Friday saw the Pretty Faces Premiere Tour arrive at the Snowcentre. Not only was this a premiere night but the first girls freeski session held at Hemel. On the way there, I'll admit I had my reservations. I knew the organizers had put everything into making sure the night went off with a bang, I just wasn't convinced there were enough female riders in the area to make it work.
Rachel Walsh, one of the organizers, showing how it's done
Chloe Hardy setting for a perfect K-Fed
I couldn't have been more wrong, the turnout was blew me away. It was actually one of the busiest nights I've ever seen at Hemel. Top UK riders were on the slopes giving tips to the many beginners and first time freeskiers. The number of people, young and old(er), I saw hit their first jump or their first box and land with ear to ear grins was genuinely inspiring. I'm sure that many of those who turned up are now freeskiers for life.
Photo: Emma Fitzgerald
Good vibes. Photo: Emma Fitzgerald
The film which followed (it's really good by the way, check it out) focuses on how motivating it is for female riders to get to ride with each other and progress together. Having just watched the session go down, I could see exactly what it's talking about. Everyone who hit the slopes had a blast, pushed their limits and came away from the night a more confident skier than they started it. And that, after all, is what it's all about.
After the session, in the premiere room. Photo: Richard Clark
I hope that the success of the night, others like it, and the Pretty Faces film means this sort of event will become a regular thing in the UK and that there will be similar sessions across the globe. If you are around, make sure you get to the second stop at Castleford this Thursday! After all, getting more women stoked on freestyle skiing is something I'm sure every member of this site can get behind, right?