Lessons from snowboarding

Attacking the hill

Late in January 2010 my daughter and I had the amazing opportunity (courtesy of my amazing wife) to learn the basics of snowboarding. Here is a list of things that our instructor, Sam (Samantha), taught us during our lesson:

  • most of your weight needs to be on the front foot (I’m goofy–my right foot is in front)
  • the boots need to be tight and you need to be fastened tightly to the board–this helps transfer movement from your body to the board
  • turning is done by leaning with front foot toward toe or heal and then let rear foot follow its lead
  • stopping is done by falling or turning until you are perpendicular to the hill
  • crouch down a bit and keep arms down
  • when falling backwards you need to just let yourself fall on your bum without putting out your arms (chance to hurt wrists)
  • when falling forwards you need to punch the snow so you don’t hurt your wrists
  • “Attack the hill.” This means that you need to keep the weight in your body on your front foot. Everything in your body makes you want to lean back and away from going down the hill. **THIS IS KEY** I was only able to start enjoying myself on the hill once I started doing this.
  • going down a hill is done by making large “S” curves by leaning toward toe or heal
  • getting up when on the ground is best done from your stomach–if on back, flip board over and then twist body over so you are on your stomach
  • moving around at the bottom of the hill is done by removing rear foot from board and scooting around–a bit awkward

I love the idea of “Attacking the Hill.” Isn’t this how we should view the uncomfortable areas of life? Embracing the challenge allows you to have more control of the challenge than resisting it. It can even be fun!  See you on the slopes.