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Pro Ride Camper Travel Blog Week 1

Camper Bianca Brewer is out from Belgium to become a snowboard instructor with Pro Ride.  Follow her blog posts during the season.   

Bianca Week 1
I'm here at Pro Ride Snowboard Camps training for a total of 8 weeks in order to pass my CASI Level 1 and 2 exams. Level 1 will allow me to teach children and beginners the basics of snowboarding, walking them through all stages up to turning. Then Level 2 will allow me to teach adults and intermediates to improve their snowboarding abilities. It should take about 4 weeks to train for the Level 1 exam, and then another 4 weeks to pass the Level 2 exam.

I was really impressed with Pro Ride as soon as I arrived in Whistler. There were only 6 of us doing the course for the first week, so we met everybody on the first night and went for drinks at one of the local bars called the Cinnamon Bear. Everybody seems super nice, a great mix of people. A guy from Israel called Julian, a girl from Korea called Jane, a guy from Seattle called Roy and 2 Australian sisters called Raffaella and Gillian. Pro Ride also provides accommodation for all their campers, they have one massive house in Brio for the long-term campers and 2 apartments in Whistler Village for the short-term campers. This first week there were only 3 of us living in the big Brio house, so we all had our own rooms, bathrooms etc. Pretty amazing! 

The first week they really put us to the test to find out at what level we all were in terms of our riding abilities. After day one I could hardly move... Haha! We warm up and stretch everyday before and after riding, but I was still very stiff all throughout the first week. After day one I went to get out of bed the next morning and couldn't even lift my head up. My neck was so sore from taking multiple falls the previous day that it was all tensed up and hard to move. Once again, I was so grateful for my helmut because my head would've taken quite a beating if I hadn't been wearing protection. Anyway, it was totally worth the pain! The first week of training was so much fun! It was very intense and very tiring, but I feel like I have learned more during this first week than I have snowboarding for the past 10 years. The coaches are really good at explaining and demonstrating the correct movements and even better at picking out the adjustments I need to make in my riding. There's a 1/4 coach to camper ratio, so we've been riding with 2 coaches everyday. This means that they have lots of time to look at everybody and give feedback throughout the day. On Tuesdays they even bring a camera up the mountain with them so they can film us and then in the evening we all go back to the Brio house to analyse each others' riding. It's so helpful to see yourself riding, because you really understand the critique and feedback much better. 

Throughout the first week we also went to the gym quite a few times. Pro Ride provides us all with gym passes for 3 months, giving us access to the Meadow Park Sports Centre. The sports centre is huge, it has a fitness studio, swimming pool, spa area and even an indoor ice rink. The first week we went there a lot to swim and use the jacuzzi, good for those sore muscles :-)! On Friday nights we go out for drinks with all the coaches and campers, which is really fun! They explained to us that they have a few 'drinking rules' at Pro Ride. First of all if anybody crashes into somebody up on the mountain during the week, they have to buy that person a pitcher of beer. If a camper crashes into a coach or vise versa that means 2 pitchers of beer. The first week we had one collision, Julian ran into Duncan our head coach, so he had to buy him 2 pitchers of beer. Another rule they have is that if anybody spills or drops their beer throughout the evening, they have to drink their next beer out of their shoe. Haha! I really hope this never happens to me, because they showed us pictures of making previous campers do it so I know they are not joking.

Conclusion of my first Pro Ride week = absolutely amazing!!!