THE CANYONS PROGRESSION SESSION WRAPS UP UNDER SUNNY SKIES
As winter draws to a close and the days start getting longer, it’s a sure sign that spring is on its way when it’s time to turn the clocks ahead. Unfortunately, while it’s wonderful to have the extra light, losing an hour of sleep is never ideal. On day two of Oakley Progression Sessions at Canyons, none of the coaches, riders, or Oakley crew were missing the few extra minutes of shuteye when they awoke to bright, beautiful, bluebird skies. OPS: Canyons day two was the perfect Utah spring day.
A sunny, spring day at the mountain is always a pleasure, but when you combine it with a crew of 30 new friends and riding buddies, it’s one of the best days all season. Smiles stretched from ear to ear of all of the snowboarders and skiers as they charged all around Canyons: laps through the park, runs on groomers, an accidental traipse through a steep mogul field (we’re all better riders for it!), and the very rewarding challenge of riding Canis Lupis, a natural halfpipe nestled in the Canyons woods.
The day couldn’t have been better. Women left with new tricks, new friends, and a high level of stoke. What makes Oakley Progression Sessions so special? We checked in with Clarissa Winters, the recipient of the OPS “You’ve Got Skills, Girl” award to see what the experience was like for her, as well as coaches and Oakley Pros, Kristi Leskinen and Dom Vallee, who shared their thoughts on what the program means to them.
Why did you sign up for Oakley Progression Sessions?
Clarissa: My boyfriend saw an ad and was like, “you should really do this. You haven’t had time to focus on yourself.” So, I signed up and here I am.
How was the weekend?
It was the time of my life: getting to chill with girls that can ride hard and that are passionate about improving, and are as exciting to see you improve as much as themselves. Having a positive environment that is dedicated to you and having coaches that are just as stoked as you, it was the time of my life. I’ll be back next year.
As a female rider, what do you think is the value of participating in OPS?
I honestly feel that it is priceless. If you really want to improve, you can’t ask for a better environment. You have a park that is dedicated to you; you’re not competing with crowds, boys, and people who have had more time to improve. It takes away the intimidation factor. There’s something about women getting together, it’s an inspirational environment. You see other women improving and you want o improve. I think it takes a lot of the fear factor out of it. Also, building friendships, that’s really what women’s riding is all about. We’re all at the level that we’re riding with boys, and when you get together with women, it’s really inspirational, it shows that they care for other women riders, it’s over the top.
And thank you to the coaches. They’re the ones that really set the standard of having an open, positive environment.
Day 2 Photos: