Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Snowboarding is Hard!

I wanted to be cool. I wanted to be a “boarder”. Skis were just so old-fashioned. I wanted to be a cool hip chick on the slopes. That did not happen.

When I first tried skiing more than 10 years ago I picked it up quickly. Within 15 minutes, I was on the chair lift. By the end of the day I could make it down the mountain without falling.

I heard snowboarding was hard. I heard it was going to hurt and you would be sore for days afterwards. But I didn’t really believe it. I mean, I was like a natural on the slopes!

Well, the day had come to put that to the test. The day before we left, I watched a lot of YouTube tutorials on how to snowboard. I knew it was all about balance and putting pressure on your toes and heels to control where you were going. One of my friends Terry let me try out his board before we got to the slopes so I could get a feel for it. (see pic. BTW, I do not know why Mikey’s face is like that. Maybe he was saying my snowboarding skills stink?)

I convinced my old roommate Anne to try it with me. We decided to take a lesson to kick start our boarding career. We bought our lift tickets, rented our boards, and signed up for a 1 hour group lesson.

Our instructor was patient and gave us lots of encouragement, but at one point I might have said to him “Quit lying to me. I suck.” The problem wasn’t the falling. I could stand up and stay up. It was the total and complete lack of control. Mainly, it was that I could not stop. In fact at one point, I almost ran in to one of those orange construction fences they have to keep you from going into dangerous territories. At the last minute I ducked under it and sat down before I flew off into the mud. (See- I could even do the limbo on the board!)

The slush and mud was another problem. The day we went it was probably in the 60s. I was so freaking hot. I had to take off my ski jacket and got my shirt soaking wet from “sitting down” in the snow so much. The snow was turning to slush and the slush was turning to mud. It was not the soft powdery conditions you might have in say, Colorado.

The final problem was my boots. They were so freaking tight they cut off my circulation. After about 10 minutes I could not feel my feet! It was painful. I could barely concentrate on learning anything because I was so uncomfortable from the boots. Plus they smelled like a million nasty, stinky feet. I could even catch whiffs of the stench while I was ratcheting my boots to the board (which we had to do like a million times- on, off, on, off. Not like skis where you just pop them in and go!)

Needless to say we gave up shortly after our lesson. We didn’t even make it on the chair lift. Sad huh? I was going to give it another try the next day, but we went to a local winery that morning and by 2 pm it was raining and yucky out, so we decided to skip the slopes.

I do want to try again. But I have some conditions:

1. We need to go out west to Vail or Aspen where they have powder and not icy man-made slush.
2. I need at least 3 days on the slopes. One afternoon was not enough to master the board.
3. I just might buy my own boots. The boots are key and I want something comfy so I can give it my all. I don’t want mildew smelling, cheap, nasty, rental boots again.

Overall I am glad I did it, but really, that crap is hard!

P.S. If you are interested in skiing the NC mountains, it is not all bad. I would recommend Sugar Mountain though. Out of Sugar, Hawksnest, and Beech, my best experience has been at Sugar. I can’t speak for Appalachian Mountain though because I haven’t been to that one yet.


Mo said...

Hey Suz - it's is Brooklyn's friend Morgan.

Anyways, I totally understand how frustrating snowboarding is - especially in NC - BUT once you get the hang of it - it's SOO much fun. This summer you should try Wakeboarding (if you get the opportunity) it's really similar to snowboarding and it's a great way to practice in the water.

Patience is the key - I've been doing it for about 14 years and it's the best! Good luck and don't give up! :-)

Tom DeLonge said...

You bet it's hard. Need to do some stretching first. hehe.. It's hard for first timers of coarse.

Snowboarding is the best. Let's stop global warming to save this sport.
Gretchen Bleiler