There’s been a female snowboarder crew in Ischgl for a couple of years now. The Shred Chix don’t just mix it up in the fun parks and on the powder slopes, but do a whole lot more besides. Which is why we met up with them.
It all began with a WhatsApp group. “Who’s out on the mountain today, that’s all we actually wanted to know back then,” explains Sabse, “because it was actually just about going snowboarding together.”
That was in the winter season 2015/16. Three seasons later, the Shred Chix, as the boarders call themselves, are really well known – as the only female snowboard crew in Paznaun. The eight girls, who all except for Sabse come from Paznaun and live and work here, still meet up to go boarding – and much more besides. They set up events, organize parties, and in general try to do something for the people of Paznaun – for the people who live and work here. “There’s a lot going on here, but sometime we want to hear our own music, too, not just the apres-ski party hits for the tourists,” says Martina. Which is why at their parties, which take place several time a year, there’s techno, hip hop, and ska, as well. The latter, at least, isn’t something which you normally hear in the ski huts.
But it’s also still about the snowboarding itself. “We’re not exactly the best snowboarders,” says Sabse, and Martina agrees. Only one of the eight Shred Chix takes part in competitions from time to time, but that’s only on the sidelines. Because the very existence of the girls crew is in fact something of a socio-political statement. One designed to encourage other girls.
This is because the relationship between fun parks and girls was initially a difficult one, say the two Shred Chix: “Snowboarding used to be very much dominated by men, it’s different now. But of course as a girl you’re sometimes scared of looking ridiculous when you go into a fun park. You don’t know all the tricks so well, you’re not as good on the kickers.” But the more girls dare to go into the fun parks, the lower the levels of inhibition will be.
This is why the Shred Chix document the fun they have boarding across all social media channels. It’s worth taking a look. And on the slopes and in the park, the girls are also really easy to recognize – because of their Shred Chix hats, for example. Or their crew jackets, too.