A Snowboarder Learns to Ski

There is an on-going conversation in my office here at Heavenly over what’s better, skiing or snowboarding.  I remain open-minded about it since I’ve never skied, I totally defend my personal passion for snowboarding.

I love a good argument as much as the next guy, but I needed some evidence to back up my claims that snowboarding is the better of the two disciplines.  So, yesterday, I set out to do some hard research.

Even though I knew that my fine skills as a ripping snowboarder would make picking up skiing a piece of cake (for the record, I have NEVER skied in my life), I booked myself into a group lesson through the Heavenly Ski & Ride School… wanted to make sure I had the basics down solid before shredding the fresh 6-8 inches we got last night.

I showed up at 9am and went through the incredibly easy and smooth process of checking in and getting my rental equipment. Everyone was super friendly along the way, regardless of which side of the fence they stood on with regard to skiing or snowboarding.  Some said skiing would change my life.  Others said “Why bother?” or “Don’t go to the Dark Side!”.

My first impression of skiing, as I made my way up to the Magic Carpet with my gear is that ski gear is a bit more complex than snowboarding gear.  Snowboarders should give skiers props simply for managing four separate pieces of equipment in their hands and raptor-stance boots on!

I met my instructor, Steve, and my fellow classmates, Paula, Christina, and Julie at the Magic Carpet. We were a little nervous, but all of us were eager to get started. Fortunately, our instructor likes to get students on the slope as quickly as possible, so we didn’t have to wait long.  After some instructions on the basics, we were doing our first side-step up the hill and soon after…riding the carpet!

I was humbled to find out that I didn’t pick up skiing as quickly as I thought I would… you can see by the video below that my first turns were anything but epic! Skiing is a completely different function than snowboarding.

But by noon, I was owning Patsy’s and Maggie’s!  It all started to come together as far as my turns were concerned, but I now understand why so many beginning skiers… and riders… use up an entire trail!

So, did it change my life? Will I never go back to snowboarding? Not likely… – you see, snowboarding is what sparked my love of snow, what made me give up my life-as-I-knew-it in Los Angeles to move the mountain town of South Lake Tahoe.  It’s what started my fever for activity, what made me decide to keep it fresh, keep it real, and BE OUTSIDE!   But I certainly see why there are passionate advocates on both sides of this conversation.

I think the only difference now is that I have a new sport I’d like to master and a compassion for beginners of both mediums.  I’ve only been riding for about 5 years, but I had already forgotten what it’s like to rocket down a hill and pray that the people around me have the skills to dodge my flailing body.

Be gentle with the newbies of both disciplines, Friends, and forever and always be a disciple of shredding snow … regardless of what’s on your feet!

Powder to the People,

Megan Hammitt ~ Snow Reporter



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