Double Trouble | The California Dream in a Day – Land to Sea
19 hours. That's all it took. 19 hours to conquer an adventure made for the storybooks. An invite list of eight professional athletes from surfing, snowboarding, and skateboarding—six nationalities represented—two photographers, one videographer, two fearless leaders, zero budget, twelve sponsors, 100 PBR's, and a mission—hell or high water—to conquer California by land and sea in a day.
There's this quote in The Alchemist: "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." Two weeks prior, Co-Founders of Double Trouble Michaela Eichenbaum, of Stance, and Giulia Belis, a freelance graphic designer, had met, decided an event like this needed to happen, and pulled it off with zero budget. In two weeks, eight top athletes were confirmed, twelve sponsors were on board, “glamping” arrangements were made, and fifty Stance socks were gathered. “Giulia and I had both attended women's ride days throughout the season and felt inspired by this feeling of uniting women to snowboard together,” says Eichenbaum. The initial motivation was to take women out of their comfort zone, bringing surfers to the snow. But as Eichenbaum explained, the fascination of the “quintessential board riders dream – California in a day” just couldn’t be ignored. “We had morphed our ideas and come up with the ‘Double Trouble’ adventure concept. We rallied together a group of amazing athletes to surf and snowboard in one day.”
So a 5 am wake-up call started it off. That dirty, down-South rap whispering sweet nothings in our ears was all we needed to wrestle out of our warm sleeping bags and into the van. Snowboard socks – check. Snowboard jacket – check. Snowboard boots – check…Breakfast in hand, (shout out to Guayaki and Kind Bar), we were en-route to stop no. 1: snowboarding at Bear Mountain.
There's something uniquely nostalgic and almost archetypal about closing weekend at a mountain. But pulling up to Bear that day, as a dozen beautiful women poured out of the giant Stance sprinter van, all bets were lost and any closing weekend cliches were broken. The mountain was conquered by the best of them.
But once the clock struck 1pm, the gear was off and we all piled back into the van, departing Bear for the second half of our journey: the sea.
We arrived at San Onofre State Beach around 4pm. Sunset was at 7:20pm, so if I did my math right, that gave us about three hours to check this California Dream off the bucket-list. "We had to snowboard first," explained a confident Michaela Eichenbaum as she suited up. “If we surfed first, we would have had wet hair snowboarding, and no one needs to catch pneumonia on my watch." She had a point. So we surfed until sunset – the second installment of ‘Double Trouble’ ended the day on the highest note. As cliché as it sounds, we rode the party wave in that night, and food and champagne awaited our arrival at the campsite. The best day ever? Maybe.
So I guess it’s true – when you want something badly enough, the whole world comes together to make it happen. 19-hours and a few battle scars later, the California Dream was checked off the bucket list. Here’s to a job well done.
We caught up with Eichenbaum after the event and asked why she wanted to do this, the inspiration behind it, and how she and Belis pulled it off.
What is Double Trouble and how did this idea come to be? What is the inspiration behind doing an event for women like this?
Giulia and I both had been attending numerous women's ride days throughout the season and felt inspired by this feeling of uniting women to snowboard together. We individually came up with our own ideas to start our own women's event of some kind. We had just met in Mammoth two weeks prior to the birth of this idea… Giulia was passing through San Clemente on her way back from LA and stopped by for dinner at my place. Her motivation behind her idea for an event was to bring a bunch of surfers to the snow. At first, it was bringing them to Mammoth and then a trip to the hot springs. I personally have always been fascinated with the idea of bringing surfers and snowboarders together and throwing them into each others elements as well. By the end of dinner we had morphed our two ideas and come up with the double trouble adventure concept of rallying together a group of amazing athletes from all different walks of life and taking them to surf and snowboard in one day – the quintessential board riders dream, and California in a nutshell.
How do you think women are viewed in surf, snow, and skateboarding in this current state of action sports?
I think this question is so crucial right now. The way I see it, more and more women are doing stuff like this, rallying together and inspiring others, call me a glass half-full kind of person but more women are showing up, empowering one another, being bolder, braver, and progressing faster – catching up with the boys. I think we are up and coming more so than ever before. I also think inequality does still exist, and will continue to exist for some time. However, I'm a believer in change. And that's exactly why I wanted to do an event like this. The more women keep challenging the system, the stereotypes, pushing boundaries, making a stink when something isn't fair or right the more we will push the dial and see the change. Be the change… right?
What's the overall goal of this event and who is the target audience?
We are looking to inspire women to get out there and DO SOMETHING with friends! Whatever it is that makes your heart feel full, and puts a smile on your face. For us, its surfing and snowboarding. We both agree that there's no better feeling than riding with the girls. Don't get us wrong, we don't mind riding with the boys, but it's just a different feeling. In a crew of all mature, confident, independent ladies, there's empowerment, camaraderie, healthy challenge, hootin’ & hollerin', support, love and encouragement. The first night we all got to know each other, and in less than 24 hours, after this grand journey and adventure, I'm pretty sure we all felt like we had a new crew of friends. You know that saying girls compete with each other, women empower one another? This saying rings so true to me personally and is a major source of the inspiration for bringing these like-minded souls together to do something we all love to do together.
Our target audience would be a woman who doesn't have a crew to ride with but craves the camaraderie, we want her next year to see this event and feel comfort, and feel excited to try something new and come and attend and make new friends. It’s for the girl whos always stuck riding with her impatient boyfriend, and wants her friend to give her some pointers in the water or on the hill. Etc.
How are the sponsors involved and what's their benefit?
We were so grateful to get product, lift tickets, food, basically everything we needed to support and fulfill our vision. We had everything covered from amazing local organic food from Fish 101 to fuel us for the adventure, to Aloha Collection beach bags and Vagabond Beach towels to stoke out the girls with some rad product. Their benefit is getting their product exposed to some of the raddest and elite athletes in their fields and of course the content we created from the weekend! Our goal was to give them exposure through content and through the girls social reach and through our own channels.
How do you see this event growing in years to come?
Our strategy was to start with a small, intimate event and build our foundation, create content, and make a buzz! Inspire other women, get women to see what we did and say "I wanna do that!" and be able to say back to them "YES! Do this with us next year!" We wanted to start with this core group of ladies and next year when we feel like we could plan a bit better and gauge interest levels, open it up to the world. We want to grow a community and have caravans full of like minded individuals joining in on the adventure. Eventually, take this thing international, explore together, and see where in this beautiful world you can surf and snowboard in one day!
How is Stance involved in the event?
Stance was our biggest sponsor this year. We pulled this thing off in about 5 weeks with a budget of $0 – which is pretty damn rad. So we managed expectations accordingly, and committed ourselves regardless of the commitment we got from any of the ladies. We were doing this, rain or shine, two people or 10 people. Stance provided transportation to and from each location (campsite to mountain, to sea, to campsite) and kept all the ladies feet super warm throughout the weekend with a variety of snow and casual socks and they also curated a most beautiful glamp-site that everyone was stoked on. We definitely couldn't have done the event without their support.
Thanks to the athletes involved:
SNOW: Kjersti Buaas, Klaudia Medlova, Chanelle Sladics
SURF: Leila Hurst, Bruna Schmitz
SKATE: Nora Vasconcellos
Thanks to the sponsors involved: