Oh, St Valentine. Who were you and why did you feel the need to mark a random day in February with such sappy importance that men and women all over the world now feel compelled to purchase excessively OTT greetings cards, and cuddly toys that would set fire if they even looked upon a naked flame?
Surprise, surprise, here at SNOOKS, we’re not so much a fan of the whole “spend excessive amounts of money on a hallmark holiday” thing. We are, however, all about spreading good vibes and a little bit of love every now again, and what better way to give ol’ Valentine two fingers in the air than to spend this February 14th on your favourite piste, dry slope or homegrown mountain with your best mates.
If you’ve checked out our most recent Handmade Tale collection, you’ll already know that we’re big cheerleaders for the female species, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hang with the lads; in fact we like to think we can give them a run for their money more often than not when it comes to party laps on the piste – boys, challengers are welcome! That’s why, on this day of love, we’re not jumping on the somewhat cliched ‘galentines day’ – no, no, this year we’re encouraging you all to grab your board, grab your jacket (preferably the SNOOKS Union jacket because it’s awesome, and also…marketing), and grab your crew to celebrate what shall henceforth be known as ‘Pal’entine’s Day!
Why not go one step further? Spread the love even more and give Mother Earth a big cuddle by joining the crusade against climate change with the insane team over at Protect Our Winters, or POW for short. Each and every donation helps contribute to a wealth of proactive research and activism, and knowing that you’re making your mark in such a positive way is enough to warm even the iciest heart this February (in a good way though, not in a global warming kind of way…).
So, although that chairlift may be chilly, you can rest assured that here at SNOOKS we’ll be sending each every one of your guys our snuggliest, mushiest, good vibes this February 14th.
Happy Palentine’s Day,
Lots of love,
The Snooks Girls
Over to the one of our very own wonderful wild women for this Blog Post! Interviewed and written by Beth Crowe (round of applause) read right to the end for a date for your diaries! #BigFuckingHike
As a self-confessed lover of the great outdoors, girl power and as a strong advocate of the Lake District being possibly the best place in the whole entire world ever (….like, ever!), I’m proud to say that I have watched the Wonderful Wild Women collective thrive. My only regret is that I have often watched from social media, while in a different city or, most recently, a different country.
Not that I’m complaining, I have been extremely lucky to call a number of locations home over the years, including the beautiful Italian alps. After doing my first season I attempted to return to the 9 to 5 back in England but it just wasn’t for me, so I made the decision to quit my job, go freelance, and escape to the alps as a self-employed, admittedly extremely nervous, full time snow bum.
My love for snowboarding is what led me to the alps, but it’s also what led me to meeting a group of very talented, savvy and hilarious ladies who I now have the absolute pleasure of working alongside…the SNOOKS girls.
As a women’s collective who are passionate about getting outside with our mates, supporting our fellow ladies and making the most of this beautiful planet, it’s easy to see how perfectly SNOOKS aligns with the ideology of Wonderful Wild Women. So we wanted to get to know the girls behind WWW a little better and find out what makes the ladies tick.
SNOOKS: Who are the Wonderful Wild Women and was the idea for this collective born?
WWW: The Wonderful Wild Women are, at the core, a community of women who enjoy the outdoors, endeavour to make the most of their day/week/month with any kind of adventure, big or small, and want to share or connect with like-minded others.
We really believe that the outdoors should be inclusive to all no matter of ability, age, experience etc and it is something we are really trying to work towards.
Within WWW HQ we have a growing number of Ambassadors who are passionate about the Wonderful Wild Women ethos. They all have their stories, journeys, strengths and experiences which when brought together within the community help to make it increasingly more accessible and inclusive for all women.
SNOOKS: What makes the women who support you so Wonderful and Wild?
WWW: Deep down we are all a bit Wild and Wonderful! Sometimes through our journeys or life experience this can be squashed or suppressed for whatever reason and confidence can be lost!
The ‘Wonderful’ element for us is about accepting and realising our self-worth – often women can be judged negatively for having confidence or for putting themselves first, but it is so important for women (and people) to allow themselves that time and care so they can go on doing the amazing day to day things, those responsibilities which are often the reasons for neglecting our own needs.
The ‘Wild’ element is much more connected in our love of the outdoors, whether you have a more holistic and spiritual connection with nature or you see the outdoors as a natural playground to push your limits in a chosen sport or whether you are somewhere in between… we all need that time to be wild, disconnect from our ‘real lives’ and discover ourselves and abilities.
We think all women possess elements of wonderfulness and wildness, they are just all so different and the community is a place for all those differences and strengths to be accepted, acknowledged and not judged – giving space for connection and growth with ourselves and others.
SNOOKS: What has been the most exciting moment of WWW to date?
WWW: There have been many to be honest. The journey as a whole has been overwhelming and to see the growth of the community on Instagram and locally within The Lake District has been very humbling!
Personally, I (Sarah) have met and connected with people who I know will be lifelong friends, we have each opened up doors to new ventures and possibilities through meeting and they have 100% impacted my life in a positive way. Hearing others who have had a similar experience is what it is all about for me. Hearing women say “I never thought I could ever do this” or “this is my first time wild swimming” etc is very special.
Some stand out moments would probably be:
– Hitting 1k followers on Instagram – this is the point I went ‘public’!
– Our first walk in the Lakes, going up Blencathra. This is when the community became more than just visual inspiration.
– The first Summer Solstice Celebration with Proper Northern Yoga, This was the first collaborative gathering and we spent an evening doing yoga and outdoor swimming. Expecting just our friends to come along we ended up with over 70 women joining us! They just kept arriving from all directions!
– And more recently the completion of our 36 Hour Relay Challenge which took myself, Kate and Bex on a lap round the Lakes via mountain bike and foot, with a swim in there for good measure!
SNOOKS: What is it that you think connects WWW and a brand like SNOOKS?
WWW: We both acknowledge the diversity amongst women and we have parallel goals to allow more women to get out and be active with confidence! There’s no ‘one size fits all’!
And we are all women who believe in the power of supporting other women!
SNOOKS: What Wonderful and Wild things do you like to do in your spare time, when you get some time away from work?
WWW: We all have very different core activities that we enjoy in our spare time but those which also overlap!
In terms of fitness & physical health – fell running, outdoor swimming, mountain biking, climbing, road riding, yoga, meditation, snowboarding / skiing, walking… but not forgetting those less ‘active’ activities which also support mental well-being – photography, drawing, reading – basically creativity and a good old chatter over breakfast, coffee & cake or a good G&T!
SNOOKS: What adventures do you have planned for this summer and the near future?
WWW: We have some exciting get togethers coming up in the WWW Calendar including some local walks, outdoor swims & wild yoga! And then a little further afield we will be spending August bank holiday in Snowdonia where we have an exciting event booked with Vivienne Rickman-Poole (www.viviennerickmanpoole.co.uk).
I am also off to Canada for the best part of a month, exploring BC. I am very excited and hoping to connect with some of the WWW community over there.
As the summer ends and autumn winter arrives we also have some plans for more midweek get togethers to encourage people out even on the dark nights!
SNOOKS: What are the goals for the WWW and what do you find is key to achieving them?
WWW: Future goals… gosh… sometimes I’m still pinching myself at how the community has developed so far! But we do have plans…
One of the important aims is to continue to establish a strong network here in the Lake District. We are a grassroots community and personal connection is really important. All of our current Ambassadors are based here and 90% of our gatherings and meets are here but over time we do hope to expand this further across the UK and we have begun making steps towards this.
Connection with outdoor / sporting / wellness brands would be great to help push the mainstream representation of females in the outdoors; which we find is generally defined through professional models or high achieving athletes.
And just keep doing what we are doing, refining it & discovering what it is the community wants so we can respond to that need the best way we can.
If you’re like us and spend your weekends escaping the 9 to 5 to get out into the great outdoors, or spend your holidays throwing yourselves down, or climbing, the biggest mountain you can find, then you have to check out the Wonderful Wild Women. When we first discovered them we were immediately inspired to to grab our best girlfriends and go on adventure, and we’re pretty sure you will be too. And with the great British summer upon us, there’s no better time to get your trainers on and get out there!
So they’re we have it follow them, be inspired, get involved with those wonderful women….In fact – Team Snooks love the idea so much we wanted to collaborate even more with WWW. We love to hike, they like to hike, who else likes to hike?! The Snooks girls, Wonderful Wild Women AND four winners from our social media competition will be getting together for one BIG F****NG HIKE, taking on the revered and feared Helvellyn!
You can follow all the action on 22nd September on our Instagram @thesnooksgirls
Life changing. Surprisingly satisfying
Okay so I am fairly new to this game but 3 months after not using a single tampon, I feel liberated! A couple of quick fire reasons before you ‘save for later’ or read the first 2 sentences and move on:
Comfort | No Chuff Chafe | Cost efficiency | The Environment | Screw you tampon tax* | Pelvic floor muscle work out | Be a trailblazer | ‘a more balanced microbiobe without tampons messing with your chuff’ | The planet needs saving | Love of the mountains | Happier microbiome | Decrease in risk of Candida
Got your attention? Allow me to explain:
We all know we need to be mindful of our wastage and reducing the amount of plastic that we use. Us SNOOKS girls became even more aware of this when we attended the SheExtreme film premiers in Bristol a few months back….One particular campaign and excellent adventurous documentary #PaddleAgainstPlastic left some really surprising stats at the forefront of our minds: every bit of plastic that has ever been produced, still exists. 38.5million single use plastic bottles are used every day in the UK ALONE!! WHAT!? How can this be sustainable? How can this be? It simply is not!
[Please note, at this point, I was sat next to Caly Major, who is leading the campaign, and filmed the most epic adventure circumnavigating around Isle of Skye solo on a stand up paddle board to raise awareness of plastic in our oceans…. whilst I was sipping a cider out of a plastic pint cup, feeling very guilty. I promised her I would re-use that cup as many times as I could…She was totally cool! And so right…it’s not about telling people off, or judgement, it’s about awareness, about taking the responsibility and understanding the consequences of our actions as consumers. Making people think. Changing behaviours. I have since invested a couple of quid into a re-usable coffee cup too!]
As a result of our time with Caly, we started to consider how our disposal of feminine products contributes to worldwide pollution and what we can do to minimise the impact individually in any small way we can.
On the very topical subject of environmentally friendly and sustainable living, using a Mooncup can absolutely be the small change you can take cutting down on your waste, whilst-preventing you from numerous risks associated with using tampons, such as TSS, Abrasions on the inside of your vagina due to dry foof (gross), disrupted bacteria and unbalanced microbiome of your mermaid’s purce, and even cancer, YES cancer! Okay – not to scare you but when you actually think of it outside of our ‘social norms’ it is quite an odd thing, sticking cotton wool up there! (And the ‘feminine hygiene’ industry is a mutli-billion dollar industry?!)
As the guardian explains: “The average woman uses roughly 11,000 tampons in her lifetime. The time it takes for a tampon or pad to degrade in a landfill is centuries longer than the lifespan of the woman who used it, particularly when wrapped in a plastic wrapper or bag. In addition, the process of manufacturing these products – turning wood pulp into soft, cotton-like fibres – is both resource- and chemical-intensive.” Can anyone argue this really makes sense!
I don’t know about you but my mind is blown thinking of this amount of plastic cups and this amount of tampons floating in our oceans!
This all leads me nicely on to introducing Mrs Mooncup. If you don’t know what a Mooncup, or other variant looks like. Here is the beauty:
And before this I thought. That’s for hippies, that’s gross. Mooncup themselves have written a great article on how a Mooncup is a backpackers best friend! I am totally sitting so far on the otherside of the fence now, I am a dot to the tampon! In fact, the Mooncup, used correctly is extremely hygienic and much better for your body than any feminine products on the market.
I would like to thank my Mooncup Mentor for first enlightening me to this. You know who you are! Whilst talking about changing the world, whilst having a merry old time at Boomtown Festival, whilst me being in shock at the realisation that I NEVER HAVE TO BUY A TAMPON AGAIN! And if a Mooncup really doesn’t take your fancy TOTM also agree it’s time to be kinda to your vagina and are better biodegradable
Being a woman, why should our menstrual habits be such a taboo!? As half of the population, there’s enough of us to talk about it. Let’s talk about it! Raise those cups up in the air and sing it loud! I use a moon cup and I’M PROUD!
Hey – and if you are a guy reading this, what would you do!?
Big thanks to all the wonderful other speakers and film premiers at SheExtreme festival, especially Bex Band from Love Her Wild for her inspirational words and interview! If you are looking at more ways/ideas to get involved in protecting our planet, head over to the POW: Protect Our Winters website – a passionate crew of diehards, professional athletes and industry brands mobilizing the outdoor sports community to lead the charge towards positive climate action.
*The tampon tax – government has said the tax will be scrapped, although the bill hasn’t gone through yet. In the meantime, the tax paid on tampons/sanitary products is being granted to 70 women’s charities in the UK. However… one of these charities is a controversial anti-abortion charity called Life!
Most of the big supermarkets have actually reduced the cost of their sanitary products by 5% to cover the VAT. (Tampon tax is actually an EU law, so the UK first began charging VAT on sanitary products in 1973, then reduced it from 20% to 5%, the lowest possible rate, in 2010).
And if you liked this post, don’t forget to check out the final few hours of our KICKSTARTER campaign, keeping the SNOOKS dream alive! T-MINUS 2 days to get your PRE-ORDER IN!
An Independent streak: We caught up with a few of our favourite UK independent ski/snowboard retailers…
SNOOKS is proud to be designed and made in the UK! There is so much snowboardery goodness to be celebrated here, the global success of our female heroes like Omerod and Jonesy is enough to put GB on the world stage – not bad for a country with very little actual snow! Not only this but we have some of the sickest independent snow focused stores in the UK. These guys have serious passion for the industry and are constantly innovating and finding their niches to stay in strong competition with the online beefcakes. It’s important to remember the people at the heart of the snowboarding scene so here’s why we are sharing our top hand selected independents that you simply HAVE to check out:
“The Funnest Place on Earth”. (And where a Yorkshire accent is considered posh!)
Here’s the thing. Our special little SNOOKS skier, Thea, has worked relentlessly at her form, her steeze, her performance is on top form, so we want to shout about it! At just 15, Thea is already awarded Backing the best by Sport England and SportsAid, SportsAid, last year winning her first European Championship, now she’s taking America by storm! Recently placing 4th place at the USASA Nationals!! Thea has her eyes firmly on the X-Games and her ambition is to become an Olympian.
Here’s Thea’s season round up, straight from the horses mouth 🙂
So this winter I got invited to go to Windells Academy in Mt Hood, Oregon. I felt so lucky to have been given the opportunity to do this and was super excited about it.
After starting my season with Why Ain’t You in Austria I travelled out to America in February. The journey was tiring but exciting. I landed at Seattle, had my fingerprints scanned and then looked for the Windells’ staff. Hannah and Michelle appeared like angels and we went straight to a coffee shop – typical Seattle!
When I arrived at Windells I was nervous but the place seemed so amazing I couldn’t help but be excited despite the jet lag. They took me on a tour of the campus which includes a big ass skate park called The Jungle, a super trampoline, 2 ramps and an airbag. I shared a cabin with five of the most special American girls you’ll ever meet.
I went up Mount Hood on my first day – it was sunny and you could see for miles but everyone warned me that it would be the only sunny day for a while … and they were right! The park at Timberline has rails that are so rad and the kickers are really mellow.
I skied almost every day at Timberline and the snow was extreme which meant there was fresh powder every few days so we could shred the sweet pow lines on our fat skis. Luckily, thanks to Snooks I was never cold in my Reviver jacket. *Thanks for the plug Thea ;)*
The other skiers and snowboarders were so sick – they all has their own cool styles and we helped each other try new tricks.
My coach at Windells was Wynn Berns, he helped me on and off the snow. I’ve been working on flat spins, underflips, Misty 5s and moving my tricks onto the proline.
I competed in the USASA series events at Mount Hood, Timberline and Snoqualmie and podiumed at every event. This meant that I qualified for US Nationals at Copper Mountain, Colorado. We drove to Colorado across Utah and stopped at The Arches National Park which was scorching hot and spectacular.
Competing at US Nationals was *horns emoji*. I competed in the Overall category and I threw down a switch 5 tindie, right 3 lead mute, left 7 safety and some steezy rails. I was stoked with my performance and final result of 4th overall which means I’ve qualified to compete in the Rev Tour next year which is huge. Next winter I also aim to compete at Youth Olympics and maybe step up to World Cup level.
In Summer I’ve been offered an internship at Windells Camp so I’ll be working in the Demo Store and on the Recruitment Team. I’ll also be working towards my cork 7 and doubles with pro skiers including McRae Williams, Nick Goepper, Jossi Wells, Tom Wallisch and Devin Logan.
The weird things about America were the fact they call scones biscuits, they don’t eat Yorkshire puddings and they thought my accent was posh! The things I liked most about America were thrift shops, corn dogs and the hot boys!
Honestly besides the jet lag and missing my family, this winter season has been the best I’ve ever had. I would tell anyone who wants to ski or snowboard in America to check out Windells – it lives up to its slogan – ‘the funnest place on earth’. Watch this space for photos of my summer at Windells Camp.
Ambition is our favourite word here at SNOOKS HQ and we will be supporting her every step of the way! Thanks so much for the write up Thea, you rock!
BOUNDLESS BETTY – PROMOTING THE PURSUIT OF ADVENTURE
Now we met Jenny in Barcelona last September at the Women in Board and Action Sports Conference and she had this amazing idea! This idea is now a reality, and Boundless Betty is ready to make waves in the predominately male-dominated, outdoor adventure industry by creating the first ever, online booking platform designed with female inspiration and participation at its core! Wahoooo goooo Jenny! Or should we say Betty!
The mission – to encourage, inspire and ease accessibility for women into outdoor adventure sports.
CHECK OUT https://www.boundlessbetty.com/ & BOOK YOUR ADVENTURE!
The concept was developed and evolved by founder, Jenny Tröber during a year of travelling and pursuing different sports in 2015/16. Her inspiration and passion was derived from the belief that participation in outdoor adventure sports has huge benefits including increased self-confidence and environmental awareness as well as a desire to encourage more women to get outside and get involved in the sports she felt had given her so much!
The operators on board have been carefully selected by seeking out passionate independent operators covering a number of different action sports, all in incredible places and all offering unique and real experiences! Boundless Betty will constantly be discovering and sharing trips and retreats, ensuring what’s on offer is fresh and inspiring for you guys! By showing the variety and depth of what is available in the wonderful world of outside action Boundless Betty opens the door and provides inspiration to those who might otherwise not have known where to look!
The website and booking platform will also be shouting out about awesome female driven adventures! Along with travel advice, inspirational womens’ stories, and a travel buddy feature so you can team up with like-minded ladies! Basically everything you’d need and want all in one exciting platform! Boundless Betty is now LIVE so go check it out, we cannot wait to see how this inspirational community grow!
SNOOKS Love x
“I found myself naked in a cave with a woman who spoke no English chucking buckets of hot water over me…”
Snooks Co-Founder, Sophie, took a solo trip to the High Atlas Mountains to make the most of the May bank holiday…
This year I thought I’d set myself a goal of climbing a mountain that wasn’t in the UK! Not that I am particularly experienced at climbing mountains in the UK, but hey, the challenge sounded fun! So on New Year’s Eve, when a friend recommended Morocco, I thought why the hell not and bought some flights for just little old me to see what this solo adventure thing could rustle up as an experience! Safe to say I did not know what I was letting myself in for!
After a brief, vibrant, crazy couple of days hanging out in the over-whelming souks of Marrakech, where the air is rife with merchant chants, snake charmers, street performers, henna artists, spices, perfume and enough street food to tease the tastebuds to the moon and back…. I tottled along to the foothills of the mountain to go say hey to the top of Mount Toubkal. The night before I left the hostel, I overheard a Candian Guy Jimmy speak about the Toubkal trek (this little hill I planned to conquer in the morning) and said “hey! I am leaving in the morning, want to come with!? He was super on board, and off we left at 7am the next morning…me and my new mate Jimmy! A bus ride away to the village Imlil where you begin at the foothills of the mountain we eagerly began the slow and slightly daunting ascent. Luckily we were stopped by some local berbers who almost laughed at our ill preparation and lack of gear and higgghly recommended we rent some crampons and at least a sleeping bag. Yes we thought this sounds like a good idea. Turned down the offer of a mule to carry our things and headed along the dusty and winding trail. We were on our way!
3 hours in I thought okay, a slightly tougher stroll than I had anticipated. Half time oranges:
6 hours later we arrived at a 5 star accommodation for the night.
Okay it looks VERY basic bus after a heck of a walk, the hot plate of food and open fire and prospect of a bed was hugely inviting! Back to basics and no wifi here and it was great! (Apart from the 60 year old german couple who coughed and spluttered next to me all night but I was just too impressed at the fact that they had summitted that day to even be annoyed!)
7am the next morning. Ohhhhh that’s what the crampons are for!
By 10am we were close to the top, hit with a bout of altitude fever, I had a little moment to talk to myself where I felt at this point I maybe couldn’t go on. The wind was against us and my head felt up my arse! The summit was so close but so far! Will power and determination and the prospect of a view over the Hight Atlas Mountain range and across North Africa dragged us through. Needless to say, despite the wind nearly blowing us off, the views were breath-taking!
Now for the long 7 hour walk back down to the bottom, where at this point, I decided I fancied staying another night near the foothills of the mountain, found a berber guide who said I could stay in his guest (ahem, mud) house near the bottom of the mountain, and Jimmy and I went our separate ways. See ya on your visit to England Jimmy you legend! Anyway, here I proceeded to have a lovely dribble of a hot shower, exquisite hosting followed by top notch food poisoning a traditional berber hammam where I found myself naked in a cave with a woman who spoke no English chucking hot buckets of water over me, (I also had food poisoning at this point but that is a WHOLE other story) I trekked on down the mountain feeling invigorated, refreshed and serene, (and slightly violated after the hamman, and a little bit sick from some real dodgy stomach situation, but I don’t think this is the general aftermath).
Ok so it’s not every everyday we get opportunities like this BUT everyday does have the opportunity to have an adventure. WE thought we’d some get some outdoors motivation for all you girls who just need a little nudge to hop across the garden fence. With the weather in the UK getting warmer, who says you need a whole week, a trip abroad or lots of money to get the adventure going!? Think about it, you work say, 9-5, there’s still 5-9 of time to go somewhere! Get lost! Explore what you are capable of!
You’ll be surprised how many new places you can find practically on your doorstep….
Adventurer, explore and motivational speaker Alistair Humphrey’s concept of the microadventure is certainly pioneering; he’s won awards for it! It’s all about encouraging people to get outdoors, explore and step out of that comfort zone because lets be honest, it’s a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there! Even it is half an hour away from your house, get off the sofa, and fill your lungs with fresh air,
grab a mate and go watch the sunset. If you are feeling super brave then get yourselves a bivvy bag and to hell with it. Sleep under the stars! Try it, you’ll feel invigorated. Life is not blessed upon you to pay the bills and die, ha brutal but it’s true!
We recently attended an event where we heard one of the best and cheekiest adventure stories from Squash Falconer on how she began her journey of exploring. She decided she wanted to motorbike to South of France, climb the majestic Mont Blanc and paraglide off it, making her the first female to do so. She told BMW she had this awesome adventure planned, supported by the BBC and the told the BBC she had this unbelievable adventure planned, supported by BMW. Before she knew it both were on board and she was off. You go Squash!
I mean YOU could even just have a quick googlemap to the nearest place where you can find water….and jump in! Get out there girl, there’s a whole there out there you know!
Snooks love x
Continuing the Guest Blog Series!! It is our pleasure to welcome one of our sponsored riders, Angelica Sykes, to the stage!!! Here’s what she’s got to say….
Occupation: Pro Freerider
Sports: Freeride snowboard, MTB
Skiing or Snowboarding: come on!
Hobbies: Snowboarding and working out- I love the gym. Other than that I am very much a family gal so hanging with family, friends and the dog is just what I love.
Worse Job: Holiday Rep for ski and snowboard holidays. You literally couldn’t make up some of the crazy things you see and hear. I learnt so much and I LOVE telling the stories to people!
Who inspires you: Kjersti Buaas is an incredible athlete. She embodies the image of female empowerment. She is strong and wise and I really look up to her in my career. Not to mention she is the nicest gal ever- well so I imagine. They say, never meet your hero’s but I think it would be incredible.
Secret Talent: I can twerk. Like upside down against the wall twerking. It’s my party trick. I look ridiculous but I secretly enjoy it!
Favourite Quote: “ Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. Albert Einstein”
Guilty Pleasure: New Girl- It doesn’t matter how many times I see it, I find it hilarious and I feel seriously shady watching it now for fear of being labelled a total loser! That and eating Lotus biscuit spread straight from the jar!
So it is that time of year again. We start scouting the internet for the best deals on new board boots and accessories, we’ve been to the ski show in London and we see what Netflix has to offer in the ski and snowboard movie department! We find ideas, pictures and videos on social media that give us that preseason stoke.
This winter, unlike last year, there is an element of suspense, an air of promise- after all, for us northern hemi riders, anything has got to be better than the terrible winter that was season 2015/16. I had a miserable time and I am not afraid to admit that. My career went come being British Freeride Champion to hurtling at 100mph into a pit of debt and boardem. I am very happy to simply right last winter off. In any normal “Career” people would expect to have low points and times of quiet reflection, well last season was that time for me. I have done some soul searching this summer, probably while I was working 5 jobs and not actually having a day off in 6months and I have come to conclusion – This winter is going to kick butt! I have saved money (and paid off the bank of mum and dad from last winter) I have reached a level of physical fitness that I am finally happy with and with a new positive outlook and some awesome people behind me (Like the snooks gals) I know this winter is going to be a success no matter where I place in the comps. I want to give this winter all the energy and resources to ensure I get to where I want to go; I am just not sure where that is yet, I do know I want to inspire females to take up freeride and become involved in this sport that I believe is so deeply empowering it its nature.
I am embarking upon filming my all girls freeride project too with two amazing filmers/photographers- I have every faith that these two will help me bring my vision to life. I want to show every stage of freeride day:
“The planning, the fitness, the equipment, the hike and everything leading up to that all important descent!”
This way I can show girls how incredible off piste riding is and why it teaches you about life as well as the technicalities of skiing and boarding. I find the mountains to be my place of worship, where I meditate and think about life and what I want from it. I can feel all the happy hormones released as I head down the mountain-riding the powder like a white wave. Most importantly, I would say is that Backcountry riding helps you feel strong, powerful and puts your knowledge, intelligence and patience to the test. Any stereotypes about females will surely be shot when people can see how we handle the pressure in the offpiste and end up on top like the total badass queens we are!
Anywho, follow me on Insta, Twitter and Facebook using the handle @angelicasykesuk and on snapchat- angelicasykes. Follow me on my journey, hit me up with your questions. I am out in the mountains as we speak and would love to hear from you!
By Angelica Sykes
Thanks Gels. Legend x
We are stoked to introduce, the first of our Guest Blog Series!! Check out these mountain moves from Sam Scott, content Manager at Snow+Rock Group! But first, a quick profile so you can get to know her, keeping it real:
Occupation: Content Manager @ Snow+Rock Group
Sports: Snowboarding, Surfing, Running, Cycling, Swimming, Yoga and Pilates
Skiing or Snowboarding: Snowboarding
Ambitions: My aim is to spend my summers teaching yoga at a holistic retreat somewhere hot by the coast, and my winters teaching snowboarding in the cold mountains
Hobbies: Writing, reading, music and sport
Worse Job: Data entry at an Engineering firm. Oh my! Watching paint dry would have been more entertaining
Who inspires you: Too many people to mention but someone who I met very briefly recently but follow her religiously on social media now is Squash Falconer. It’s not only because she is doing amazing things but it’s her attitude to life. It’s inspiring!
Secret Talent: I used to compete in tournaments in Martial Arts for the country when I was a teenager.
Favourite Quote: “I am not born for one corner, the whole world is my native land.” Senaca
Guilty Pleasure: Dipping sour laces into English Breakfast tea
Yoga for Skiers and Snowboarders on and off Piste
As a seasoned skier or a newbie, there are moments when you’re standing at the top of the mountain, whether it’s a blue or black run and feel overwhelmed by fear and doubt; you’re not alone.
As someone who spends most of my time near the city, I find that high altitudes can inhibit my ability to breathe calmly. Just like skiing, yoga requires focus and strength and can allow you to calm your mind when irrational fear kicks in. But also helps prepare the body for the up and coming winter season.
Despite my active lifestyle in my day-to-day life, burning quads, sore shoulders and cramp in my calves are my normal ski experiences. To counteract this I practise these following yoga poses before, during and after my daily runs down the mountain.
Before and Apres’ Ski Yoga
Whether you’re based in the mountains or the city, the following asanas are good for a before or apres’ ski yoga practice to help the body recover and get the blood, oxygen, and heat flowing back to the body.
Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
This series of movements is used mostly in hatha yoga traditions, practised 2-6 times in a row, traditionally at sunrise but can be lovely way to end the day..
Keep it slow and simple with long holds, moving with your breath.
2. Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1)
Hold for at least 30 seconds or more, Warrior 1 helps strengthen your shoulders, arms, legs, ankles and back as well as opening your hips, chest and lungs. It also improves focus, balance and stability whilst encouraging good circulation and respiration.
3. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
Does this one remind you of something? Showing similarities to skiing, the benefits of chair pose are toned legs muscles, strengthens hip flexors, calves, and your back. It helps to stretch out the chest and shoulders and stimulates the heart, diaphragm, and abdominal organs.
Try it with long holds, and add on a twist to the left and right with your palms together in front of your chest, or airplane arms (arms open towards the sky and the earth).
4. Gomukasana (Cow Face Pose)
One of the best poses you can do for opening tight shoulders and hips. It creates a deep stretch into the hips, ankles, shoulders, chest, deltoids and triceps as well as aiding chronic knee pain. It also strengthens the spine and abdominal muscles and helps decompress the lower spine during the forward fold variation.
5. Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
Eagle pose gives you stronger arms, legs, knees and ankles and opens the shoulder joints, helps to create space between the shoulder blades. It also allows for the hips and IT bands to open, whilst increasing circulation to all joints and improving digestion, balance and focus.
Squeeze the elbows to open the shoulders and raise the arms, and squeeze the knees together to feel the maximum effects of the opening effects of this pose.
6. Supta Baddakonasana (Reclining Butterfly Pose)
A great restorative pose to open the hips and the lower back. It’s benefits include the stimulation of the abdominal organs, heart and improve general circulation, whilst stretching the inner thighs, groins and knees. It is definitely one of my personal favourites.
For a modification of this pose you can use two folded blankets under the outer thigh for support.
7. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
In Savasana it’s essential that the body be placed in a neutral position. Lie on your back, let your feet fall out to the side with your palms facing up and relax.
Savasana helps calm the brain and helps to relax the body and reduce fatigue. Just what your body needs after a day of shredding the powder.
Yoga On The Slopes
While you’re on the slopes, you can stay focused and calm by using your yoga techniques:
1. Pranayama (One-To-One Breath)
Breathe in 2, out 2 (or 3, 4, etc.) By focusing your breath, you also focus your mind and help oxygen flow.
2. Uddiyana Bandha (Upward Abdominal Lock)
Support your core and your spine by engaging the muscles of the belly. This will help keep your lower back strong by strengthening your abdominal muscles to help support your lower back, whilst stimulating the blood circulation in the abdomen and blood flow to the brain.
3. Ardah Uttanasana (Half Forward Bend)
This is a great pose for stretching your torso, strengthening and relieving your back and legs. Use your poles with your arms fully extended, then fold halfway. Let the head hang and the neck relax. I promise you, this will come in real handy while waiting in the lift line. If you find your hamstrings to be too tight, a modification is a slight bend in the knee.
Photo credit: http://www.yogapaws.com/yoga-blogs-yoga-paws/
By Sam Soat
Thanking you Sam!
P.s Winter is coming eager beavers. YES! Snooks love x
With the season looming we are getting super excited to get out on the mountains! What else better to get you buzzing than some serious inspiring playlist tunage. We’ve put together a list of some of our faves so turn up the volume and imagine yourself, lungs fresh full of mountain air on a bluebird day, shredding till your heart’s content!
1. C2C – Happy ft. D. Martin
2. Disciples & David Guetta – No Worries
3. Boys Noize – Yeah (Original Mix)
4. Run DMC – It’s Tricky
5. Grits – My Life Be Like (Oooh-Aaah)
6. Rudimental – Not Giving In ft. John Newman
7. The Kooks – Bad Habit
8. Nneka – Heartbeat (Chase & Status Remix)
9. Alt-J – Dissolve Me
10. Major Lazor – Get Free ft. Amber of The Dirty Projectors
11. Chase & Status – International (Skrillex Remix)
12. Christine & The Queens – Tilted
13. Bomfunk MC’s – Freestyler
14. Adele – Rolling In The Deep (Jamie xx Shuffle)
15. Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Can’t Stop
16. Mos Def – Travellin Man
17. Skrillex & Diplo – Mind ft. Kai
18. Bob Marley – Is this Love (Montmatre Remix)
19. Jack Garratt – Suprose Yourself (Live)
20. Darkside – Paper Trails
21. Ed Sheeran & Rudimental – Bloodstream
22. Klingande – Jubel
23. Knife Party – Boss Mode
24. Gossip – Standing In The Way of Control
25. My Nu Leng – You’ve Been Gone (Chris Lorenzo Remix)
They’ll soon be more vids uploaded to our YouTube Channel so keep your eyes peeled. Enjoy!
We could get all technical about the importance of strength training in helping your technique but instead, lets put it in SNOOKS terms. Stonger legs and core = snowboarding better harder and longer!
Let’s be honest I am no elite snowboarder, I reeeallly love my food and a bevvy, or 2 but it is so beneficial for your game to work on your leg day! Anyone and everyone can do these moves, anywhere, although we wouldn’t recommend in the club. Tried that. Didn’t work.
Work these out 12 times for each exercise and repeat the set 3 times! Let’s get pumped!
Easing you in gently. Love them or hate them, they are undeniably the mother of the full body work-out.
Helping your poppiness. If this is too much try stepping into alternate lunges.
An amazing exercise for your core! Particularly useful for when you are on the floor and need to push yourself back up and try again! Tumble weed should have been included in this GIF!
One leg bum raises.
Well that’s what I’m calling them anyway, for your solid buns of steel.
All round leg burn, no pain no gain!
Don’t neglect your back muscles, introducing the superwoman!
And when you finish you will feel like this!!!
Try these 3 times a week, as well as skating or running or cycling or dancing like nobody is watching, or all of the above, or whatever else you like to do and you will be well on track to your better ski and snowboard self!
If you’ve tried it yourself, send us your pics via insta or twitter with the hashtag #summersnooks @thesnooksgirls
For more of these little nuggets of snooksin’ and exciting news and discounts, sign up to our newsletter via our website!
Snooks love x
SNOOKS – Designed by Women for Women
At the heart and soul of SNOOKS is to represent women in the industry as reputable; talented
and inspiring athletes who have a passion for doing whatever they do best! This has not always
been the case in the action sports industry, and many others too. Let’s face it…women don’t actually
snowboard in bikinis. So to anyone who says otherwise, we cock a snook* at you!
The rest of you, we salute you.
‘Cock-a-Snook’… An Old English Phrase
Definition: Verb. Old English. To ‘cock a snook’ is to spread one’s hand with thumb
on the nose, preferably with crossed eyes, waggling fingers
and any other annoying gesticulation that comes to mind at the time.”
Example: Thumb one’s nose, as in As soon as the teacher turned her back, the
boys cocked a snook at her.
Hey guys, we totally get what you’re doing for the guys, but we cock a snook at you – we
design awesome gear just for women! There is so much awesome gear out there for the guys,
and there are brands that do lovely women’s gear – we also salute you. But… In a heavily saturated
and male dominated industry, we think it’s time there was more choice for the girls!
Ladies… Cock-A-Snook, get out of the men’s section and get your
mitts on our exclusive early release 2016-17 gear!
*A Snook is also a fish.
**And also apparently lots of people’s surnames. Neither of which we should ignore.
Image courtesy of the Daily Mail. (Via Google images…)