Jim Holman, Idaho Falls Ski Club Social Chair and a charter member of the ‘Grays on Trays’ movement, imparts his wisdom this week as the Old Snowboarding Guy (OSBG).
OSBG knows you have lots of questions, so let’s get started:
Dear OSBG: I’m a novice snowboarder and sometimes fall when I get off the lift. Any tips?
Dear Noob: You may be looking down as you exit the lift. This puts you out of alignment and off-balance, making you more likely to fall. Keep your head up and your eyes on the horizon while you feel for the stomp pad with your back foot; this will help keep you in balance. Or maybe spend less time in the Trap Bar.
Dear OSBG: Have you ever ridden at The Yellowstone Club?
Dear Wannabe: The Yellowstone Club is an exclusive private ski resort near Big Sky, Mont., for bazillionaires. In the immortal words of Groucho Marx: “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” I’ll stick to the ‘Gee, thank you very much.’ Unless they invite me.
Dear OSBG: What type of board do you recommend?
Dear Shopper: I haven’t the foggiest. I just go to Idaho Mountain Trading and buy whatever Cindy Napier tells me to buy. But seriously, you need a board appropriate for your height, weight, riding ability and check book; and make sure the bindings are properly adjusted for your individual stance. Trust the pros on this, not your buddy Kyle, no matter how cool he thinks he is.
Dear OSBG: I have been a life-long skier but now wish to move to the dark side. Is it easy to transition?
Dear Padawan: The only thing skiing and boarding have in common is that both require snow. For example, to turn your board you must initiate a subtle weight shift while torquing the nose of the board to enter a smooth carving turn. By contrast, in order to turn your skis you must … um … uh … well, I never learned how to turn my skis. That’s why I’m a snowboarder. Yeah baby! Invest in a lesson or two, money well spent. You will learn boarding faster than you learned to ski; with a few lessons and practice, you will master the mountain quicker than you can re-gift a Chia Pet.
Dear OSBG: Is there any downside to being a senior citizen snowboarder?
Dear Downer: I must occasionally deal with swooning admirers of the female persuasion:
Admirers: Isn’t snowboarding dangerous at your age, like, you could fall and break a hip?
Me: I’m a snowboarder. “Danger!” is my middle name.
Dave Barry said, “Snowboarding is an activity that is very popular with people who do not feel that regular skiing is lethal enough.” All snow sports carry an element of risk. Learn proper technique, stay in control, wear a helmet. And if you are about to crash real bad, pull yourself up INTO the helmet.
That’s it for this year kids. Mind your manners, call your mom. See you on the hill!
Ski Club news
Last chance to sign up for the Feb. 25 trip to Pomerelle is Feb. 19. … Last chance for the March 11 and 12 Targhee Instructional Weekend is March 6. … Visit the Idaho Falls Ski Club website (ifskiclub.com) for information and to sign up.