It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that men outnumber women on the mountain. Despite the growing numbers of female participants over the years, both skiing and snowboarding still tend to be male dominated sports. But maybe there’s something we can do about it. With strong female athletes like Lindsay Vonn and Gretchen Bleiler becoming household names, women specific events are on the rise and hopefully the interest level is too. Here are 5 quick ideas to get you, or your mom, wife, sister, girlfriend or best friend out on the mountain.
- 1. Take a lesson with a friend: Trying something new can be intimidating, but nothing makes it easier than having a friend to look like a fool with. If you’re new to the sport, find a friend to take a lesson with. If you’re still learning, a refresher lesson probably wouldn’t hurt. If you’re an experienced veteran with a friend who’s still learning spend a day with her on the greens as she tries to hone in her skills. A supportive and encouraging friend can go a long way. January is learn to ski and snowboard month and there are programs in place to make learning to ski and snowboarding affordable for you and a friend. Check out http://www.skiandsnowboardmonth.org/ for more info.
- 2. Attend a women specific event: Check the resorts in your area for any women’s specific events. Some resorts do women’s days with special discounting, or there might be a women’s club in your area that skis and socializes on certain nights. Sites like www.shejumps.org are a great way to find local events or to just get involved. When you find something, grab as many of your female friends as possible!
- 3. Plan a women’s weekend: Grab a few friends, ditch your significant other and head out for a weekend of fun with the girls. Some resorts have spas, yoga classes or other ways to get away from the usual craziness and relax after a day on the mountain. Make it an annual thing and you and your friends will look forward to it all winter long especially if they don’t get a chance to get out much.
- 4. Keep it fun: When you’re trying to get your friends or family on the mountain keep things fun and light hearted. Many women have been through the whole “significant other trying to teach them to ski” experience and it never ends well, generally because of the pressure they have felt to progress. Let them learn and grow at their own pace. Look for resorts that feature black, blue and green terrain all off the same lifts so that if your group varies in skill you can each find the appropriate terrain while sharing the lift rides together.
- 5. Look for videos with female athletes: Get pumped up and inspired by all female ski or snowboard videos. Here’s a great a video Burton just put out called Women [Snowboarding]. Hearing from some of the greats like Kelly Clark and Hannah Teter as they explain how they got into the sport and where it’s taken them is enough to get any girl excited for her next trip.
If there’s one thing about women, it’s that when we find something we love we talk about it and share it with our friends. If you love the snow, share your love with others. Maybe one day we’ll look at the mountain and find that we’re the ones outnumbering the guys.