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Intro To…Skiing October 27, 2012

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Health and Fitness, How To, Intro To, Sports.
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Intro To…

So the summer’s over. I know that many of you feel like it’s time to shut down for the next 6 months but for many people (and in the spirit of full disclosure, people like ME) the summer is just a time to recover and get back in shape for next winter. It’s ski-season! For some people out there, skiing is dangerous, or bougie, or cold, or you just don’t get why you’d want to go zipping down a frozen hill on a thin plank jumping in and out of trees. To people like me, we watch snowboard videos in the middle of July and get butterflies in our stomachs, but if you’ve never been before, the whole idea might be a bit daunting. Well that’s what I’m here for. I’ll give you the breakdown on what you need to do to make this experience as good as possible.

Let me start here: you can die skiing or snowboarding. You likely won’t, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, and even a lot of times when you do, you can get seriously hurt partaking in these activities. But, if you prepare in advance, you can end up having one of the most enjoyable times of your life. Let’s start with your gear. It’s snow. It’s winter. You will fall. This means you should cover yourself from neck to ankle in waterproof gear and it should be warm. Ski gear can be EXTREMELY expensive, so don’t be afraid to borrow from a friend. If this is your first time, there’s no reason to go spend $500 on a new coat or $300 on some snow pants. In addition, if you live in a place like NY, Boston or Philly, you should already have a waterproof winter coat, so just use that. If you don’t have any friends with gear, you should definitely buy some snow pants. You will fall. A lot. There is nothing worse than spending the day in some cold, wet gear. Go online, or to Marshalls, and pick up some cheap pants. Trust me, it’s worth it. While you’re there, don’t forget gloves. Make sure to get yourself some good, waterproof gloves. As many times as your butt will be on the ground, that’s how many times you’ll have to pick yourself up. Cold, wet hands will end up indoors, it’s that simple. Long wool socks will help, though they aren’t required, add some long johns if you have them. Next, time to protect that noggin. I suggest a helmet. They make them specifically for winter sports and I wouldn’t suggest going without one, though I skied and snowboarded for over 20 years without one (many places also allow you to rent a helmet, but that kinda skeeves me a bit). Lastly, get some goggles. Nothing crazy, don’t spend more than $50 if you don’t want, and now you’re good with your gear. If it’s really cold, bring a scarf, but remember that you can get some pretty good gear, and at good prices sometimes, at the mountain’s ski shop. It is not necessary to buy your skis, and you shouldn’t, just rent when you get there.

For most people, skiing and snowboarding is not easy. My dad has been skiing his whole life but his first time snowboarding he was on his butt the whole day. Get Lessons! The first half of your day should be spent in lessons and the second half with your buddies. It sounds lame, but you’ll be so much happier. It will also allow the other people in your group to have fun by themselves for a bit. Skiing and snowboarding is much more fun with people of a similar ability level so they’ll want some time alone. But they’ll also want to spend time with you, as that’s the whole purpose, so if you can spend some time honing your skill it will be that much more enjoyable. This being said, it’d be best if you’re not the only beginner. But if you are, just keep working and you’ll be shredding with the rest of us before you know it. Most importantly, don’t give up. There’s a reason why those of us in the know are addicted…ITS AMAZING! But you have to get past the first few days before you can truly appreciate it. Once you do, though, don’t say I didn’t warn you, you’ll never want to leave the mountain.

– Pascal

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