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Inside Snow: Nicola IseardInside Snow: Nicola Iseard

Inside Snow: Nicola Iseard

December 2023

Being the editor of one of the UK’s biggest snowsport magazines and travelling the world to chase stories (and snow) sounds like a pretty great deal, but how do you break into the world of snow journalism and what goes on behind the glossy pages of a magazine?

“Nicky has the almost unique talent to be able to create multiple simultaneous concepts, put teams in place to deliver them and see them through to highly polished completion. If she weren’t so humble, she’d be terrifying,” says Richard ‘Dickie’ Fincher, long-time colleague, and friend of Nicola Iseard.  

And he’s not wrong. Nicola is now the publisher and editor of Fall Line Skiing magazine and Fall Line Adventure magazine (taking over the publisher role from Dickie this year); director and editor of; and editor of Ski+board magazine. We caught up with her to find out where she got her start in the world of snowsports media, and how it’s all going now.

Nicola Iseard

SIGB: Has skiing always been a part of your life?
Nicola Iseard: Ever since I was four years old, when my parents, who had never skied previously, decided it would be our 'new family sport' and booked a spontaneous trip to Morgins. They bought my sister and I matching all-in-ones from C&A, rented a tiny self-catering apartment, and stuffed our car with all the food we'd need for the week! Needless to say, we loved it. Our annual family ski holiday was born, which set me on a path that would define my life, seeing me race internationally as a teenager, train to be a BASI instructor, teach in Switzerland, become the editor of a ski magazine, ski in destinations from Sochi to Revelstoke, and ultimately move to the Portes du Soleil with my equally ski-mad husband.

SIGB: Where did you get started working in the snowsports industry?
Nicola Iseard: I was working as a Travel Writer in London and had just been made redundant from The Observer (following the closure of the Escape travel supplement). I had just started freelancing and was on a press trip in Les Arcs when I got chatting on a chairlift with a fellow journalist. He was a magazine publisher and on the hunt for a new editor and wondered if I knew anyone? That person was Dickie Fincher, and the magazine was Fall Line. As they say, the rest is history.

SIGB: Tell us what happened!?
Nicola Iseard: Five months later I found myself at the Fall Line HQ in Peterborough pressing the 'send to print' button on my first ski magazine. What a thrill! I can remember how stoked I was when that first issue landed through the letterbox. I also remember how stressed I was, just a month later, trying to get my second magazine – Fall Line's infamous Gear Guide – to press (nothing can prepare you for price and image checking 500+ items of gear). I'm currently working on my 71st issue. The excitement of it arriving in the post has never dwindled.

SIGB: What is it about the job that keeps it so exciting?
Nicola Iseard: It sounds clichéd, but... The people! I'm sure many people reading this will relate that, when you work towards something that you love -for me it's skiing - you find yourself surrounded by like-minded people and that just energises you. The whole ski industry shares a common love for one of the coolest things on the planet - sliding down mountains - so, whether it's a ski brand or a different media outlet, we all want the same thing. There is a real camaraderie among us. But of course, I am also constantly blown away by reading and sharing the different adventures people have on skis; the things they see. Skiing is such a captivating and addictive way to explore nature.

SIGB: There’s been a few changes at Fall Line HQ since then and you’re now heading up the magazine as well as, how’d you pack it all in?
Nicola Iseard: Yes, that’s right. This winter will be my first both editing and publishing Fall Line. Dickie was looking to take a step back and offered me the chance to take his place. It was a no brainer. Fall Line means so much to me, and the team are like family. His are big shoes to fill, but I feel honoured to be leading Fall Line forward, continuing to spread the stoke for this wacky and wonderful sport through our inspirational stories written by real skiers, amazing photography, expert gear reviews, and celebration of all things 'snow'.  
This is also my first year editing, which is now part of the Fall Line stable. It's a super-exciting partnership. Fall Line is bringing its wealth of gear, travel and technique expertise to the Welove2ski platform. Meanwhile, the resort knowledge and user-friendliness of Welove2ski is second to none and will add hugely to Fall Line’s mix.

SIGB: If someone wanted to become a snow or travel journalist – what’s the best way to get started?
Nicola Iseard: Well, I think journalism and media careers are perhaps not as easily definable as they once were. But the advice I would give still stands: work hard, try different roles (because what you end up doing may be very different to your initial plans), and most importantly, don't take no for an answer. Twenty years ago, I had a pretty 'traditional' approach, where, with my fresh English degree, I turned up at a news desk for a very short internship. When I was told that they didn't have desk space for a permanent position I knew I didn't want to let the opportunity go, so I said I'd bring my own desk - ha! I turned up every day to open the post for the team, fetched their coffee and did every little job to the best of my abilities and sure enough, and after a short time they said, "Well I suppose we better start paying you."

SIGB: If you had to give one bit of advice to a budding ski journalist, what would it be?
Nicola Iseard: Embrace chairlift chats – you never know where they might take you.  

SIGB: What’s the best thing about working in the UK snowsports industry?
Nicola Iseard: The skiing, and the people, in equal measures.  

Check out Fall-Line Magazine, Ski + Board and WeLove2Ski.

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