Before the mighty sun will be melting all our white gold away, we wanted to check out the new DC park in Kitzbühel, which had opened last year. With three levels spread across one slope, more than 20 kickers and almost as many boxes, the DC Area 43 is one of the biggest and most versatile parks in the Austrian Alps. And it's also the park with the most girls killing it, that we've ever seen. We asked German DC rider Miri Hofmann, to show us around a bit
Interview by Anna Langer
Why is the DC Park especially suitable for beginners?
There are a lot of really small obstacles and more of the same right behind each other. If you into jibbing, there is one box after the other and the line isn't interrupted by a huge rail or something, that you can't even ollie on, same for jumps. So you start with 50-50s, once you have the feeling for that you should definitely spin around to a boardslide. From there the rest will follow step by step, suddenly you're doing a front board, then 270 off and on, maybe a switch one in between - from here the progress is really fast.
So you would recommend to start with boxes rather than jumps?
Hm...I actually think you should start parallel with both. And the DC Park is perfect for jumping as well, you've got tiny kickers to start off on but there's also a really nice medium line with a bit biggish ones, that are still super nice to jump though.
My very first obstacle was in fact a snowed in handrail in my Granny's hometome Bayrischzell. I was 15 and with a bunch of friends, none of us had a clue but we just built a little kicker and hit it 50-50. I'm still a bit surprised to be honest, I didn't fall down or anything. At that time my local resort was Spitzing just around the corner from my Granny's, so I started hanging out in the park there with my boyfriend. I still remember how cool it was to do a 50-50 over a kinked box back then. And then, one day, Silvia Mittermüller, came to the park and did a boardslide. I was super impressed and thought to myself "Oh my god, her riding is so sick, I wanna do that too!". So it was actually Silli who inspired me to move on.
Did you talk to her?
No, I just thought she was super cool. Two girl friends of mine who had the same level found her really cool as well, so we all tried to copy her boardslide because we were so impressed, haha. And it worked out quite well actually. I spent another winter in Spitzing after that, before I moved on to riding the bigger resorts in Tyrol like Mayrhofen.
Was it nice to approach the parks with other girls by your side?
Definitely. I tried everything with these two. But since I stopped riding in Spitzing, I've just been with boys basically and I really miss it. There is quite a difference in level between guys and girls snowboarding and so it's hard for a girl in a guys crew to try out new stuff. You've got your repertoire of tricks that you have on lock and you do them, but you hardly try and explore. Either the guys overestimate you and tell you "yeah just go for it, sure you can do that, why not" , which isn't the best motivation as it will always be different when that comes from a guy. Or they are scared and don't believe you can make it, so they discourage you of trying something. But having a girl with you, who is at about the same stage with her riding as you are, will push you a lot more. If a girl does something, you'll be like "Hey, if SHE can do that, I can!" while if it was a guy you'd probably thing "well of course HE can do that, he's a guy". And I also think girls are a lot more responsive with each other and motive each other more. Guys may do a few runs with you, but at some point most will get bored and wanna do their own thing, which is absolutely understandable of course. But that's the reason why you don't really progress as much as a girl when you're riding with guys all the time.
How could girls be supported even more?
The Red Bull Upsprings thing Nicola Thost is doing works quite well I think. It's a first step as it shows kids how the business works: how to get sponsors, how you can push yourself, what's going on, etc. And apart from that maybe even more girl camps, I know there are a couple already but maybe push and support them more.
For more info on the park go to snowpark-kitzbuehel.at
Miri is sponsored by DC, Airblaster, Drake and Goodstuff