It’s the beginning of March as the spring break crowds start rolling into Colorado for the warm and playful conditions. The ski slopes turn into a place where no matter what age you are your inner child comes out screaming with glee.  All Ages from 2- 99 can be seen on the slopes hooting and hollering with joy

The town of Vail, Colorado has doubled in size for one of the biggest snowboarding competitions of the year: Burton US Open. Competitors from all over the world work rigorously to be able to compete in this prestigious event.  

I headed over to Women’s Semi-Finals at Golden Peak. The anticipation for the event to start amongst the female riders was contagious. Spirts were high and the cheering between the riders just fueled the excitement of the games.  There were hugs and encouragement being exchanged and smiles that could be seen from miles. 

I was impressed by the female riders sportsmanship as they stood by the railing after their runs and cheered each other on. Their laughs, smiles and overall positivity was as compelling as it was infectious. 

These ladies’ style was unmatched and untamed, as they grabbed and tweaked their board with ease. Flipped inverted and spun enough to make a fighter pilot dizzy. I always find it amazing how these athletes can make a difficult trick, that would just about cripple any rider with fear, look like a ballet dancer gliding across the floor.

I have to give the female riders immense props. There were some pretty gnarly falls out there, that made me almost topple over my tripod a few times! I know how much it hurts to fall and on top of it jeopardize your season. For these ladies, it doesn’t stop there either. It’s knowing that they may not qualify. Those who did fall, shook it off as if it never happened as they went towards their screaming fans in the crowds who rushed towards them for autographs.

I found it remarkable at the amount of kids that were at the event. Not only did they attend, but they had made signs and some even had matching t-shirts. It’s great to see the love of a sport bring people together to experience the mountain lifestyle.    

Overall the Burton US Open was a huge success and it just goes to show that the women’s snowboard community is heading in a great direction! 

To all you female riders out there shred hard and Stay Wild!

Claudia Vadillo was drawn to the mountains and now resides in Vail, Colorado. When she isn’t sliding on the snow you can find her shredding four wheels on her skateboard, behind the lens in nature or admiring horses.