Geeeeeeees! Snowboarding can't be that hard!

So, here I was, winter of 2012/2013, 52 years old, hadn't skied in over 15-20 years, that I could remember anyway, and figured it was about time I started again, cause what is life if you're not having fun? I found, so stuff was bought and plans were made.  It's all kind of fuzzy at this point, cause it's almost a year later, but let's try to piece it together.

Apparently I got this brilliant idea somewhere in January of 2013, cause my first records indicate I was up at SkiBrule, February 5th and 6th.  Why February? I guess cause we didn't really get much snow early in the winter.  So, loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly... ah... no... drove up to SkiBrule
Snowstorm on the way to Michigan
Yes, the weather was promising for a ski excursion... :)  And after a six hour drive... I drove by Brule when I got there... yes!  Well, ok, so it's not Colorado, but it looked good!

SkiBrule Hill

After stopping at the hill, I continued on to Iron River, which is about 5-10 minutes from Brule.  I was staying at the Lakeshore Motel, on Ice Lake.

The next day I got myself back to Brule, and needless to say I still remembered how to ski and had a blast for two days.
Brull Hill Top

For some reason I had also grown a beard that winter, which I hadn't done for years, but it came in handy.

On the third day I figured as long as I'm up here, why not take the extra hour drive over to Indianhead? Hadn't been there for probably 30 years, when I was there with some college friends... wow.  

The snow was pretty good.  Some icy spots on the open runs... but going up on the lift a couple times I saw a guy go off to the side.  It turned out to be closed run.  I followed him and turns out you could ski almost all the way down, in some lightly tracked powder, and then cut back over through the trees to get to the lift...  Nice.

I drove back to my motel, slept the night, and drove back home.  

So now, my 17 year old daughter gets the idea that I need to take her snowboarding.  Sure, why not, I'll go skiing, her and the friend can rent some boards, and we'll have a great time... Right, this is where it starts getting funny... You want to laugh?  Take two teenage girls who don't know what they're doing on a board, boarding... even on the bunny hill they couldn't stay off their butts.  Couldn't keep their pants up either... Hah! Here they are at Wilmot Mountain... Right... is that some Yoga before the official attempts...

This went on for a while... actually there was more breaks and eating then there was boarding... while I skied.  Then apparently they had if figured out and were ready for up the chairlift and down the easy hill... Of course they didn't make it off the chairlift before falling, and let's just say it took a while for them to make it down the hill. Did I mention it was a beautiful sunny day, February 9th.

And I do mean a while... zzzzzzzzzzz... of course the whole time I'm trying to give them some pointers, cause I watched a YouTube video on how to snowboard.  Actually I think I got Krystal to watch it, but it didn't do much good... or maybe that came later... anyway...  I'm thinking to myself, it can't be that hard...

Needless to say, they were done before I was... but I couldn't get it out of my head that it just can't be that hard.  There was a lot of people on snowboards sitting around the hill... yes, apparently that's what snowboarders do... sit in the snow... because apparently it's impossible to put your board on while you're standing, and/or stay in one spot...  

I came back to Wilmot on the 17th.  While there, I talked to a couple boarders on the chairlift, both of which had been skiers, and said they would probably never go back to skiing... Hmmmmm... really?  It looked like fun... and it can't be as hard as the girls made it look... so...

February 24th rolled around and I was back at Wilmot. I brought my skis, but here I was, staring down a rental board on the bunny hill... This should be good huh?

So, how was I going to teach myself to snowboard?  I came prepared.  I did my research...  I watched this video on YouTube ; How to Snowboard, the Definitive Guide.  I watched it again and again, and I took notes.  

You think I'm joking?  Some 30+ years ago I leaned how to ski by reading a book and practicing what I read.  I perfected my motorcycle riding by reading books and practicing what I read.  I saw snowboarding as no different.  So, I watched that video, I took notes, and I went and practiced.  The video is old as dirt, but it covers the main points of what you need to start riding a board.  It's that simple... yeah there are a dozens other boarding videos on YouTube, and books you can get, etc... but if you can do what's in that video, you are there.

How did I do?  Well, I spent the whole day going down and walking up that bunny hill (tow rope lines were too long) .  Oh, and I slid and slipped and fell a LOT.  All day!  I started out with a jacket and helmet, but I took those off, cause it was warm in the sun, and I was working hard and sweating my butt off.  I paused occasionally to have some water, mixed fruit/nuts, and to contemplate if I was crazy or what for even attempting this... And I definitely considered walking away a couple times...

Let me say what my girlfriend said recently when she went boarding for the first time.  Nothing can prepare you for this, it is challenging, it is humbling... Yup, that about sums it up... Doesn't matter if you water ski, roller blade, skateboard, surfboard... whatever... you're going to be falling all over the place until you figure it out.  Get comfortable with that idea before you do anything else.

But, for me, by the end of the day, things started to click a bit, and I got my butt up on the chairlift... promptly fell while getting off the chairlift, picked myself up, and I made it down the easy hill.  Oh Yeah!

I think that same week I went over to Play it Again Sports, bought a used board on clearance, went back to to buy some boots, and I was hooked... Old Man Snowboarding!