One thing I noticed about The Remarkables Skifield this season is the number of women's specific skiing and snowboarding events held throughout the year. It intrigued me. I've always snowboarded in mixed groups (almost always skewed towards males) so the thought of just riding with girls has never really crossed my mind. I wasn't even sure it was an appealing prospect, but I believe in the 'don't knock it till you try it' philosophy so I looked into it all a little bit further.
I had read a bunch of stuff on the Google - on how women learn differently, how they respond to coaching differently, how they learn better in segregation etc etc etc. There had to be something in it right? I mean, there are loads of very highly rated schools who are same-sex or co-ed with single-sex classes.
The Remarkables has three different ladies' ski and snowboard events throughout the season - Lady Laps, Snowbroads and Ski Queens.
It’s free and held on four consecutive Sundays. With a lazy start at 10:30 am, the group meets up to run some super casual laps. The crew may be split up so that those who want to hit the park or go for a hike can do so.
At 2:30 pm, it's chill time with a free glass of Moet& Chandon and some free stash from Mons Royale.
Snowbroads is a snowboard freestyle camp - with the idea of providing a fun and supportive environment for women to progress their freestyle skills.
Run in conjunction with Mons Royale and Burton Australia NZ, Snowbroads is for intermediate and above riders. Freestyle coaching is by qualified Remarkables Snowsports coaches and just 60 places are allocated per camp.
Three camps run throughout the season at The Remarkables and I'm told that it is quite common to register for all three. Each camp will cost you $120 or it's $335 for all three.
The day starts with breakfast and a glass of bubbles. After being divided into groups of similar ability, coaches take you out to hit the park and progress your freestyle skills.
In addition to a day of freestyle coaching, there is a BBQ lunch, transport to and from The Remarkables as well as plenty of prizes and giveaways throughout the day including a Burton Snowboard.
Ski Queens is similar to Snowbroads but for skiers, and runs twice in the season. Sponsored by Volkl, participants have the chance to win a pair of Volkl Skis at each camp. Each ski camp is $120 or $225 for both.
My Day At Snowbroads
I joined the last Snowbroads camp of the season. I think I'm a pretty competent all mountain rider but a total wimp when it comes to freestyle. It was time to step it up and I won't lie, the added bonus of champagne, lunch and prizes definitely sweetened the deal. My concern with an all girls snowboard camp (and I realise that I am totally stereotyping) was that there would be too much downtime, too much chit chat and not enough riding time. I really wanted to end the day with some rad new skills and to really understand the value in a girls-only snowboard camp vs a mixed group.
It was extremely unfortunate, but we ended up with what was probably the worst possible conditions for a freestyle lesson. Windy with heavy snow and zero visibility. Lifts were on and off hold throughout the day and some of the parks had to close. Wicked powder day, but not so good for freestyling!
Our group didn't make it into the park, but I'm super impressed with how the coaches worked around the conditions. We still got out there and rode. We practised technique and we took some powder runs despite not being able to see 1m in front of us. These ladies were tough. Our hair was frozen, our neckwarmers had turned into ice blocks and were no longer keeping us warm - yet we rode every single opportunity that we had, only stopping for lunch when it was time.
Speaking of food, breakfast and lunch were sensational. I was very impressed by the quality and selection of food. And Amisfield bubbles to start the day...need I say more!
So, I didn't get to hit the park. I didn't get the progression on my skills that I was hoping for but I did get a little insight into girls only ski and snowboard camps. There were women from all walks of life, from different parts of the world, each with their own unique story. But we were all there for two common things - to get better at riding and to have fun doing it. I met so many interesting people that day, from fellow learners to coaches. Everyone was so friendly and the vibe was super positive, relaxed and supportive.
Was it because it was a girls-only environment? I'm not so sure, but despite the less than favourable conditions, I had a fantastic time. Enough to make me want to come back. Stay tuned, because I really am intrigued by the concept of women's only ski and snowboard camps. Hopefully, the weather is kind to me next time so that I can write the post that I had originally intended to. Plus I need a reason to step up my game in the park!
Have you been on a girls-only ski or snowboard camp? I'd love to hear all about it, let me know in the comments below!
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Jen spends most of her time following Mick around the mountain, often unintentionally off jumps and cliff drops. Currently on a mission to prove that you’re never too old to try freestyle. Aside from snowboarding, a little obsessed about tattoos, CrossFit, saving animals, learning to play the guitar and clean eating. Web designer and digital marketing nerd.