In Her Words - Karine Dazé on Coaching the Next Generation of Snowboarders

I’ve always been an uncoordinated human. Tripping over my own feet often and as my parents
put me into skiing lessons at a young age, I did not excel. It all changed when my cousin and I
decided we wanted to try snowboarding. Once my feet couldn’t go anywhere, I had found my
home.

Karine Daze Riders on Board

Being from a small ski town north of Montreal, being part of snow sports was almost a
requirement. Fast-forward 10 years of training, competing, teaching and coaching, my coach and mentor makes the decision to move to Calgary, Alberta and asks me to come with him. That’s when I found Riders on Board. I met Beth (founder and director) at Lindsay Park (now Repsol Centre), as the athletes were training and flipping off the diving boards. I remember the whole experience being pretty intimidating. After a quick interview, she hired me as a coach. This was Riders on Board’s 3rd year operating and there were about 30 athletes in the club.

My whole coaching career, my goal was always to get more girls involved in the sport that I love.
It can be pretty intimidating for girls that don’t know where to start and that don’t know how to
get involved. After many trials and errors, countless volunteer hours traveling across the
province setting up camps where only 1 rider would show up, it was getting frustrating.
Beth and I were brainstorming and we had a pilot project in mind: building a program where we
would start coaching fundamentals to girls at a young age, hoping to build values and
friendships around the sport, and to instate a sport for life mentality, wherever their
snowboarding career would take them.

Karine Daze Coaches the Next Generation of Snowboarders

It started with one 2.5 year old, Katie. Beth and I met her parents at the Calgary Snow Show randomly, and somehow they thought it would be a good idea to have this tiny girl try
snowboarding with us. After 8 years in the program, Katie and many other girls have been our inspiration to keep building programs for girls as they are progressing. This year being Riders on Board’s 18th year, we now have around 350 athletes in the club, and over 100 girls in the programs across the province. The Lil’ Sisters program that started 8 years ago was only the beginning of the girls community we have built. We now have girls in our Freestyle programs, Competitive programs, Pushing for the Podium program, and our newest Grom Competitive program. The future looks bright for our girls, they work so hard every day they are on snow, and continue to inspire us.

To see the girls progress and the programs grow over the years, this amazing club that has become my family, always makes me thankful I had the courage to put my feet in those bindings and be an advocate for girls in snowboarding.