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To board….or not to board….?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've been a skier since about 10 years old, and although not a great one (as I haven't been on enough trips in the past 10 years) a trip to the snow dome 3 or 4 weeks ago with a few friends who go every year proved that I could stay upright, and keep up with them. That being said, I've always been tempted to the 'Dark Side' (Pun intended due to my name) so for christmas asked for snowboard lessons which was very generously provided by my girlfriend. She bought me the 'Learn snowboarding in a day' package for the Snozone in MK.

I had the lessons earlier today (or yesterday as the case may be due to my slow typing and procrastination) and it was absolutely awesome. We had a great instructor (Tim) who made it enjoyable and understandable and our group seemed to progress a hell of a lot faster than some of the others that we could see. Even doing 180's into turns within the first 2 hours.

The reason I joined this site is because I've really got the bug back for skiing (and now snowboarding) and have had a trip planned for a few months to go with my cousin and uncle to Vail this February, so wanted to browse the forums to get tips on equipment and technique etc. However from todays experience I'm now really torn as to whether or not I should rent out a board for a day, even with my very limited experience, or just stick to the ski's and what I truly know whilst out in Vail, as I've heard that they get a lot of 'Powder days' which by all accounts is awesome for boarders, but not much fun if it's being ruined with hundreds of back bottom shaped prints……..but what an experience to have if I do manage to link a few turns out there. I'm not sure that I'll get the opportunity in the next few years at least.

Another option is to see if I can get back to the dome a couple more times in the next 3 or four weeks in order to get a bit more experience.

I know that I'm posting this in the 'Snowboarding' side of the forums, but please try not to be tooooo biased towards boarding and remember that it's a long way to go, and costing me a lot of money, to sit around bruised taking in some nice views. That being said any advice is welcome.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I have alway been a boarder and know how much fun it is, so i would recomend renting a board!! however i do know how hard and frustrating it is learning, its very different when you get in the mountains to an indoor slope, under controlled conditions, with others at the same ability and an instructor.

If you ski first, then board, and spend all day falling over and going very slow, you might want to take the easy route to stick the skiis back on, so i recomend baording first and see how you get on.

You could even look at getting an instructor for some extra tuition on the mountain when your there.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I basically learned to ride in North America (other than a couple of rather dodgy lessons in Tamworth), and I'd heartily recommend getting some tuition while out there. US instructors really have teaching snowboarding dialed in. From my experience, groups above Beginner are normally small, maybe 3 or 4 people, so you'll get a lesson experience very close to private. Instructors have invariably asked the group what they want to do and will tailor the lesson accordingly.

You say you're going with your uncle and cousin, what level are they at and will they be skiing or snowboarding? I assume you'll want to ski/ride with them, so if they are proficient skiers, then maybe it would be better to get your ski legs back and spend time with them, rather than being a beginner/early intermediate snowboarder.

Anyway, welcome to SH and the DarkSide, help yourself to cookies.
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Cheers guys. The cousin and uncle are both skiers and I don't want to ruin their experience by forcing them to wait for me all the time. That being said I'd love to be able to say that I've been boarding in vail. I guess I'm going to have to weigh it all up whilst I'm out there.

From browsing some of these forum topics to listening to the instructor, the first thing I should invest in is a decent set of boots. I did this with skiing as well so it sounds like good advice as putting those rental ones on yesterday was just sick. Anyone got any recommendations on boots, where to try, and where to buy?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

The cousin and uncle are both skiers and I don't want to ruin their experience by forcing them to wait for me all the time.

Unless they are also beginner skiers they definitely won't want to wait for a boarder who's only done a day! Frustrating for you all. Experienced skiers and beginner boarders are really going to struggle to move around happily together. (Just as experienced boarders and beginner skiers would).

Maybe you could do boarding lessons, as suggested (essential!) for a couple of hours a day and then ski with them the rest of the day? You might ache less that way!
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Yeah that's not a bad idea. Just leave them to it for a couple of hours and meet up at lunchtime. The cousin is an experienced skier, but uncle has learnt about 25 years ago and not been since so he might be in the same boat as me. Unfortunately for him, he lives in Texas where there's not an abundance of places to practice.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

Maybe you could do boarding lessons, as suggested (essential!) for a couple of hours a day and then ski with them the rest of the day? You might ache less that way!

Seldom practical unless you can be absolutely sure that you will be returning to the chalet for lunch each day. Flogging backwards and forwards just to change kit could well be a massive pain.

I know I'm biased towards skiing, but I'd suggest you just make life easy for yourself and ski.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
We have the reverse issue in our group. My husband has only ever boarded and now fancies having a crack at skiing as 'it looks easier'. He will be in ski school every day and I am also going back to have a few ski lessons. We can store his board very close to the lifts so it should be a relatively quick changeover and then off to meet our crew for lunch and afternoon ride.

Whatever you do - take lessons. There is nothing worse than waiting around for beginners.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I gave up skiing a long time ago and concentrated my efforts on snowboarding. I've got a couple of friends who do both to a high standard, but by and large people that do both seem (probably due to time) only ever seem to reach an average skill level in both disciplines.

In my opinion it depends what your looking for, but personally i'd rather put most of my eggs in one basket and get as good as possible in one or the other.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
eddiethebus, i'd agree on the time front - I did two seasons so had time to pick it up and enjoy both. Would I have swapped if I only had 1 week per year? not sure...
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I think I'll try and get a couple more lessons in at MK between now and feb 20th when we leave, but I'm leaning towards sticking to what I know for now, and not spoiling an epic ski trip, and then over the next year getting as much practice as possible on the board and look to go to France with a board and fully embrace the dark side.

My legs are aching all over from yesterday's experience....someone please tell me that this eases up over time, and as the different muscles build up?!?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
lukeallington, Yep it does, except on long 'go straight' flats....

I am not a fan of endless lessons in a fridge - if you can I would suggest get a lesson or two in Vail, mix it up with skiing, enjoy the place!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Nadenoodlee wrote:
I am not a fan of endless lessons in a fridge - if you can I would suggest get a lesson or two in Vail, mix it up with skiing, enjoy the place!


Agree with this. The slope lengths indoors (at least in the UK, it's a bit different somewhere massive like Landgraaf or Dubai or Druskininkai) are too short to 'get into it'. Great for freestyle practice if the park features are set up, but not for getting into a nicely zoned rhythm. Even worse for boarding than for skiing in my view - on skis I feel you can benefit from short 'drills' more than on a board. Having to faff about unclipping your rear binding all the time is definitely part of it when the ratio of riding to drag lift is so bad. Lessons when out there definitely better VFM.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Just to be awkward, I'd disagree with the notion that short slopes aren't much cop for boarders. I spent all summer doing runs with tight turns, wide turns, and a variation of the two so I could ride the cruisey blues and their steep bits better come the winter. As soon as I got on the mountain I noticed the difference and was enjoying my riding immediately. Then again if you're a confident rider and skier, you probably don't need the practice to build the confidence to execute that kind of stuff on the hill anyway!

lukeallington, the muscular aches definitely do improve considerably with time. Unfortunately falling over never hurts less Wink
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I learned to ski 40 years ago. Swapped to boarding about 10 years ago, and haven't had the itch to switch back. In that 10 years I've always done a late booking and had good snow, ie well groomed fresh pistes and usually a good dump or two during the week so some good off piste too. This year the trip is being organized by someone else who seems set on 'somewhere in Austria on the first full week in Feb. With the overall snow conditions I've dug out the ski boots to give me the choice if I don't fancy the conditions for boarding.

lukeallington, go with an open mind, and make your choice on the spot. I'd say if you can get a day of cruising nice groomers before you get a powder day you'd enjoy the powder day more, and if it dumps remember "speed is your friend". Whatever enjoy.


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Mon 13-01-14 14:53; edited 1 time in total
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thanks Rogg, that's good advice. As is all of the above. I think it'll be a judgment call at the time. But I'm definitely enjoying both disciplines at the moment. I know I may not be able to master either if I keep both up, but it would be a shame to turn my back on skiing completely as it has always provided me with great times and memories, but I think I'll really try to focus on learning a new skill in boarding when I get back. I don't think I'll be allowed to get away with a full week of boarding out there as my cousin is really looking forward to skiing with me, as I am with him as this will be the first time we both go abroad together for any reason, let alone on a ski trip to an amazing destination.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

Flogging backwards and forwards just to change kit could well be a massive pain.

If you hire premium gear a ski shop will probably be happy to accommodate you, especially if it's not a super-busy period. Sounds like uncle could do with some lessons.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
pam w wrote:
Sounds like uncle could do with some lessons.


Hahaha I agree ......but he's a stubborn one is my uncle. He'll probably fall over a few times, get sick of it and sit in the bar and wait for us to come in.
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Hmm. Vail is all about the back bowls so you need to be at least non-groomed confident. Frontside is flattering but quite dull. Other factor is lots n lots of cattracks to get about so not the greatest experience for a novice boarder. However a day of boarding does break up the skiing muscles nicely.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Hi Luke, I was similar to you and learnt to ski first on school trips etc. and then haven't picked up a pair of ski's since. However, I did go and do a season in Whistler, where I met my boyfriend, who was a boarder. Being the dead impressive girl that I am, I chose to give boarding a go instead & I don't actually think I would go back! I've never had a professional lesson, just been taught by the boyfriend, saying that I did have a season, so I'd definitely suggest some proper tuition. However, I still think you should give it a go on your trip, even if it's just a lesson on the last day, so you've already had loads of fun skiing. IMO boarding is so much easier (not to learn the basics, but to be able to progress with). Plus is so much more comfortable to get around the resort and on and off the lifts than on ski's, no nearly taking someone out with your poles, or walking like you're wearing weird high heels! Either way, have a lovely trip Smile
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
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I think all skiers should try snowboarding and all snowboarders should try skiing at least once. Then we can stop the bickering. Generally accepted wisdom is that skis make more sense on piste and boards make more sense in deep powder. Of course you can have lots of fun on piste and in park on a snowboard, and you can ski powder as well, but I think most accept this as a general principle.
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