Date: Sunday March 10, 2013
Place: Granite Gorge, Keene, NH
Event: Glam Jam
What is it?: A “girls only” park clinic and rail jam hosted by Shred It Girl and coached by Geeks of Shred
Recap: This was a great event! Shred It Girl is dedicated to girls who shred (go figure). They have a website and blog. They host events and travel around meeting athletes, shop people, and everyone who is down with girls getting their shred on-snowboarding, surf, skate, you name it!
Erica and Alicia are the people behind Shred It Girl and they deserve a lot of credit for what they are doing. They are getting girls more involved in snowboarding with events like the GlamJam that provide a safe and non-intimidating environment to give new things a try. Sunday was a picture perfect day. Bluebird skies, temps in the high 40s to low 50s and a bunch of girls gathered to have fun and learn some tricks in the park.
Hanna Haidar and Carlos Romero from Geeks of Shred and their fellow instructor at Sugarbush, Allie, handled the coaching duties. They are AWESOME! For any of you who know me…I don’t go to the park…I’m afraid of dying. Somehow I got talked into joining this crew for a day of fun in the sun in the park and there were no other instructors that I would trust to get me through it. There were girls from 7 to “older” (me) and everyone in between. There were a wide range of abilities and park experience, but everyone there was ready to get it done.
After warming up on the hill a bit we moved to the box in the progression park. It was a small box at a beginner friendly angle. But it might as well have been Mt. Everest to me. I was a pack of nerves all morning. Hanna broke off with the young girls ages 7-10. Carlos got the rest of us. We all took turns working on our approach to the box before we took a stab at actually getting up there.
When we started for real Carlos was there to give us as much or as little help as we needed. As my turn was approaching it was going pretty well in my mind. Seemed easy enough. My mind does that to me. My first approach, I got to the ramp…and chickened out. Ok…take two. On the second attempt I made if far enough up the ramp that Carlos helped me the rest of the way up and across the box. At the end he looked at me and said “now pop off”. Say what? I kind of hopped, slid, fell off instead. Fine with me. I get credit for being up there even if I had to be dragged up and across, right? Not exactly in my mind.
By the second time through everyone was doing great! The encouragement and support was incredible. All of the girls were really stoked to be there and they were happy for each girl as she started to get the feel for getting up the ramp, across the box and “popping off”. When it was my turn to go again, I got there….got part way up the ramp and looked at Carlos and said “this isn’t for me”. He was incredibly understanding and supportive and I headed back up the hill to sit with everyone and cheer them on until the last girl had taken her last try for the morning session. It was really cool to watch the fear melt to triumph and then confidence.
There was no judgment that morning, but performing in front of a crowd isn’t really my thing. Nothing in snowboarding comes easily to me. I need a LOT of repetition and one-on-one time. Hanna spent some time with me between sessions and tried to work me through my hang-ups and onto the box. Despite our best efforts, I just couldn’t make it happen. The park is nowhere I have ever wanted to venture and it is WAY outside of my comfort zone. But I gave it a shot. Carlos, Hanna and Mark were great and stood by me when I decided I had had enough of the park.
Everyone else went back for the afternoon session, when they took to the nearby rail. That was followed by a rail jam for all of the girls to show off their new skills. There were a ton of prizes for everything from “Best Trick” to “Most Dedicated” to “Best Outfit” and everything in between.
I don’t like it when things “beat” me. After all, that’s how I learned to snowboard…sheer stubbornness because snowboarding would not “beat” me! Given that stubborn gene, I am sure I will visit the park again. I saw this box at Okemo that is only about 6” high and looks almost impossible to miss. Looks like a good place to start.
Big kudos to Shred It Girl, Geeks of Shred (two of the most patient and understanding people I know), Allie, and all of the girls who came out and participated. You ROCK!!! This is just the kind of thing that girls’ snowboarding needs. The future is looking good!
Tags: Geeks of shred, shred it girl, glam jam shred it girl, progression park, intro to park clinic,intro to park clinic for girls, hit boxes on snowboard, intro to park clinic for women, lean park skill snowboard, shred it girl glam jam