By: Keith Liggett
So the other day, the first day the mountain was open, I skied out of the bottom of Lizard Bowl onto Lower Lizard and happened upon a distressed couple. He’s on a board. She’s on rental skis. He’s clearly experienced. Just as clear, this is her first day on skis.
He’s doing the board sideslip down the hill. She’s flailing out of control from one crash and burn to the next.
Watching, I could tell this was going nowhere fast. Ski industry facts indicate that 90% of the people that first try skiing never go back. She was on her way to being part of that 90%.
Look how I bring my ski across the hill. It slows me down.’ I executed a couple of short round gliding wedges down toward her. “Just make one turn and stop.”
She got up, dusted herself off and tried one. She turned. She stopped. It worked. Her boyfriend looked disgusted. She looked like she might become part of the 10% that come back.
“Now another.” Again, it worked. She stopped.
“Now two and stop.” I d
There used to be only one rule in learning to ski. I realized that morning, Now, there are two.
The First Rule.
Never let the person you are dating, living with, married to or other wise attached to, teach you to ski (or board).
The Second Rule may actually be a corollary, but I’ll upgrade it the status of a rule. Equally simple, but usually completely misunderstood by those within the matrix of the involvement.
Never let a snowboarder (even if they are not the person you are dating, living with, married to or other wise attached to) teach you to ski. And visa versa.
Granted, both skiing and boarding are sliding down the hill. That’s about it for the connection. In the application of an ability to maintain a sliding balance, they are completely different animals. To start with, in skiing your feet are independent. On a snowboard, you are hobbled to the board. If you are used to surfing or skateboarding, that’s fine. That’s a special few. Most folks walk, run and ride with independent feet. Skiing you face down the hill. On a snowboard you face your toes, put your arms out and ride. Really, that’s all you can do.
The best example I can think of would be a bicycle and a unicycle. They both have wheels. You peddle them. But, if you ever tried to ride a unicycle, you know that someone on a bike will be useless teaching you to ride a unicycle.
So remember Rule One and Two. Go find someone you trust and trained to teach. Other than that, it makes no difference if you pick up a board or skis, as long as they ride the same.