Women in Board and Actions Sports Barcelona 2016

On location in Barcelona, Spain 

Team Dewpoint has only JUST recovered from the incredible WIB 2016 conference in Barcelona. The event took place across four days from 29th Sept-2nd Oct, featured 15 speakers, 5 action sport activities, with 55 attendees across 6 locations in the city. Although admittedly DGC put out the press and promotion material ahead of this event, we can honestly say without agenda or bias, that this was a 5-star, A-class, premiere seminar from start to finish.

The WIB Team filled every second of the event with fascinating presentations from women within the industry, well organised discussion sessions from attendees, plenty of Catalonian food and drink to keep us all energised, and happily exhausted us all with a full activity programme that bonded the delegates as WIB devotees for life. I can still feel the ache in my arms from the Malamar Wakepark session as I type this, and see the bruise on my knee from my skateboarding lesson at Skate Agora, but it was completely worth it and I am so, so, proud I was invited to join these outstanding women for what was one of the best weekends of my career so far.


Delegates were welcomed at The Generator Hotel conference facilities with drinks, an introductory session and a webinar  Women’s Skateboarding Alliance's Mimi Knoop and Mahfia TV’s Kim Woozy. (If you'd like to catch up on the discussion, you can subscribe to the link with WIB here. ). Kim and Mimi discussed their experiences working within the action sports industry as athletes, producers and influencers, as well as how to quantify your value as an experienced sports professional.

Friday 30th Sept began on Barceloneta beach at the wonderful Espai De Mar club facilities where Diputacio de Barcelona gave us a presentation on their wonderful city. (If you've never been to Barcelona before, you must check out their website for all info on cultural activities and sights in the city.)

Key note speaker Marion Schmitz shared her insights about Content Marketing giving tips and lessons learnt through her career and shared examples of the biggest and most successful industry campaigns she's worked on. As a communications agency, this was of particular interest and absolutely fascinating to see what can be achieved with the resources of some of the world's biggest brands. 

Next up, Mel Cheng from European design agency KISKA, talked us through the processes involved in some of the most innovative new technology in sport. She showed us examples of both good and bad design, as well as some up and coming new products and their potential within the sports market. 

Also on Friday, Professional Body Boarding athlete, Rita Pires talked us through her 20 year professional career, her tv production experience, entrepreneurial goals and how she's achieved balance and success in all areas of her life in Bali. 

To close our first day, Cameron Norsworthy of The Flow Centre, explained the scientific definition of what ‘Flow’ is and how it is used to help athletes to achieve optimum performance. Their techniques can be adopted and practised by all however, and offer some fascinating insights into the power of mental ability. 

After a very welcome and delicious evening of dinner and drinks, WIB welcomed professional alpine climber and Patagonia ambassador, Zoe Hart, who used her personal story to give business and career advice to the delegates on Saturday morning. Zoe made it clear that believing in yourself and having a climbing, life or business partner that believes and encourages you, are the first steps towards making it to the top.

Next up, Social Media Marketing Director Dot Lung give us a masterclass in the potential of 360 video and VR technology in content marketing in the future. Delegates were invited to check out her VR headsets for an immersive experience in a variety of sports from Surfing in Tahiti to Jungle Trekking. Check out her company 360VR

Emily Ackner, founder of Fit For That, fitness coach and runner who uses the challenge to find the balance, finished off Saturday with a presentation on her techniques and programmes for fitness. She shared her insight on training for a purpose before taking all the ladies to the beach and leading a fitness workshop.

Saturday also allowed delegates to present their projects, new businesses and social organisations and ask for feedback, advice and collaboration. 

We welcomed;

Ruff boards - A social enterprise employing ex-prisoners to manufacture longboards from recycled snowboards.  

SNOOKS -  British winter sports clothing line, designed by women for women

Boundless Betty - inspiring an adventurous community for women worldwide.

Skate Dates - Bringing women into confidence building workshops with skateboarding, yoga and meditation with Urban Hippie Collective.

Malene Iversen - On the SUP vacations available in Denmark for a truly unique experience. 

We concluded Saturday's presentations with a sunset trip to Malamar Wakepark, just north of Barcelona. Having never tried wake boarding before, I approached with trepidation alongside many of the others, but it was an absolutely amazing experience I can't wait to repeat. We spent a good few hours hitting the cable as the sun went down and were treated to a crazy impressive display of wake boarding stunts by Team GB Wakeboarding Athlete Steph Caller. Our evening concluded with dinner and drinks on site by candlelight at the wake boarding restaurant before we headed back to our beds, utterly and delightedly exhausted.


Despite our jam-packed schedule for the weekend, all delegates had time to take part in workshops of a variety of sports including Espai De Mar's SUP on the beach, Emily Ackner's unique bodyweight training workshop, Wakeboarding at Malamar Wakepark, Mountain Biking at La Poma Bike Park and a Skateboard masterclass for all levels at Skate Agora

As a snowboarder primarily, I was a little shy of taking part at first but vowed to give everything a go no matter what. I absolutely loved all of it, and to my surprise and delight it was the skateboarding that really got me. I thought I'd find that the least enjoyable, being a little unsure on wheels but I absolutely loved it, the lesson at Skate Agora was clear, easy to follow and we were all pretty quick to pick it up. By the end of the hour, all us beginners were able to ride into the quarter pipe. I just might be onto a new sport. 

As the weekend came to a close, one by one each of these lovely ladies dispersed reluctantly and I've had to say goodbye to some amazing new friends, albeit with promises to meet up with enthusiasm over winter for more sports action. The core WIB team, including myself remained, exhausted but happy, and were taken for a surprise meal by Prosk8 Tip Technology for their founder, Beckett Colon's birthday. An impressive and delicious selection of Tapas at the Barcelona Beer Co. proceeded a screening of new snowboarding film The Fourth Phase at Nevermind Skate Bar (projected above their in-house skate bowl) 

I can honestly say I've had one of the most amazing weekends of my life. In addition to it being highly relevant to my business and experience, all the presentations displayed the drive and resilience of a team of women (and one man) who have an unrelenting enthusiasm for working within their respective passions. It was incredible to be part of such an outstanding cross-section of people and I'm privileged to be considered part of the WIB Team. Congratulations are in order for Alba Pardo Emma Shoesmith and all in the WIB Team for curating such a high-class programme. Can't wait for next year ladies!