Leave the boys at home and head to Morzine in January for a week of girl-only snowboarding with Rude Chalets. Accommodation is in Chalet Christophe, with outdoor hot tub, 42" plasma screen (perfect for watching ChunkyKnit movies on), and half-board catering with tea and homemade cakes waiting when you get off the slopes. The week also includes 4x2hrs tuition, ski pass, snowboard maintenance workshop, morning yoga sessions, shopping evenings and an avalanche awareness session.
Dates: January 6th – 13th 2008
If you fancy some mountain air over summer instead of freezing your butt off on a chair lift, then try Dirt Girls’ MTB weeks in Morzine. Suitable for both beginners and more experienced riders, there’s a choice of two different weeks: Focus on Skills and Focus on Riding. Instruction comes from a female pro, and you’ll learn downhill and terrain skills as well as tricks. There’s even a mid-week rest day that offers the choice of relaxing in a spa, or working your legs harder on a wakeboard. The only things not included in the price are flights, bike hire and insurance.
Dates: Camps run in July and August.
Rates: From £485
Explore Bali’s underwater paradise with a group of new female buddies on the Dive Goddess retreat, run by the Surf Goddess Retreats crew. You’ll be led by a female dive master to amazing reefs and wrecks, and are likely to find yourself swimming alongside turtles. Accommodation is in a plush oceanfront villa with pool, and your week includes a massage treatment, healthy meals and extra activities including the chance to explore beautiful spots off the tourist trail. During some weeks you can qualify for the Scuba Schools International Diver Certification (check website for details).
Dates: October, November, February, March.
Rates: From £790 for shared room
Kite surfing girls can get their wind fix in Egypt with the Turbulence Angels, who give support and tips to riders at any level. You’ll need to book your own lessons if you’re just starting out, but the Paradise resort where you stay has its own surf zone, rescue boat, full quiver of kites for rental, and storage facilities. The wind in Ras Sudr is legendary, averaging around 18 – 25 knots from March to October so you’ll be spoilt whatever level you’re at. And when the wind drops in the afternoon there’s a long stretch of fine white sand and turquoise waters to chill on.
Dates: Check website for details of 2008 trips
Rates: From £525
For summer freestyle action without any macho guys getting in the way, head down under to New Zealand where you can sign up to 2-day or 4-day camps in Snow Park near Lake Wanaka. The programmes are designed by girls for girls, and are taught by some of NZ’s top female riders. Each day includes four hours of coaching, video analysis, free ride time, food, accommodation and an evening tech session.
Dates: July and September (see website for details)
Rates: £112 for 2 days; £245 for 4 days.
Spend a week in bliss on Maui with Swell Woman’s surf and yoga camps, which offer luxury accommodation in an oceanfront house right by the beginner’s surf break. After breakfast and yoga you’ll have a couple of hours surf tuition, followed by lunch and free time, then a two hour sunset surf. The free massage should ease out your first day’s aches, or you can spend your afternoons hiking, kayaking, snorkelling, windsurfing, scuba diving or the new craze stand-up paddling. Swell Women are offering co-ed breaks now so if you don’t fancy being in paradise without your man you can drag him along too.
Dates: April, August and September 2008
Rates: From £890 for a dorm room to £1335 for a private ocean-front room.
Get your crampons on for a geek-free week of ice climbing in Chamonix with the Ice Angels crew. Equipment, instruction and guides are included in the price, as is girl-friendly accommodation - £100 will buy you an upgrade to Chalet Icicle with its hot tub, so you can ease your aching muscles after a hard day’s climbing.
Dates: Throughout winter, see website for details.
Rates: From £695 for a week, £299 for a weekend.
Girlie Camps Skate
Discover the best skate spots around Prague and Hossegar with the Girlie Camps crew, who will help you progress your riding whether you’re new to the parks or ride like a pro. Accommodation is in either the Girlie House or a comfy hotel in Prague (breakfast and dinner are included in the Girlie House), and you’ll have two two-hour skate sessions a day in the park and on the street. When you’re not riding you can go watch a skate contest, go sightseeing and shopping or just hang out with your fellow sk8er girls.
Dates: Around July
Words: Cordelia Brabbs