Left: Cheryl and the gas pipe Last week, Volcom's female shredders visited three indoor snow slopes in the UK and one in Holland. This year Kari Opsal from Norway and Sarka Pancochova from the Czech Republic joined Cheryl Maas on our snowboard team and we thought it was about time we got out there and shared some of our Volcom love. The aim was to do something for the female shredders.. meet the local girls, have some coaching sessions where the girls could learn new tricks and get tips from our team and then give away a load of Volcom swag to all the girls! We also had three special prizes for the girls we thought improved the most each night!
So after picking up the team from various UK airports, the first stop was Milton Keynes. Milton Keynes Sno!Zone was the second indoor slope in the UK so they have a long history of pumping out some of the UK's best snowboarders. We turned up for their freestyle night and the park crew had done an excellent job in making a Pro and Rookie line so that there was something for all abilities. About 20 girls came along with a ton of guys who were checking our skills. Jules who is the regular Girls Academy coach at the Sno!Zone did a fantastic job in getting everyone going and Cheryl, Sarka and Kari helped the girls dial their new tricks. We were really impressed by the girls programme that is going on in Milton Keynes. They are definitely helping to create a great environment for girls who want to progress their snowboarding.
Next day we headed 600km north to Scotland to Braehead Sno!Zone near Glasgow. The format was the same... DJ - Check, Volcom Stand - Check, Loads of goodies - Check! So many girls had traveled for over 4 hours to come to Glasgow! Again the park crew had done a great job in making a Pro and Rookie line. Kari took the rookies to the Rookie park. Some of these girls had never hit a rail or done a trick before and they were all hitting the boxes! Cheryl and Sarka took the more experienced girls to the Pro line and after 2 hours of hard shredding everyone was exhausted. We dished out the goodies and improvers prizes and headed upstairs to the Sno!Bar for a well deserved drink!
Saturday morning and another 300km in the car to Manchester's Chill Factore! One hour into the drive we had a blow out on the motorway! Well... It wouldn't be a road trip without a burst tyre! Once we finally got to Manchester's Chill Factore, Subvert had put on some Halloween drinks and snacks for us which helped us all relax and get ready for the night ahead.
Manchester is home to our Volcom Family rider Colum Mytton and Col had done a fantastic job in creating an amazing park! The best had been saved til last! Stair sets carved out of snow, decent kickers, loads of rails and boxes and a massive Volcom Stone made out of snow!
Local coaches Sam Pinder and Sarah Fish took the Rookie group of around 12 girls with Kari and spent the evening hitting the two box line. The other 10 or so girls joined the pro group with Cheryl and Sarka on the more difficult rails and kickers. After over 3 hours of shredding, everyone headed up to the bar for some drinks. And of course, it wouldn't be a trip to the UK with ending a Saturday night in a curry house. As the clock hit midnight, it was Sarka's birthday so Cheryl bought us all some flashing bunny ears and we headed to Manchester's famous Curry Mile!
Next stop Holland for Kari and Cheryl! Cheryl grew up and learnt to snowboard in the Dutch snow domes so she was especially pumped to give something back to the younger Dutch shredders. After a night on the ferry from Hull to Rotterdam, we headed to Snowplanet in Spaarnwoude. With it being a Monday night, we wondered if the turnout might be small... but 15 girls showed up as well as a ton of guys who were riding with our Volcom Family team from Holland. All the girls had a similar level so Cheryl and Kari spent the evening teaching the girls how to do 180's off the kicker. Some of these girls had never gone off a jump before and they all managed to spin! As one girl said... "I'd never have tried this by myself, I would have been too scared. But when there is a big group of you and Cheryl Maas is telling you that you can do it, well... You just do it! And I did!"
And that was it! 2500km driven and four nights of snowboarding around the UK and Holland! Overall Cheryl, Kari and Sarka were totally stoked to get involved and help the girls that came along to our Fridge Fandango. Everyone ended each night with a big smile on their face feeling like they had done something new and pushed themselves a bit further than usual. It was such a success that for sure we will be back next year for more!!! Thanks for coming everyone and see your next year!
Big thanks to everyone involved! Sno!Zone and Chill Factore. Special thanks to James North for the action pictures from Milton Keynes and Mark Harris for the action pics from Manchester.