About two weeks ago Marina, Anna, Abdul, John, Jan and I drove out to Mt Brighton in Michigan. Actually it should not be called mountain, it is just a small trash hill. But the lift tickets and rentals there are cheap and no one needs a big mountain to learn skiing or snowboarding anyway.
Jan and John tried to teach us a little before our lesson started, but the sensation of having both your legs strapped together to one board was so new to us, that the results were rather limited. Nevertheless they successfully thought us how to ride the tow rope lift without falling down.
So professional help was needed to introduce us into the basics of snowboarding. After we learned how to properly fall without breaking our wrists we started skating with our boards only attached to one foot. So far everything was easy, but standing up on the board just keeping your equilibrium while looking down the hill proved to be really tricky. Especially since getting up is by far not as easy as it looks. Once standing getting down the hill is “pretty simple”: Just shift your weight to the front foot – my left – and the board should slowly turn and go downhill. So it did, but snowboarding is not as stable as skiing, one has to get used to of being in a constant state of unstable equilibrium, which was very confusing for everyone in the beginning. To turn you have to shift your weight to the front foot again and then kick the board around with your rear foot to steer it in the desired direction. It sounds far simples than it is, as shifting your weight to the front accelerates you which is the opposite of what you are trying to do when making a turn. So one could argue why you just don’t go straight down? It’s impossible, you always have to be boarding in slight curves to stay in somewhat of control over your board.
The attached pictures give a good impression of our progress…