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Real Wild Kittens kick off summer programs

The all-girls skate crew is looking to expand its summer programming in 2022
RWK group shot
More than 30 girls pose for a picture at one of the Real Wild Kittens Ladies Skate events in August 2021.

Despite the rainy and cold weather so far this spring, the girls behind the Real Wild Kittens (RWK) are excited to be back this summer offering up lessons and skate camps for the growing population of young female shredders in Whistler.

“We’re all really, really excited. And I think we’ve all kind of been itching to skateboard just because the weather has been so bad,” said RWK owner and head coach Juliette Pelchat. “So yeah, we’re pretty excited to be going in the park a little bit more this summer, shredding with the younger kids, seeing some familiar faces and just kind of getting that RWK vibe back.”

One of the RWK’s usual programs returning this summer is the weekly Ladies Skate events every Friday, which are open to people of all ages and skill levels to come out, learn some new skills or just ride around with friends and help foster the growing women’s skateboard community.

Other familiar events happening this summer include private lessons, two-day weekend skate camps from June through September and longer, four-day camps from Monday to Thursday in July and August.

On top of running the usual events, this summer also represents a time of growth for a business still very much in its infancy. According to Pelchat, not only will there be more camps happening in Whistler, but the crew also plans to expand its camps to both Pemberton and Squamish and hopes to make the Ladies Skate events “bigger and better,” with plans for a skate party to kick off the season on Canada Day and another to wrap it up later in August.

“We’re just kind of trying to kick-start the skate season with a bigger event, and just welcome in anybody who’s interested in skateboarding. We’re going to throw a big RWK event with a lot of cool things happening, some creative aspects, some art, some food, maybe some music,” Pelchat said. “And at the end of the season, it’ll be kind of like a recap event similar to the start of the season where we’re going to try and bring in a little bit more jazz to it and host more people, more music just to get people hyped on the skate season and show everybody what RWK is about.”

To accommodate these expansion goals, the RWK are welcoming three new coaches—Jackie Carlsson, Kaia Achenbach, and Lola Gilbert—to the team, which already includes Pelchat, her sister Amalia and Maggie Crompton.

“I’m super excited. I’ve wanted to do this for a while now. It’s finally happening. And I just did my first lesson last weekend. It was awesome. I really enjoyed it,” said the 22-year-old Carlsson.

Carlsson first started skateboarding nine years ago at about 13 years old, when she would use penny boards and longboards just to get around. Eventually, just cruising without anything new to learn became boring for her, and she picked up skateboarding, where “you can always be learning new things.”

But throughout her time skateboarding, the thought of coaching other girls never even crossed Carlsson’s mind until she came to Whistler three years ago and got inspired by the impact the RWK has had in the resort.

Now one of the RWK’s coaches, Carlsson wants to see even more girls take up the sport, and hopes she can help them not only learn some new skills, but also give them the confidence to feel comfortable riding by themselves at the skate park.

“[This opportunity] means a lot to me. And the future is definitely in good hands, especially with a growing community. I’m excited to see where else skateboarding goes,” she said.

“When I started skateboarding, I was skateboarding by myself, and all the basics took me a really long time to learn. And I think because it took me a while to learn, I know where people go wrong and how to explain that. And I just want to see them progress in skateboarding and just come over top of those little battles with tricks and stuff. There’s nothing better than battling for a trick and getting it at the end.”

While the Pelchat sisters and Crompton will still be taking the lead on coaching duties this year, the new coaching staff will be relied upon later in the year to step up and run the show while the other three are off snowboarding in Australia.

But instead of being nervous about the business in her absence, Pelchat is excited to see how the new coaches do when they take the lead with the camps later in the summer.

“I’m going to go to Australia in August, so I’ll be gone all of August and September. And then my sister and Maggie will also be gone in late August,” she said. “So I’m actually really excited to see how the girls take hold of the camps coming up. I think they’re going to do a good job, for sure.”

More information on the programs offered by RWK and links to register for camps can be found at realwildkittens.com.