Saturday, March 04, 2006

Snowboarding Lessons

As I mentioned a little over a week ago, I went snowboarding in Utah. I stayed with my friend, Chris, and his wife during my visit.

I snowboarded for six straight days at the Brighton resort. It was my first time, so I took lessons the first day. The instructors taught me the basics and, by the end of the day, I was able to do 'S turns'. An S turn is where you go down the hill, turn in an arc towards one side, then go down the hill and turn in an arc towards the other side. It keeps your speed under control.

Once I knew how to do S turns, I felt it was time to practice rather than take more lessons. So the next five days I spent perfecting my S turns, while progressively subjecting myself to more difficult courses (blues and even some segments of blacks).

For anyone, including experienced skiers who haven't snowboarded, I have the following observations:
  1. Take lessons. Practice is very important, but you have to know what to practice.
  2. The frustration of the first day or two learning to snowboard is well worth it. Be prepared for a lot of falling down and a lot of minor aches and pains.
  3. Don't skimp out on the protective gear. I fully decked myself out with a helment, wrist guards, knee and elbow pads, and goggles.
  4. Keep your speed under control. Snowboarding has a reputation for being a dangerous sport, but it doesn't seem all that risky to me if you protect yourself and don't go too fast.
Between snowboarding and visiting my friend Chris, I couldn't have asked for a better trip.

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