Shred your heart out at Hakuba’s Snow Goddess Retreats

snowboarderSnow Goddess retreats offer the chance to spark your spirit of adventure, get inspired, master or develop your snow skills and enjoy a fantastic winter vacation in one of the world’s most beautiful alpine locations – Hakuba, Japan.

Hakuba is situated in the breathtakingly beautiful Northern Japanese Alps and stands out as one of Japan’s top winter resort areas, offering some of the best winter sports action in Japan.

HakubaYou will have fun meeting new friends, experiencing the unique Japanese culture, being pampered and honing your snow skills. At the same time we will nourish your body with delicious healthy but hearty meals made fresh daily by our resident chef.

Tour Dates: Sun 01 Feb – Sun 08 Feb | Sun 08 Feb – Sun 15 Feb | Sun 15 Feb – Sun 22 Feb | Sun 22 Feb – Sun 01 Mar | Sun 01 Mar – Sun 08 Mar | Sun 08 Mar – Sun 15 Mar |

Rates:

Luna HotelTHE TRINITY PACKAGE from $3075 pp triple share

THE HARMONY PACKAGE from $3185 pp twin share with shared bathroom

THE BLISS PACKAGE from $3295 pp twin share with ensuite

THE SERENITY PACKAGE $3850 pp king private room

Prices do not include airfare. Solo goddesses are welcome to chose a shared room and will be partnered with a room mate.

LEARN-21-e1401264675197INCLUSIONS:

• 1 Night accommodation at Narita Airport hotel on arrival with breakfast

• Return “Goddess Only” transfers from Narita Airport to The Lodge

• 7 Divine Days of accommodation at the Charming Goddess Lodge in Hakuba, Japan

10424432_527013724069195_1425261393_a• Private rooms with king size beds or shared rooms with twin beds and custom retreat amenities

• Delicious a la carte meals including breakfasts, lunches and decadent dinner parties made with love by our resident chef (2 dinner not included).

• 5 day all mountain (9 mountain resort ) ski pass

• Small instruction groups for personal attention at your ski or snowboard level

• Mandatory snow helmet provided

BALANCE• Top quality and new design, board/ski hire available at an additional cost

• Restorative yoga sessions at the lodge with our resident yoga Instructor

• 2 visits to nearby Onsen (Japanese hot bath)

• Customized ‘Follow Your Bliss Day’ – Spark your spirit as you spend the day exploring the best of Japan with a variety of activities.

Superior twin 620x462• Endless purified spring water, coffee/teas/hot chocolate

• Complimentary broadband Wi-Fi internet access

• Luscious room amenities including Guest Robes & Hairdryers

• Custom blended spa toiletries

• Daily inspirational cards with Turn Down Service

• Goody Bag

Snow Monkeys• 5% of profits donated toward our ‘Giving Goddess’ Charity program

• Personalised itinerary consultation & booking services with your Snow Goddess Retreat Hostess

• Travel with a company that is annually awarded Trip Advisors Certificate of Excellence for consistently exceeding our guests’ expectations

• Relax in our expert care with over 12 years experience hosting world class women’s retreats.

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SPACES ARE LIMITED – MAKE AN ENQUIRY BELOW.

5 minutes with soul surfer Jenny Mikota

We caught up with Jenny Mikota, true soul surfer and founder of Girls On Board surf retreats. She shared with us her passion for the surf, healthy living and travel.

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“Don’t think just do!”

When I was young I grew up on the Great Lakes in Canada. My parents took us to Florida every year and we stayed on Coco Beach, which is where Kelly Slater and the Hobgoods are from. I remember one day seeing Kelly surfing and it looked so cool! I couldn’t wait till I was old enough to move to the West Coast of Canada where I could surf everyday.

When I was a teenager I moved to a special little town called Tofino, it’s in Vancouver Island – a magical place. There was just a few hard-core chicks that surfed at that time. The water is very cold.

We had to motivate ourselves to go out. I remember surfing and it was -4 outside, but the water felt warm because it was 2 degrees! We would wear a 6 mill and could hardly move in the suit, but it would be warm because we would put it in the dryer before putting it on.  It inspired me to check out other places that were warmer. So I headed south of the border (Mexico, Costa rica) in winters. That was the start of my travel bug, led me to some amazing places and meet great people all over the world. Then I discovered Bali, and that was the start of the new chapter. An epic journey of surfing, creating an oasis and discovering what dreams really are made of.

There are so many things and people that inspire me on a daily basis.  I am so really blessed with the awesome friends I have in my life. My boyfriend inspires me with surfing. He is such a good surfer and supporter and it challenges me in the water. I really try and give thanks and feel blessed to all of the moments in my life. It such a wicked journey in life, we make it ourselves and our surroundings is what shapes us to be the best that we can be.

People tell me that I live the dream, but I tell people we are all the dream. Paradise is inside us all, the places we go and the people we meet.

I love to eat organic and it’s easy to do when you live in a small village will local produce shops. I also try and grow what ever I can in season. I have lots of fun trying new recipes. I love to cook and be in the garden – it’s a meditation in itself.

Building the retreat in Balian was quite an adventure. I travelled to Java (the island next to Bali) and found a little village that has 100 year-old teak houses. I transported a house back to Bali and used the recyced materials to build with. I tried to use mainly recycled timber and rock to build the house, beachcombing for timber and rocks became my afternoon pass time.

The whole house was built with a hammer, saw, couple cement mixing buckets and some string line – it’s actually really amazing. The Balinese people are very crafty and I was amazed how good they are doing things by hand. Doing things in a foreign country can be difficult at times, but I think building anywhere you can say just the same. The challenges became less the more I learnt the language, and the more I learnt and accepted how the culture does things. I had to respect the way the Balinese did things and the more I accepted it, the easier it became. Oh ya…. and patience plenty of it!

I do have a passion for many things, as putting passion into the things you do makes you a compassionate person. Yoga, playing the guitar and singing, cooking, hanging out with friends and family, all different types of sports…. Whatever I’m in the mood for!

I continue to love life by loving myself, loving others, being true to myself, and always knowing that I’m on my path, an exciting path and there’s only one life, which is now.

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If you’ve been inspired by this article perhaps you would like to visit Jeny. She runs surf retreats and surfaris around Indonesia. If you want a place to stay she also offers nightly rates in her very cool pad in Balian, Bali.

Catching up with White Ninja

We love chatting to Aussie chicks in the snow industry who are taking risks and getting creative. We caught up with Bec Layton, director of White Ninja to talk stylish bandeanies.

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Hey Bec, what was your first White Ninja design and was what it for?
The very first White Ninja design was developed as a hobby and as gifts for friends. Once I realised this was a great product I set about developing one that was market ready. Four different prototypes were created for friends to wear on a trip to NZ in 2009 and get their feedback.

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What’s the story behind the name? How did you come up with it?
White Ninja was born from the emotive experience of the snow and what it means to us. White was choosen to represent the visual environment and Ninja for the beauty of an art form, acceptance of nature, danger and fragility, skill, solitude, silence, peace, strength, courage and determination.

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What’s the material made from?
White Ninja Bandeanies feature a water resistant cotton outer, a super soft micro polar fleece. Micro fleece has a high water resistance holding less than 1% of its weight in water and to top it off our unique lycra panel in the back.

What do you think is the best feature of product?
Definitely the Lycra panel, it makes the Bandeanie easier to fit, comfortable, sits flat under a helmet and also keeps the Bandeanie sitting up so it will stay on your face without having to adjust it.

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Why did you decide to create White Ninja?
I’ve always felt this need to create and to work for myself, it’s in my blood, seems to have been a natural progression. White Ninja was born from a passion for art, design, fabrics, illustration, sports, snow and friendship. How could you not be motivated to do something that combines all the things you love. And hopefully one day be able to do it for a living.
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How many years has it been running for?
White Ninja has been running since 2009, with 2010 winter being our first in market. To this day after 3 years in the market White Ninja have had no returns.

What’s you favourite thing about being a part of the snow community?
I’m amazed at how supportive everyone in the industry has been, we have a small snow community in Australia so we all know we need to work together and support each other. In saying that it is a small snow world, everyone knows everyone and that alone has been fantastic, making great friends through friends of friends cause we all have this common interest… love for the mountains.

Did you watch much Ninja Turtles when you were a kid? Could have that been an influence of starting White Ninja. If not what was it?
I am a product of the 80s and yes I did watch a lot of Ninja Turtles and remember the Xmas my brother and I were given Ninja Turtle and Splinter figurines, but not the reason for starting White Ninja.

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What types of fashion on (or off) the runway inspires you?
My own fashion style is a little different to White Ninja, I love edgy street fashion. With White Ninja I try to bring across an element of fun, and most importantly practicality and comfort, I want my Bandeanies to be as comfortable as putting on your fav pair of jeans. I also choose my fabrics to match different styles, so you can choose a different Bandeanie each day to mix up our outerwear.

When did you start taking a liking to board sports?
I started skiing on school trips in high school from the age of about 15, but it wasn’t until 22 that I made the decision to do my first season and learn to snowboard.AQUA_FLY

Local resort?
Falls Creek is my home mountain and White Ninja has so much support and a great following, I love seeing so many proud ninja with big smiles on their faces when I go riding.

Favourite travel destination?
Pretty hard to pick one, I love travelling and falling in love with new cultures and places, but I would have to say there’s something to be said about the feeling you get when you are travelling home.

Where can we buy products, is it just online?
Our products are available through our online store at www.whiteninja.com.au and also through our 26 stockists around Australia and Japan, check out our stockist page on the website.

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Spring pick from the shelves – Mons Royale Merino

Here at Now Rip This we can’t get over how sexy thermal underwear can be. Mons Royale first launched their attention grabbing and multifunction first layers in 2009. The seriously-hot threads flew off the shelves during winter and now they’ve launched an even hotter summer range. We caught up with Hamish Acland, founder of Mons Royale and asked him a few questions about his world and his brand.

Where did you grow up? I grew up on farm in New Zealand, so far from fashion world.

How old were you when you started taking a liking to snow sports? I started skiing when I was three, but i have always been into actionsports.

What does the name Mons Royale mean? That’s a bit of secret, but mons upside down spells snow.

Have you always been into style and fashion? Not at all, but I have always been into brands I and set up the Freeski Open of New Zealand back in 2005. That gave me confidence that I could pull off a big project. Thankfully my girlfriend Hannah Aubrey is the designer with Natalie Norman who heads up the production side of things.

Mons Royale started from a little brand in a small town to going global. How was the brand born? I saw a gap in the market, for tech layering with style.

What did you do professionally before creating Mons Royale? I was a ski bum/pro skier for about ten years competing in Freeride events. I also did coaching, event organising and worked in the ski media.

How many years had you been dreaming about the label before it launched in 2009? Two years, I think… I was travelling, skiing around the world and building on my idea. I would research retail stores all over the globe.

How are the sales going? We are in some 300 stores globally. More and more people are finding out about the brand and loving it.

What is your favourite Mons item and why? Depends on the day, but I wear the mens original long sleeve a lot, straight from the office into a days shredding then into five hour drive.  It’s super versatile.

Favourite place you’ve traveled? Verbier.

Finally, the models you use are super hot – do you pick them yourself? Yes I guess that is one of the perks of the job!

Where can people in Australia buy the summer collection from?

We haven’t launched the summer range in Australia, but people can get it online.


Mint Chicks: the making of

It was Autumn in 2010, I sat at my computer tucked away in a bleak office in the city. I would occasionally look across at my boss who thought she owned me. She thought I was immersed in an Excel spreadsheet, but actually I was searching for new snowboarding destinations. I was like many others around the globe who spend more time thinking about living than they actually live!

I started daydreaming of an all girls snowboarding progression camp in New Zealand and I emailed an itinerary to Jarred (creator of Mint Tours). Jarred had been working in the snow community for more than a decade. In his younger years he maintained his Queenstown snowboarding lifestyle by delivering pizza in the snow, constantly getting towed out of ditches in his crappy car. “The worst job was in Canada, it was cleaning kitchen grease traps while it was puking outside,” he says. Luckily he stepped it up a notch and joined the park crew which he likes to drop into conversations the most and more recently he judges snowboarding events. He’s an honest, chilled and professional guy with a lot of information in his head. He’s the “get me out of the city and take me to the snow” go-to-guy in Melbourne.

So I asked him online, while I was still tucked away in the office, “Can you make my dreams come true?” Great Itinerary, he said, but I’ve tried to run girls camps in the past and I couldn’t get enough girls on board (no pun intended). Fuckers! I guess that meant I had to find some numbers. Any girl I met whilst snowboarding I invited along. Black, white, fat or skinny – it didn’t matter. Heaps were enthusiastic, but one got pregnant and others were drawn to alternative locations.

Come summer time Jarred was ecstatic when he had confirmed more numbers and a female coach for us at Snow Park. Fi Duncan was her name. It was only once I hung out with Fi that I realised how lucky we were to have her. Fi is a travel queen and free spirit. She has surfed and snowboarded all over the planet. Back in her prime time, she was a snowboard competitor and an instructor, but a harsh knee injury changed her life voyage slightly. Now Fi is a passionate Pilates teacher and a dedicated surf coach.

Fi remembers, eight years ago when she was an instructor at Concrete Peak Coronet Peak. She would go into the offices and try to push for all-girl events. “I guess we were just at the forefront of it all,” Fi says. Coronet’s management didn’t see the point in all-girl events and there wasn’t enough money in it back then either, but that didn’t stop Fi. Instead she travelled to Wanaka to run girls camps at Snow Park. Snow Park offers one thing and one thing only – it’s a resort for park riders. The entire resort is full of jumps, boxes, rails, a half pipe and a wall ride. It’s a great place for progression, which is why it’s used as a training ground throughout the snow season.

Back in her day, Fi coached camps at Snow Park with pro snowboarder and instructor Abby Lockhart. It was only once our chicks numbers had doubled that Abby’s name would become familiar to myself and the other Mint Chicks. She was the second coach in our playground.

August 2012. The camp began. Girls flocked from all over Australia from different backgrounds and occupations. One element pulled us all together – snowboard progression.

Claire Hopper, journalism student and Mint co-shredder sums the camp up nicely here. “Mint Chicks Tour was created for a sole reason; to bring Aussie snowboarding girls together. Their desire to do something so unique and groundbreaking, together with our basic desire to simply ride with other chicks, meant this week-long tour in New Zealand was not only bursting with unforgettable and hilariously girly moments, but also full of the encouragement and support us females need to give each other in this once male-dominated sport. We not only nailed some awesome new tricks and techniques during our tour, we formed snow-bound friendships and finally found those chicks we’d always be looking for.

Cassie De Colling caught the rest with her camera.

 Note – Anything written or viewed in this blog can not be held against me or others.

Pictures by Alexandra Volk, Cassie De Colling, Tamie Wexler and Mint Tours.

By Tamie Wexler

 Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you can not help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics. Albert Einstein.