This was news to me but January is “National Learn a Snowsports Month.” It is true, there are over 20 states offering great ways to introduce a person to skiing or riding for the first time. Most of them, at least in New England are offering something for FREE.
Take advantage of some of these deals. Introduce a person in your life to a new relationship with the snow. They will thank you, and you will have someone to share the experiences with in the future.
Actually, they may not thank you. Here are a few things you DO NOT want to do with a first timer…
• Teach them yourself – no matter who you are the relationship you have with that person you are attempting to teach will most likely suffer irreparable damage.
• Bring them on a Bad Day – conditions (esp. snow surfaces) should be good for a first timer or beginner. If it is subzero, windy, or bad visibility you are best to pick another day.
• Put them in an uncomfortable situation – you are used to your own zone on the mountains. The other person has no sense of theirs yet. Be kind.
• Rush them – It is unreasonable to expect anyone to spring out of the gate and carve perfect turns. The equipment and movements involved with skiing can be cumbersome and awkward.
• Stare at them – Being watched to extent, even without feedback, will freak most people out. This does not apply to children.
With that in mind, do not be afraid to introduce skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, show shoeing or any outdoor winter activity you enjoy to a friend or family member right now.
Here is what some the New England ski areas and association are doing to help.
You have to act now on this one! Resorts in the state of Vermont are offering FREE lessons, rentals and limited-lift tickets from January 4-11, 2009.
This is good for either Skiing or Snowboarding. Load up the car and brings as many people as you like. All first timers age six and up can participate. This deal is good until this Sunday (01/11/09). Reservation required 48 hours in advance, use above link.
Ski New Hampshire
Relax a little bit. In New Hampshire for all of January many (not all) ski areas will offer FREE or Discounted (better than full price) learning packages. Most of these learn to ski, snowboard, and cross-country deals include lift ticket or trail pass, rental equipment, and a lesson.
Use the above link and look around for a match (resort and activity) that suite your interests and those of your first timer friend. Warning – you will need to scroll down a little bit, but the info is there.
There are some deals out there but not as many areas offering them in Maine. Using the above link will get you several options (look for the italics) along the same theme as the states above.
The good news is that two of the more popular areas in the state are going with a good weekend deal for the entire season, not just the month of January. The “First Experience” package and has a different twist; the first timer needs to sign up for a clinic ($80). For brining them, YOU can get a FREE lift ticket and a group clinic to work on your own skills. Only applicable to ages 15 and over.
Hit these links or call for more details: Sunday River (800-824-2SKI) or Sugarloaf (800-THE-LOAF).
There is snow in the forecast!