Since the beginnings of our little publication, we've been driven by supporting and promoting girls in boardsports. In recent times, we've noticed a growing number of girls organising themselves in crews to get together and shred with like minded beings of the same sex, that share their fears and inhibitions just as much as their passion. For the Spring Summer 2013 issue of our print edition, we've met up with a couple of girls longboard and skateboard crews from the British Isles, but the Brits are obviously not the only girls ready to attack! Meet Bulgarian shred collective Wild Berries, who are uniting all sorts of shred and action loving females in their crew, from snowboards to longboarding to yoga and more... One of the founding members, Stanimira ‘Sunny’ Karadocheva, gives us the lowdown.
Interview by Anna Langer, photos by Wild Berries
I have been snowboarding since 2002 and all these years only with the boys' crews, which was great for progression but all their guys' gets a bit much for a girl sometimes...
After riding with boys for years, which she loved for the way she progressed with them, Sunny got a bit tired of their guys' talk all the time. And since she had the feeling girls have always been left behind in their country, she wanted to provide her fellow shred sisters with some kind of community to thrive in.
"I first had the idea of creating a website where the ladies could find information about and for extreme sports: innovations, events and everything else they would need to start or join “the extreme part" of the sports." Reflecting this spirit, they were looking for a name to "describe this tender part of the 'men’s sports' only in few words" and came up with the WILD BERRIES, who are, "like all the good things in life: wild and free".
From there, a little crew started to form. Albeit slowly in the beginning, as Sunny explains: "As you all know, where there are girls there, there is always a lot of competition between them, which makes things not that easy." But Sunny organized events, like freestyle snowboard workshops that girls could attend for free and they had more and more joining them. "That was the first ever held here in Bulgaria and it was really fun and progressive. At first only a few girls came but we did another one after this and more and more girls start joining us." And they soon got what an amazing opportunity a female shred community is. “One of the main reasons I love to ride with girls is because with my girl buddies we share almost the same snowboard tricks level, thus we can be competitive and therefore learn tricks together," says Wild Berry Mina.
She never had any sponsors but added workshops in climbing, yoga, break dance, and longboarding, all for free. "I have good friends who helped me a lot and made all this come true. Some of them have surf schools, some are trainers, some have shops and they all support us to offer these events for free." A tremendous amount of work for a single girl, who works in a bank in her 'real life'. "It’s quite hard to manage everything alone, write articles for the website, create events and come up with ideas for further development. Sometimes it got so hard that I thought of leaving it all behind but when I look back and see what I’ve already achieved in only a year, and how the girls started to unite and shred together – that's what always keeps me going."
We are open for every girl that wants to join us – to shred together, to show and learn new skills and to have the girl environment.
One of the most recent Wild Berries sessions was a snowboard freestyle Ladies Day in the Osogovo resort on the boarder to Macedonia. "Some of mine friends are in the National Snowboard Team there so we figured the workshop would be most productive if we divide it in different levels. The first 15 girls that registered via email on the website got the tickets for free and to make the whole day even more interesting, we added a little prize for those girls of each group that progressed the most during the day."
So with loads of motivation, great spirits and a little help from friends, the Wild Berries encourage more and more girls to hop on board and share the stoke in the eastern realms of Europe. And the girls are more thankful for Sunny's efforts. Like Blagovesta gushes: “I'm so happy that I found these girls to ride and have fun with. They inspire me very much! If I hadn’t met them I would never have had the chance to experience everything I have this winter. And of course the best thing of all is that we become way more than just 'winter friends'." A sentiment fellow berries like Fatima can only confirm: “It is just pure fun! Seriously, it is always hilarious to be together. The formula is: snow/sand + much fun and smiles = it just makes everything’s nice!"
"Thanks to the whole crew who is trying to help me with what they can, my friends, our photographer who is shooting for us for free, NIKITA (Europe) who support us and all of you guys who are giving a shout out – THANK YOU ALL – with you Wild Berries would not be what it is!!!"