Nicola Thost, 30 girls and a park

From Monday to Wednesday I joined the Burton All Girls Snowcamp in Mayrhofen together with Nicola Thost (who is organizing the camps), six freestyle coaches (young, wild and capable) and 30 girls (age 16 to 30, from Germany, Austria, England, Denmark, Belgium, Poland and even Australia). The motto of this camp: Jump Mission! The girls had already arrived on Sunday and were quiet surprised when a new face showed up on Monday evening. But after a short introduction, I was quickly accepted. First task for me: Tuning my board! Good idea as it looked like it hadn´t seen any service for years (and it´s only one season old!)… Three of the coaches explained how to tune the edges of the board, how to wax it and how to set up the bindings correctly. Wow, my board looked like new after half an hour! As the tuning room was not big enough for 30 girls, half of them watched snowboard movies together with Nicola in the meantime. At midnight every girl had a blinking board (with some boards it didn´t help much as they were too old but in this case the girls could test the latest Burton women´s boards, bindings, boots and protection gear)…

Girls, Girls, Girls

Next morning, 8.30. After two cups of coffee I headed up to the mountain. After a very funny warm up (it was “surfer´s day” so we pretended to run to the beach with our boards and paddle out – never felt so agile in the morning), the different groups (maximum of six girls and one coach) planed their day. I was set up for the group from Tobias, 26 years old and the girl´s lurking favourite. We did some first runs on the slopes, the snow was perfect (it had snowed 20 centimetres in the last night) and the sun shining – for me it was the first day this season that I had that huge smile on my face when everything is just perfect. After some awesome runs with inoffical ollie contests, nose rolls and wheelies, we went to the Burton Park. Each girl had another motivation to participate in the camp. Some just wanted to jump a kicker for the first time, others had concrete ideas like learning Frontside 360s or rail tricks. Normally girls are afraid of going in the park by themselves – we think that the guys are better than us and are scared that they will laugh about us, send us away or just ignore us. So normally we maybe try to jump over a kicker, slam and never try it again. I know that guys won´t understand this but that is how most of the girls act. But going in the park with a cool looking coach and in a group, suddenly none of us had any problems with trying something new, slamming and trying it again! And the guys in the park were not even sneaking but saying things like “Aba bittä – laaadiiiies fiiiirst” with their Austrian accent! Couldn´t believe it… Every time one of us stomped a trick, we cheered and were motivated to even try better. Tobias did a great job and in cases of frustration he always had a piece of chocolate in his pocket – he knows how to make girls happy: Just give them chocolate and they do everything for you!

Chocolate is a girl´s best friend! Coaches Tobias (left) and Flo (right), Nicola Thost´s brother

At dinner everybody was smiling – and almost asleep. So after some more videos this night, we all went to bed early as we hoped to get another decent day tomorrow.

Next day: Rain! Doesn´t matter – the girls wanted to learn so much that they didn´t want to miss any single minute of coaching! We were staying in the park until the best outerwear was giving up and we were all wet (my down jacket probably weighed five kilos more now but Tobias didn´t accept it as an excuse for my not existent 360s…). Nicola joined our group this day – the girls smiled and were proud to ride with her. In the afternoon those who were interested in backcountry riding could take part in a “Safety matters” lesson and got to know a little bit more about avalanches, transceivers and dangers in the mountains. But most of the girls were staying in the park and rode until the last lift closed at 4.30. I had to go home this evening – unfortunately as I would have loved to stay for the whole week (especially as the girls were doing a night session on the trampoline this evening!).

Nicola (middle), Frank Stolle, the camp´s photographer and one of the rare boys (left), and some girls

Ifyou also want to join one of the four still remaining camps, just check out www.burtonallgirls.com – there are still some places left for Morzine/ France from March 25 to 31 and for Wäsabergen/ Sweden from April 22 to 28 (all camps cost 670 Euro for one week all inclusive, only the arrival is individually).

Live life to the fullest – Mel

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