So after the mild success of yesterday I came home and watched some instructional videos on how to snowboard on youtube:
And while the first few of them are a bit tedious I ended up watching four of them, up to the video on how to turn and figured I would take these tips to the hill today and see how well I could do. Amber and I texted back and fourth about a ski hill called Brimacomb and they had a deal on for today being New Years and so at 10:30 I set out for the resort and to try out my first day actually snowboarding on a real hill, like with chair lifts and stuff.
It turns out the forecast for today was rainy and when I arrived at Brimacomb they were closed, so I looked up Devil’s Elbow on my phone and set off for there. It is a little closer to where I live so that was nice and it turned out to be a bit cheaper, which was also nice.
I got my gear on in the car mostly and then set off to get my lift ticket and then to the beginner and bunny hill. I fell a lot on my first couple runs, but by the fifth or sixth time I was able to get to the bottom without falling over and a few nice stops and turns. By this time the weather had turns a bit and it was raining pretty consistently and sometimes at a downpour! I tired the bunny hill a few times after that and did ok. It had been about an hour or so by then and I took a break to have some lunch and a drink.
I headed back out to the hill and decided I should do some more work on my turning. It was all well and good that I could get down the hill, but it would be nice to steer a bit more and stop on purpose without falling during or after the stop. I did a few slow but successful runs with some turns in them but I think the weather conditions were making some of my learning a bit more difficult than it had to be. It was quite difficult to get the toe side of the board to bite into the snow to turn to my left (usually – I only went goofy foot a few times).
After those few successful runs I thought I’d get up a bit of speed and it was then that I wiped out! I don’t recall what happened exactly but somehow my heel side of the board got pointed down the hill and then I dug that in way to hard and WHAM! I cranked my neck and snapped my head back during the fall, but after a minute or so to get on my feet again I decided I was alright and continued on. It was then I decided that I was done with this training hill and would do the bunny hill exclusively. It was a good decision and after a few runs I was doing everything I wanted to accomplish today: stops and turns mostly, the ability to get all the way down the hill without falling even during the final stop.
It turns out that at the bottom of the bunny hill they have a ‘feature’ like a rail to do a few small tricks on and of course I had to do that. So I watched a kid get a lesson on the thing and saw him and the instructor do 50/50’s on it. I was going to do the same and on my next run I steered toward the thing, slowed down and do a perfect (if a little bit slow) 50/50! Awesome.
On a scale of ten the ratings for today are:
Get down the hill: 8 A few minor falls on some runs and only a couple perfect ones.
Figure out how to turn: 6.5 I can turn heel side pretty good, but I have trouble with toe side still.
Figure out how to stop: 7.5 I can stop with good consistency and fair stability, it could use some work though.
Avoid serious injury: 8.5 I only had one pretty spectacular wipeout, if I had the awareness during it I would have shouted “Yard Sale!!”
Possibility of concussion: 1 I bashed my head pretty good, and have a small headache, but my neck hurts more than my head does
Fun: 7.5 It was rainy and that hindered my learning a bit I think as it make the conditions less than idea – my aunt confirmed this suspicion when I saw her after. It would also be way more fun to go with someone to share excitement and take pictures.
Progress toward epic rider: 2.5 Stopping and turning are key elements, three completed 50/50s is non too shabby either.