of knowledge of the elements and the natural world and the passing down of this to the next gen. 

Get tickets today at https://shesurfsfilmtour.com.au/tickets/  and dont miss out!

Paige Alms and Izzi Gomez in the film ‘Fabric: Knowledge’

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