I was a downhill skier for many years. I wasn’t great but I did pretty well. I could go fast. I could do some jumps. Not into tricks or racing but I enjoyed myself quite a bit. And then my knees started objecting to the whole skiing thing. So I stopped. Then at some point my son convinced me to try snowboarding. And I did.
It’s fun and my knees do not object nearly as much. I’m a very poor snowboarder. No jumping. No tricks. Not very fast. And don’t even talk to me about Black Diamond trails. My son taught me on a hill around Lake Tahoe. Highly recommended as the snow is nice and soft especially compared to east coast snow. Oh trust me there is a difference.
That first week I kept running into a barrel holding a sign that asked people to move past the sign before stopping. I hit it so many times (turning was an issue) that one time the guy working the lift ran out and moved it out of the way when he saw me coming. He did it with a smile though.
As I learned (and continue to learn) have realized that the snowboarding culture is very different from the skiing culture. The snowboarding culture is more relaxed. Maybe it is be cause snowboarders can easily stop on the side of the hill, sit down and chat for a while. Once one gets skies on there is pretty much no sitting except on the lift. But snowboarders can sit. At my age I sit a lot.
The wardrobes are different as well. Snowboarding clothing is looser and less formal. Ski wear may be sexier with formfitting outfits that don’t catch the wind but I don’t do sexy.
Now I do miss skiing. I miss the speed and control that were second nature to me on skies but which I have never mastered on a snowboard. I keep thinking maybe I’ll try it again. I want to ski jump for example. I’m never going to try something like that on a snowboard. Big air and snowboards are not something that is likely to go together for me no matter how cool it looks when Shawn White does it.
I’ve been watching the winter Olympics and the snowboarders just seem like such cool people. They would be fun to hang out with. Probably the skiers would as well but they (the skiers) seem more intense (Bode Miller being a possible exception) and I don’t need intense in my life. The snowboarders just seem so full of joy doing what they do – win or lose! I like that.
Joy is what I am looking for in a sport. I have found some of it in snowboarding and so I’ll keep doing it.