Argh! Modern technology, hey? We love it, work on it, save our entire music collections on it… then it crashes and dies, leaving us dumped, depressed and alone.
Just before a month long tour of snowboard comps and events across France and Austria – where I was meant to blog regularly for Cooler – my laptop passed away. Not such a bad thing at home in London, but when was the last time you saw an Apple shop in resort?
So, better than late than never, I’m finally touching base.
I arrived on April 4th after a short journey from Chamonix (Les 7 Laux is an hour away from Grenoble), greeted by gorgeous spring weather and the lovely Julie, head of PR for Jee Vice, who organised the comp, then straight on to pre event wine and munchies with the rest of the girls. With a super friendly and supportive atmosphere, in half an hour I went from knowing no one to having a bunch of new friends all stoked to be taking part in the next day’s qualifiers.
40 girls from Finland, Sweden, France, Norway, Austria, UK, Czech, Slovakia and more had all turned up to take part in Intergirlactik – their third following last season’s filming session and now with Ticket To Ride world tour 3 star status.
With soft, forgiving spring snow, the park at Les 7 Laux was awesome – the baby project for France’s top Ho5 crew, there was a double set of kickers (medium and huge on each roller), a massive hip, flat down boxes, flat rails, a nice rollercoaster rail, C rail, up down rails and boxes plus a tricky, narrow up rail to finish.
After a week of practise the qualifiers took place on Friday April 8th. After 25 girls qualified, the 10 best qualifiers and 8 invited riders all went forwards to compete in Saturday’s best-of-two-run format 18 rider super finals.
The standard of riding was incredible and creative: winner Claudia Fliri, (from Mayrhofen, Austria) stomped a clean 720 on the huge kicker, a back 360 nose grab on the hip then a 50/50 180 out on the uprail. Britain’s Vicci Miller came close behind in second place with a solid back 360, cab 540, front side board slide on the kinked rail, and 50/50 to 180 out. Lisa Filzmoser, also Austrian, came third with a super stylish and huge 540 front side tail-grab, cab 5, mute grab on the hip plus a 50/50 to finish.
As well as the established pro names, what impressed me more about the comp was that for some of the girls entering – and getting through to the finals – this was their first international competition. Unsponsored Finnish rider Hanna Laukkanen had flown in especially, and came fourth with huge cab 5s – someone hook her up now! Jessika Steen, came 8th despite it being her first comp ever – and having attended snowboard school in her native Sweden is one to watch.
16 year old Dutch Roxy and Batalleaon rider Marjolein Hoppen is another one to watch – even with a busted knee she was slaying the parks rails. She’s ballsy too and was the only girl to attempt the huge rainbow over the park hut, (but fell off to break her nose and split her lip though – ouch!).
If you’re thinking of entering comps – whether snowboard, surf, wake or skate – do it. Even if you come last, you’ll make loads of new friends, progress you riding by learning off those better than you, polish your tricks, get expert advice from judges and ride somewhere new. Most of all you’ll have fun; the post event party was funny, crazy and mental, with manic dancing to the iPod battle DJs, awesome costumes and far too much free Corona being drunk.
Do it - get involved! I know Intergirlactik defiantly inspired me.
Video courtesy of www.snowbroader.eu.
Thanks a million to Julie and Marion @ Intergirlactik all the riders, Les 7 Laux, Stine @ Les Ettes, Marja @ Method, all the judges, Andy TTR, Julien and Vanessa for saving my cameras, Claudia, Vicci and all the riders for an amazing Easter weekend.