My six year-old has been a snowboarding fan for the past three years. He loves watching videos and using the plastic snowboard he’s had for the past few years. We got him a “real” board, boots, bindings and helmet for his birthday and he’s started lessons now.
Someone was going to need to drive him and I figured I might as well give it a try. I’ve never skied in my life and certainly never snowboarded so I needed to figure out how the whole thing worked. We took a lesson together on January 4th and I was really starting to get the hang of the toe-side and heel-side stuff — even linked a few turns. I also beat the hell out of myself when that front edge dug in a few times.
Soreness aside, I now knew the basics of snowboarding and more importantly, knew my way around the hill and how most everything worked. I’d used the “magic carpet” on the bunny hill and the rope on the 2nd hill. The chairlifts scared me and I figured it’d be a while before I got on them. Field, was carving up the bunny hill — a bit scared of the rope. He’s got excellent balance, but he’d rather bomb the hill than turn — or stop.
He took his second lesson tonight. It was cold (5 degrees Fahrenheitish). While he was taking his lesson I got warmed up and tried to get used to my new board. Yep. One time out and I was fully outfitted. Like hell I’m paying $25 for a beat up board and boots that others wear. I got a good beginners board (Atomic PIQ) and a pair of Burton Step-In boots/bindings. Total? $160. It’ll last me through the learning stages and since I no longer need to rent a quick 3 hours in the morning during the week will only set me back $10. When I “outgrow” the board, I’ll be able to get close to what I paid for it. This is the way I roll.
Anyway, back to the hill. It had been almost a month, so it took me a half-hour to get the groove back, but then it did come back and I was able to start linking turns, stop, ride some switch (not by design at first) and even mix in an ollie or two. It felt great.
I decided to check out the chair lift.
No problem. I rode up with a nice, young Japanese tourist on skis for the first time. The top came and the dismount went OK. No one died. So now what? I picked what looked lie the easiest, widest hill and gave it a try. I wiped out pretty good, but picked myself back up and finished the winding run with only one more wipeout.
I hit the lift again and the second time down was like magic. I nailed it. It felt completely natural. I barely had to think giving me the time to really appreciate it. I started laughing, I couldn’t help it. It was truly euphoric. I couldn’t get enough. I did a few more runs before Field’s lesson was over. He saw me on the lift and gave me a thumbs up.
I love to be able to share in this with him. I can’t wait until he can join me on the lift. Oh, and I built Ang a snowboard package too. Next up? Lessons for her — and then a trip out West in the spring?