A foray into snowboarding from the casual skiers perspective.
Once a year I decide skiing might be fun. I can navigate down a hill without gravely injuring myself. I still fall. I actually have some rather spectacular falls. Really. But I manage to not look completely confused and out of place.
When my friend asked me to go snowboarding the natural answer was yes! Really what could go wrong? If tiny kids can, surely I could. Shopping for cute white boarding pants was only added incentive.
We decided to make the trip to Blue Mountain. It was an attractive pick because they have the “Newbie Package.” I inquired about upgrading to a higher lift package later, but I would find this to be completely unneeded.
We arrived, paid and suited up complete with helmet. Our first stop was station one. The newbie program is structured around four learning areas that build on each other. “This is the tail and this is the nose…oh and these are your bindings.” At least there were no worries about being a complete beginner.
We practiced walking with our snowboard and going up hills. I quickly realized that skiing is entirely less exhausting than snowboarding. You have one leg to walk and one leg to drag around a large awkward board! What fun!
My first time down the bunny hill involved my snowboard spinning while I tried to keep it straight. I exclaimed that skiing is WAY easier. Apparently this is a sin. Our instructor tried to tell me that skiing may be easier initially, but snowboarders can progress further once they perfect their skills. Little comfort when you can’t travel straight down a 2 degree decline.
Oh and he also told me I am way to stiff for snowboarding. He told me to grab my snow pants and bend my knees more. A surprisingly simple, but effective correction. The bent knees, put me in a relaxed position. And holding my pants forced my body straight.
Surprisingly, we did progress to the larger bunny hill and even looked reasonably competent. Only a few times did an instructor hold my hands to help me navigate downhill.
The only time I ended up on my butt was when my steering became questionable and a collision likely. I will call that a bail not a crash.
It was a great experience and I hope to try snowboarding once more this winter. I have to give kudos to Blue Mountain for the super instructor and the amazing Newbie program!