Women in Boardsports Retreat 2011

                       40 min Skateistan Presentation, photo: Stephen Knoop
 I had the pleasure to be a part of the best event for women in the boardsport scene ever! Carmela Fleury and Daniela Meyer are now in the 3rd year running have been organizing a 5day Women in Boardsports retreat. The event is devoted to support, educate and inspire women in the boardsports industry. I can say the event did all that plus it gave me a great wipe of fresh energy.  We meet 1800m high on the Swiss mountain in the sweet little village of Saas-Fee and  listened to great talks, spoke to fascinated like minded people, had tasty food and great fun. 

 Slight pain involved in the packing, photo: Maria Wolfsberger
It was a long, long ride to get there. We where three ladies, 7 boards and 1 small car. Thank you Dani Bily from Smileatyoursister and Maria Wolfsberger for the great trip. I don't think I will ever forget the night tunnel skate, coming out with all the stars was just breath taking. 
                                       Cori Schumacher, photo: Alba Prado
Surfer, three time Longboard World Champion and much more: Cori Schumacher was one of the key speakers and delivered an extraordinary presentation on female portrayal in Surf ads. She is a legend in my eyes because she fights for what she believes in and here authentic speech was more than inspirational. “Stand by Your Man to Stand by Your Suntan:”was here bottom line introduction. How shallow has the boardsports industry become? -I asked myself. Cori stands up against the sexualisation of women and argues for more creativity in boardsports. Way to go I say! . Check out in-depth research and the slide show on her blog. 
I was actually invited to spread the love of Skateistan. A skateboarding school in Kabul, Afghanistan, dedicated to provide a space for young Afghans to unfold their potentials.

                                 Lunchtime is Playtime, photo: Alba Pardo

Skateboarding in all its shapes and forms was a big part of the retreat. UK skate legend and creator Jenna Selby and pro-skater Lucy Adams as well as pro-skater Mimi Knoop and donwhill skater Tamara Prader shared their skate enthusiasm. Not to forget the lunchtime play sessions in the skate park and down the roads in Saas-Fee. With all those women it was of no surprise that lots of skate talks where happening.
                                                            Spiral Car Park Fun, photo: Dani Billy
Check out Jenna's great article in Cooler Magazine: The way forward for Skateboarding. Also not to miss: Mimis write up on Women in Boardsports. Visit the Women in Boardsports page and book your place for next year :).

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