Today, I hopped on a snowboard for the very first time. After getting some help strapping in and pushing myself across the snow for half an hour, I was picked up by a` lift and face planted as soon as we arrived at the top. This was Mount Pico’s “bunny slope” with a distance of 500 feet and an elevation of 78 feet. It doesn’t sound like much but, for a non snowboarder…wait, let me restart….for a boy from Florida who has never seen snow before, this was quite a treat and it was intimidating that, just a month ago I had never seen snow and now I was about to push off on 18 inches thick snow and bullet down a hill without breaking an ankle.
I didn’t break any ankles.
I called Dad before renting gear and he said, “you’re gonna do great. You’ve surfed all of your life and you’ve trained all of your life with me to keep your ass on the ground and dig into the ground with your feet. Just think of it as Matt or Dan trying to push you over in Aikido class. You can hold three guys off from pushing you over…this is nothing.”
He was right.
I fell a dozen times but, after only 5 tries down the bunny slope, I didn’t fall and made it all of the way down. Stopping was another thing and, for now I can slow down a tad with my board but the ultimate braking method for me is to fall right on my ass and taste the delicious snowy powder as it gets jettisoned into my beard and face.
Elizabeth had her fancy gear and her ultra cool snow clothes that were broken in after two seasons of riding. I had my brand new, unused gear and a stupid smile on my face cause, “there’s so much snow!!!!!!”
Between 1 and 4 PM, I rode down 8 times, fell for the first 5 and on the last one, my knees, calves and ass were so sore that I had issues stabilizing the board. I did snowboard. I did survive and I did get my money worth. I’m in Florida next week but my snowboarding buddy has promised we’re going to do every Sunday until the season ends. I want to get my money worth on this gear and I want to get so good that a snowboard becomes a second pair of feet like it was on skates or my surfboard.
As a kid, I grew up surfing and in-line skating. Skaters got a lot of shit from skateboarders ( have no idea why) but I wasn’t an “aggressive in-liner”. I didn’t spend all day at the skate park (only part of the day) and instead opted for long distance skating. This involved 5-20 mile skating races with myself trying to get the best time. Of course, if the weather was nice, you’d see me out at the beach instead.
Now that I’m living in New Hampshire, it looks like snowboarding will be my new thing. There aren’t many waves around here. If I’m not snowboarding, I’ll be sledding in my back yard and enjoying the snow for as long as possible.
Elizabeth did a great job teaching me and I had an incredible day that started with delicious banana pancakes and bacon and ended with writing this blog post and editing photos. I ate a lot of powder but it was damn delicious! Happy Sunday!