Have you always wanted to try snowboarding, but were afraid to? Here's your chance, as Dec. 19 is World Snowboard Day, and resorts far and wide are offering free lessons, demos, and rentals.
So get off the couch, but bring one of the cushions to strap to your backside, and go learn to ride. For a fad that many said wouldn't last, one-plankers appear here to stay and you can get on board the movement. When my brother started snowboarding back in the early 80's, there was downright disdain for riding amongst some New England downhillers. Nicknames like knuckle-dragger knocked the new sideways sliders. Look how far the sport has come. It's time to celebrate on a worldwide level. Check out the website, www.world-snowboard-day.com to find out which resorts are participating, which, of course, does not include Mad River Glen - the one New England resort still banning boards.
Sunday River is offering free snowboard rentals. Killington will have free learn-to-ride lessons, Mount Snow and Blue Hills are offering discounts, demos, and fun events as well on Sunday.
But while I am a proponent of World Snowboard Day, I am not a participant. I tried snowboarding once. Falling into my first mackerel smack, I remembered that I need both wrists to write my column. But I love to watch a proficient snowboarder, like my brother, carve one perfect arc after another or glide through billowing snow like a surfer on a wave. I also love the energy that snowboarding has brought to the sport of skiing in the last two decades. We have shaped skis, terrain parks, and freaky fun clothing in every color of the rainbow all thanks to the free riding movement. So cheers to snowboarding.
Photo by Greg Burke
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.