Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Star Pupil

Last Spring, I picked up all the latest snowboarding gear. Boots, bindings and a really sweet Burton Supermodel board. Fearing injury to my glass shoulders, I put in exactly one run on it in 2007 before deciding to "take lessons next year".

Well the ski season has damn near gone, and I had still not taken any of my 4 lessons I picked up before the season. I did put in some runs on the kiddy slope while Kade & Barry grabbed some lunch, but not sure those really count.

Not really wanting to get up at 6 a.m. and drive up to Winter Park solo today, I debated last night as to what I was going to do. Seeing as there were 8 days in the ski season left, I decided to just get up and go. So I did.

I enrolled in a 2.5 hour lesson, and then talked with the instructor about my "level" of boarding. I can get on/off the lift, and can get down the hills but there isn't going to be anyone wanting to emulate my technique. Rather than teach myself and deal with less than perfect form like I did with skiing, I wanted to get some professional help.

So as 9:15 rolled around, the class formed and off we went. Oddly enough, despite skiing WP probably at least 100 times in my life, we went to a chair area that I had never been to before. The instructor did some basic overview teaching stuff, then observed as we made our way down the mountain. After a bit of instruction, I was finally getting the toe edge down and starting to link turns.

The more runs we did, the more comfortable I got with speed and linking turns. I was starting to feel relaxed, and I was starting to have long wait times waiting on the rest of my class as I was easily the first one down. I had established myself as the star pupil, and the instructor was telling me that she would certainly recommend me trying some more challenging terrain but the rest of the class wasn't ready. We kept pounding out runs, then took a route down as the lesson closed.

Yep I totally dominated the entire class.

The fine print? The class was 2 of us, and the other was a girl who was not picking up on it real quickly. So while being the best in a 2 person class is kind of like being "the tallest midget" (quoting Leatherheads which we saw this weekend), I did learn a lot and got better quickly. I'm definitely going to get in at least one more lesson, if not two and will probably start out on the board next year. Hopefully with some more runs, I'll get up to speed on the board and be a dual threat, literally as I am a bit dangerous coming down the mountain....

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