Yesterday I got my board waxed, and today I headed to the bottom of Whistler Mountain for my first snowboard lesson. I’m in a large staff group, and our teacher is an older gentleman. He’s nice enough, but very into yoga and the spiritual aspects of snowboarding, and it’s a bit much for me to take.
We start on the bottom of the hill so we can learn how to move the board without removing it entirely, which is one of the most frustrating things I’ve ever had to do. It’s such an awkward position, you’re foot is begging to turn around, and you’re struggling with the balance the whole time. No clue how I’ll ever master this.
Once everyone at least has the theory down, we head up the chairlift to the training area, and I get my first attempt at running the tube tunnel to the shorter training area. There’s more powder here, and less people, so it’s a good place to work on the basics.
I was hoping my experience in wakeboarding would give me some advantage, but as it turns out, it’s more of a hindrance. For snowboarding, most of your weight needs to be on your front foot, whereas with wakeboarding and martial arts, most of the weight stays on the back. The only times that are similar are when you’re turning, then your weight gets thrown back on your heels…unless you’re doing a toe turn, which I cannot wrap my head around just yet.
Eventually we head up to the main training area, which is a lot more compacted. For all people warn about powder snow, the compacted is a lot more dangerous – you can go faster, and if you come onto it after powder, it’ll catch you off guard. More people get injured on the ‘safe’ slopes than you’d think because of it.