106: Annie Fast/The Glass Ceiling

Annie Fast at the Kex Portland, November 2019. Photo: Tozer

“If you have maternity leave you might get 3 or 6 months. So when I was home with Flint I’d make sure to log those milestones with him”

I’ve got my old friend Annie Fast on the show! I go back a long way with Annie. We’re both snowboarding industry lifers, who met almost twenty years ago. Because we had so much in common, being snowboarding and writing geeks, we got on straight away and become good friends. And we stayed in touch, occasionally working together and always encouraging each other.

Which is why, when Annie landed the plum writing job in the industry and became the first female editor of Transworld Snowboarding, it was such a proud moment. She stewarded the title through what I think we’d all agree was the last golden age of Transworld – and I’m not just saying that because she started to commission me to write features and columns for Transworld.

Me and Annie. Photo: Tozer

In this conversation, recorded in Portland in November 2019, we got together to look back at Annie’s glorious, glass-ceiling smashing career. We cover the way she broke into the industry, how she created her own voice and how she was at the forefront of the change between analogue and digital media.

We also discussed the challenges that come with trying to balance motherhood with her career in such a male-dominated and patriarchal industry – a woefully under-discussed issue.

Photo: Tozer

It was a total pleasure seeing Annie again – listen to our conversation below:

HUGE thanks to Travel Portland, Hertz and Black Diamond for their help in pulling this entire Portland trip together.

Connect with Annie

Show Notes

  • Skimming through old Transworld Magazines.
  • Bounded volumes.
  • Old Transworld logo.
  • Starting from the very bottom in editorial.
  • Childhood in Bozeman, Montana.
  • Learning to first snowboard in the mountains of Virginia.
  • Family of skiers.
  • Family ski trips.
  • Moving around a lot growing up.
  • Grandparents’ cabin by a lake.
  • Cultural Anthropology.
  • What a great teacher does.
  • “Once I figured out that I could write, I fully went full on into it”.
  • Writer’s community in Bozeman.
  • “Writing can be painful”.
  • Annie’s writing process: “there’s a lot of thinking”.
  • First snowboard journalism gig.
  • “There were little magazines everywhere”.
  • Faxing and mailing pitches.
  • Hand-written articles.
  • Becoming the “Bozeman girl”.
  • Snowboard camps.
  • “I kind of knew I wasn’t good enough to be a pro snowboarder”.
  • Guide at the Yellowstone Club.
  • Having connections.
  • First role at TransWorld.
  • Living by the beach as a snowboarder.
  • “I was always a fan of Transworld”.
  • Heydey of travel.
  • Becoming Editor-In-Chief: “I think I had every title”.
  • Mentored by Curt Hoy.
  • Rider-driven.
  • Being inclusive.
  • Blurred lines with branded content.
  • “It’s a hard job to leave”.
  • Sportrocket.
  • Pre-influencer days.
  • Having a family in Bend.
  • Raising children.
  • ‘Esteem jobs’.
  • When Transworld bit the bullet.
  • Copywriting business.
  • Enjoying the quiet.
  • Angry snowboard history Facebook group.
  • “Snowboarding is now like a few different sports”.
  • Can snowboarding be saved?.
  • Snowboarding Lives! (Long Live Snowboarding!).
  • “Snowboarding is so goddamn expensive”.
  • Still riding pipes.
  • Competing for fun.

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