progression sessions

Photo: Justin Olsen

The second weekend of Oakley Progression Sessions began today at Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah. This stop marks the first camp on the West Coast and the Oakley crew was excited to bring the fun and energy from Loon to a brand new place.

For this stop, Oakley riders, Marie-France Roy, Dominique Vallee, Kristi Leskinen and Lauren Perkins, joined Grete Eliassen, who is the Utah local of the group. After hearing about all of the awesome vibes the Droppin' In ladies had in New Hampshire last weekend, the pros were eager to get in on the action today.

Canyons is a resort that strongly represents one of the themes of Oakley Progression Sessions. While riding in the park is, of course, a huge focus of the camp, the team of coaches instills a freestyle-riding style to the rest of the mountain, outside of specific park areas. With Canyon's expansive terrain, including multiple natural halfpipes, it is an ideal mountain to learn both tricks in the park and on the rest of the hill. This means top to bottom runs filled with buttering, tailblocking, uphill circling, halfcabbing good times for all of the OPS participants.

The day started off with overcast skies eventually turning into snow showers. Though the conditions were wintery, the temperature wasn't that cold, and all of the OPS women kept warm by hot lapping Canyons' main park and hiking the features in the private park. Canyons' Darren Muehlhaus and the park crew really hooked up the OPS ladies, creating a private park that suited every level of rider. The variety of features, sized and built specifically for trick progression, made for a creative and fun day of snowboarding.

The OPS park featured a myriad of jibs, from a large dance floor and down box, to a mellow down rail, all perfect for stepping up the riders' games by offering a variety of options. To build air awareness and increase the in-flight bag of tricks, Canyons set up a mini jump, as well as a hip that was unintimidating in size, but rode big, allowing the women to gain even more confidence while perfecting tricks.

Coach Christine Savage was on the lift with three OPS ladies who had never met each other before, but discovered they all live in close to each other back home. Says Christine, "they all signed up for Oakley Progression Sessions because they didn't have anyone to ride park with and help push their snowboarding, and here they are, practically neighbors, talking to each other about riding together in the future. That is what Oakley and OPS are all about: empowering women to ride more, ride better, and feel confidently part of a community of like-minded and skilled female riders. These girls came to have that experience for a weekend, and now they can continue to have it long after the program ends."

To see more photos from the Canyons check out the Oakley Progression Sessions website.