Sara Helme is a computer programmer from Cheltenham. She’s been snowboarding for seven years: her boyfriend “dragged her into it” and she’s never looked back. She was fascinated by it right from the start, even though it wasn’t until the second week of her second holiday that she could turn toe edge. Now she spends two weeks of every winter in Canada, and tries to get some indoor riding in at least once a month.
“Usually a whole bunch of us go to Canada; we all ride together and spend a lot of time in the trees, but nobody else is really interested in going into the park. I’ve always wanted to get more into freestyle, so I thought it would be good to come and do it on a girls’ camp. There’s only one other girl in our crew usually, and I like riding with guys, but with girls it’s just more comfortable – you relax a bit more. Seems like guys are always trying to impress each other, and are more competitive than supportive. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why they don’t want to ride in the park when we’re on holiday – perhaps they’re too embarrassed to fall?
“Today was flipping windy! My first thought was damn, I forgot my neck gaiter. But surprisingly, it didn’t matter; it was such good fun. I’ve been trying to do 180s for two years: I had an idea of what I needed to be doing, but it’s never really clicked. Normally I have a couple of goes, turn 90, smack my head on the floor and give up. But today Gilly helped me visualise exactly what I needed to do and then – I just got up and did it! I think that I just needed to have it broken down and then relate that to what my body was doing. By the time we had to go down because of high winds, my legs were exhausted but I was so pleased. I could do a f/s 180, ride it out switch, and then pop it back – just really chuffed.
“The weather got better in town in the afternoon, and we had a go at skating. I’ve never skateboarded before so I’m impressed that I managed not to kill myself. I’ve always looked at people skating before and just thought it looked really hard, but everyone did so well and it was brilliant fun, It was nice to see the sun, but I don’t really care what the weather’s doing – I’m just thinking snowboard snowboard snowboard snowboard… “