|By Chris Maza
POM POM team rider Jennifer Gonyea will be among the instructors at Ski Sundown’s Girls Rock the Park event.
Reminder Publications submitted photo
EAST LONGMEADOW – In 2008, Sarah Cameron saw something very wrong with the snowboarding culture and decided she was going to do something about it.
Cameron, with her husband Roger, has lived in East Longmeadow since 2001 and started the snow and surf wax company Magical Go-Go in 2003. While their venture was very successful, Cameron came to realize a flaw in the marketing of the sports’ products that had a profound effect on those who participated in it.
“After working with Magical Go-Go for so long, I started realizing that most of the wax companies are really targeting guys,” she said. “By targeting guys, you’re really excluding girls, which is always a problem in sports, no matter what it is. I wanted to make girls feel included, especially in an industry like snowboarding that is still so male dominated.”
With this in mind, POM POM was developed as the sister brand to Magical Go-Go, catering to young women, and the results, she said, have been nothing but positive.
Like Magical Go-Go, POM POM started out distributing snow wax, which is applied to the bottom of snowboards and skis for improved performance, and surf wax, which goes on the top of a surf board to provide grip and traction, the brand’s message has caught on and spawned a movement.
Cameron said the brand’s philosophy is to promote girls and young women finding something active that they enjoy and making it a part of their everyday life.
“POM POM has a slogan of ‘Find Your Fun,’ so it’s evolved into an active lifestyle brand for girls. Once you find fun in your life, it’s something that hopefully will stay with you, for the rest of your life,” Cameron explained. “We’re into lacrosse, soccer or any type of activity where you’re having fun and getting active. We’re about healthy, active lifestyles.”
In addition to wax, POM POM also sells a host of products, including soft goods, tote bags, neck warmers and lip balm.
POM POM has grown into an international brand as word spread across borders and oceans.
“We just shipped an order out to Japan. We’ve been in the UK, we’ve been in Canada, [and] we’ve been in Italy, but the Japanese market is definitely our strongest,” Cameron said.
POM POM also sponsors and takes part in events that advance that philosophy, such as the Girls Rock the Park event taking place at Ski Sundown in New Hartford, Conn.
During the event, scheduled for Jan. 11 from 1 to 3 p.m., POM POM team riders Jess Trimble and Jennifer Gonyea will join Ski Sundown staff in a girls-only introduction to the basics of snowboarding in a fun, supportive, no-pressure environment.
Registration opens at 11 a.m. in the lodge. A $5 registration fee, helmets and waivers are required. More information can be found at http://skisundown.com.
“Events like these pop up all over the place and it’s awesome. A lot of times girls are intimidated when it comes to trying new things,” Cameron said. “At [Ski] Sundown, they get girls as young as 6, 7 and 8 years old and it’s really about making them feel comfortable to go out there and try something and fall and laugh. I’m super psyched to be a part of it because it’s such a different vibe when you’re together with a bunch of girls. They’re just much more relaxed.”
With the more casual atmosphere, those in attendance can learn what Cameron said the sport is really all about.
“It’s not about being competitive. I grew up racing and I loved to race, but it got to a point where the fun left the sport for me,” she said. “When I had the most fun was when I was with my friends making trails through the woods or riding at small hills or the country clubs. It’s about being with friends.”
For more information on POM POM, visit www.iheartpompom.com.
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