Snowgrrl was lucky to attend Vail’s 2nd annual Skadi Vail Women’s Ski Fest two weeks ago. Advertised as a two-day snow goddess extravaganza featuring two full days and nights of schmoozing with like-minded women who love the snow, the event certainly met that description. Upon arrival on Wednesday night, we registered and headed towards the happy hour and raffle to benefit Pink Vail, followed by a screening of the film Between, a Red Bull Media House Co-Production. It was great to see industry reps from brands like Blizzard as well as celebrities like The Bachelor’s Trista Sutter and Sarah Herron mingling with participants at happy hour and discussing their latest initiatives.
Herron recently founded SheLift to encourage girls born with physical disabilities to confront their biggest physical and emotional fears with the support of mentors and peers, resulting in increased empowerment and confidence. The Blizzard rep noted that the brand has created skis specifically designed for women, combining lightweight and performance materials to achieve less fatigue, game improvement and importantly, “more fun!” This is a refreshing change from the status quo, where manufacturers just slap a coat of pink paint on a unisex ski and sell to women.
Early Thursday morning, a yoga session (followed by giveaways of Helly Hansen base layers!) limbered us up for a day of demoing a variety of skis from local and national brands including Liberty, Atomic, Blizzard, Dynastar, Elan, Head, K2, Line, Nordica, Rossignol, Salomon, Scott and Völkl. Demo day participants were divided into groups of about five women accompanied by a female Vail Ski & Snowboard School instructor, who gave us useful tips on how the skis should feel and perform on various terrain and helped us each select the best skis for us. This experience would have been very helpful for anyone in the market for new skis.
A “wine demo” Thursday night accompanied by delicious food and another raffle capped off a full day. The Vibram rep talked to us about their new Arctic grip soles and the SUPER AWESOME collapsible, grippy Furoshiki shoes that were part of our swag bag. These shoes were by far the best swag of the event. Their “wrapping sole” design makes them super packable, great for travel, and luxurious, snug fit of the shearling boots also makes them perfect for relaxing apres-ski!
Friday morning brought another yoga session, followed a meet & greet with Olympic Gold medalist and World Cup ski racing champ Lindsey Vonn by the demo/expo village and additional guided tour/demos with instructors. I left after lunch on Friday with a bag of awesome swag full of gifts from Supergoop!, Vibram, Helly Hansen, and more, some new friends, and increased knowledge about the technical know-how that goes into designing and selecting skis. Snowgrrl hopes that Vail will organize a third Skadi Fest next year and wholeheartedly endorses this fun event for any woman who is in search of new skis, wine, or socializing.