I hear at Hemel’s Freestyle Night that there is a girl’s camp happening so I stand up a night with friends in a classy London nightclub to join the Maverix Snow Camp for Girls. I would much rather spend my night in my boarding boots with my snowboard than dancing away in high heels and a short skirt. Fellow Cooler readers hopefully feel the same! That is because snowboarding is like Crack Cocaine (try the first but never the second) as it is so immensely addictive. If I do not have at least a weekly rush of adrenaline my week feels rather dull! It is nice to see that 10 other girls feel the same and have opted for learning some skills rather than a night out on the town.
Jay, is the founder and head coach of Maverix and he is here tonight to push as all and of course give us a good night! Jay agrees with me that “snowboarding is so fun and addictive." He tells me that “he loves teaching new tricks as he knows how good it feels when a new trick is mastered". Snowboarding is much more rewarding that non extreme sports as not only do you have to develop new skills you also have to get “over the fear that you might die" and when you realise you have achieved and you are alive you “feel like a champion!"
This is definitely what Sian felt as she shocked herself by nailing the Indie Grab after only a few months boarding. Luckily for her it was caught on camera too. However, some of us may have felt more like we might die during the session rather than a champion! However, I am sure that everyone will be more confident as a result when they reflect on their new skills.
Jay splits the 10 of us up into 2 groups; one for beginners and an immediate group. Leah from Conspiracy takes the beginner group and Jay takes the rest of us. My group is pretty rad as I am riding with my fellow boarding buddies, Elise, Vicki and Becky. Becky is 11 but she is already way ahead of me, Elise and Vicki! Becky’s dad who is well known at MK (Milton Keynes) also joins in – he says he is fine with riding with a bunch of girls. I suggest that I should have kitted him out with some clip-in hair extensions and large chicken fillets and then he could kinda pass for a girl. Maybe next time!
Jay wants to push our group as he thinks we can all do a lot more than we are! The story of my life! Becky is practicing switch f/s onto the box and f/s onto the side on rail. I am aiming to make my f/s onto the box look steezy and practice survival on the side on rail (see pic). I even managed to nail a f/s on the side on rail, defo beginners luck! Vicki bravely took on the side on rail and was making 50:50s by the end of the session; very brave seeming she had a nasty stack with her arm landing behind her back at the beginning (see pic of her making the rail). Jay and Leah make sure you take away lots of pointers for self development. I have to stop sticking my bottom out so much and bend my knees more on the front-sides. Elise has to stop diving head first into the side on rail! But nailed the f/s board-slide by the end (see pic).
In the beginners group (led by Leah) the girls were all getting their confidence up with going over the box and the small kicker. All the girls were happily going over the box by the end of the session which was impressive seeming this was the first step to freestyle for the group. Some of the girls on the camp had never done any freestyle before, and a few who had only been boarding for a few months so this was brave stuff. Jay sums up the night with “that was sick and I am stoked."
The plan with the Maverix Girls Camp is to make it a social affair for girls so we can get to know some new fellow boarders and give each other confidence by riding together. Jay is passionate about making snowboarding as social as possible. He runs the girls snowboarding camp at Hemel Snow Centre on the last Saturday of every month, kicking off at 6.30pm. So if you want to meet some new boarders you should come along. This is for beginners too so don’t be put off by my snowboarding lingo. If you have never aimed at a box this is the course for you too. As there are several coaches you will be sure to be in a group with girls of a similar level. And, if you think you are already too skilful for more training, think again as you can always get better and maybe you just don’t have enough steeze!
Jay has a busy schedule and runs 3 nights a month at MK, one at Castleford, and occasionally at Tamworth and Braehead and organises the camp weeks away. I smiled when I read his summary for why he set up his company; this company is purely created for being able to continue his passion for boarding and sharing the knowledge.And like me, he has given up a well paying city job to take a risk to do something that you are passionate about... but you maybe a little poorer for it!
If you love riding with the girls at the freestyle nights and really want to max out your skills then have a think about the Girls Only Snowboarding Camp at Les Deux Alps. Boarding all morning on the Glacier in the Snowboard Park and then you have the afternoon to enjoy the sun, relax, or tear down the hills on a mountain bike or practice some moves on the trampoline which is conveniently located just outside the chalet.
Written by Catherine Peck, sponsored by Salomon Snowboards, Bonfire Clothing, Ski Club of Great Britain, Hemel Snow Centre and www.undercover-glamour.com