Girls specific snowboard camps provide a unique supportive atmosphere that boosts fun and progression like no other, but many female riders are left wondering whether this is a session they’d enjoy and find it tough to cut through marketing blurb to see the actual benefits.
Few topics generate as much interest or disagreement as the nature of differences between women and men, so the first thing to note is that all ladies are different and this article should not be seen as a ‘one size fits all’.
It’s my hope you’ll find aspects of this article resonate with your own thoughts or experiences and you’ll be able to see how a female specific learning environment could benefit your snowboard progression. So lets start by looking at some of the neuroscience behind how girls and guys are different.
“… female brains are designed to better facilitate communication between analytical and intuitive processing modes…”
1) DIFFERENT WIRING.
This illustration comes from a study in 2013 that found the brains of males (top set) and females (bottom set) differed in terms of the connections within (blue lines) and between (orange lines) the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
As you can see there’s an obvious difference, but what does the pretty picture mean in the real world? The researchers suggest that male brains are structured to facilitate connectivity between perception and coordinated action, whereas female brains are designed to better facilitate communication between analytical and intuitive processing modes.
In a broad snowboarding sense this means men are more likely to charge in gung ho and just give it a go whereas women generally prefer to think things through, hearing the information in different ways or asking questions so they can fully process the task at hand before committing. In a beginner lesson this usually takes the form of guys getting down the hill (in a fashion) within a shorter time, whereas us girls show more finesse and a refined style in our performance once acquired.
“… women generally prefer to challenge themselves for personal progression or try to find something the whole group can achieve together, whereas men generally find more enjoyment in competing against one another…”
2) GENDER DIFFERENCES IN GROUPS, COMPETITION & COMMUNICATION.
Natural differences between the ways that men and women interact with group scenarios, many of which exist we’re unaware of at the time.
One study showed that men (also in learning groups) define themselves more by delimiting themselves from others in the group, while women preferred to seek co-operation and success as a team. This mindset also extends to healthy competition where women generally prefer to challenge themselves for personal progression or try to find something the whole group can achieve together, whereas men generally find more enjoyment in competing against one another.
Another study found men often dominated discussions in learning groups speaking for 2.5x longer than their female peers, the effect being that others (mainly women) could only assert their interest in learning in a limited way. It has also been demonstrated that in mixed-sex conversations women are interrupted far more frequently than men are, and once interrupted women sometimes stayed out of the discussion for the remainder of the class hour.
“… I’ve seen first hand how well riders on all girls camps work together to achieve both individually and as a group, I love the dynamic created and find it one of the most enjoyable and rewarding feelings in snowboarding… “
3) So how does an all girls snowboard camp help?
From a personal perspective I’ve managed to excel in a male dominated sport and have learnt which environments work best to aid development, but more importantly how to tailor this for women to create enough competition and progression without anyone feeling overwhelmed or like they need to prove a point.
I’ve seen first hand how well riders on all girls camps work together to achieve both individually and as a group, I love the dynamic created and find it one of the most enjoyable and rewarding feelings in snowboarding.
It’s a relaxed environment in which to learn and have fun, sharing in each other’s achievements while becoming a better rider yourself in the process. It’s a supportive forum to ask questions and try new things at your own pace, knowing that whether you get it right 1st time or 100th time it’s OK and everyone has your back with a high-5 waiting.
If that sounds like the kind of week you’d have fun on, then a girls snowboard camp could be just the session for you!
It was for these reasons we combined my personal experiences with our knowledge of female specific learning environments to create the Onyx Snowboarding ‘All Girls’ winter snowboard camp in Morzine – Avoriaz, running from 14th – 21st January 2017.
Using our existing all inclusive camp format with a few tweaks and applying the above knowledge to create a truly amazing week of on and off snow fun just for us girls, and all without Billy Big Bollocks shouting about his latest trick or how fast he went (even though we all know he didn’t) to distract you!
So whether it’s the new Onyx Snowboarding Camp or elsewhere, I highly advise a girls specific snowboard camp to every female rider out there. I think you’ll be amazed at just how much of a difference it really does makes to your enjoyment and progression.