Learning to Snowboard: Day 2: Out of the Nursery and in to the Fluff!


I’m not sure what is wrong with me. After our instructor, who it turns out is actually called ‘Charles’ expressly instructed us to get a good night’s sleep and stay off the alcohol, Christie and I stumbled in to bed at 4am after 4 hours in a hot tub and a shocking amount of mixed alcohol.

Anyway, not to be beaten by the lifestyle of our late teens (yes, I was drinking with Christie way back then), we had some caffeine and hit the slopes.

Warm Up

Before even strapping in, Charles instructed us to carry out a warm up exercise. We had to run and jump on to our boards, positioning one foot behind each binding, and slide across the snow. I wasn’t particularly enamored with partaking in the exercise, preferring to have both feet attached the the board, but I thought I’d quit being stroppy and give it a whirl. It hadn’t helped that Charles had stacked it whilst demonstrating the maneuver, but after a couple of minutes of us chaotically crashing into other people on the piste, Charles thankfully halted the exercise and directed us back to the nursery slope.

First Blue Run

A few trials runs down and Charles was ready to take us to our first proper blue run, via a load of fluffy snow. I’d love to say we nailed it, but well, there was yet more falling leaf and falling on arse! That’s fine, although I could still only get up by rolling rather inelegantly over on to my knees and pushing up on to my toe edge, so I was facing backwards down the mountain. Tricky! Then at the bottom of the powdery part, we had a go flat out forward in order to make it to the chair lift. I don’t think any of us made it and instead had to unclip our back binding and push ourselves along. I was not looking as cool as I was lead to believe I would becoming a boarder.

Chair Lifts

Along with skiers, chair lifts are the bane of a snowboarders life. I should be used to getting on them as a skier, but my first still whacked me in the back of my right calf, ultimately producing a rather impressive black bruise, but it’s the getting off that’s the harder part. A shallow gradient and less people on the lift makes it easier, but for the whole of today, I have not been able to master gracefully boarding off the lift and coming to a halt with ease. Nope. Disastrous heaps of Jo and board have laid struggling metres from the lift exit, whilst being shouted out by Charles to get up and desperately shuffling myself out of the way of other piste users alighting the lift. Another glamorous day in the life and times of Jo Darby.

Piste B

This afternoon we took it a little easier and simply stuck to blue runs. I felt like I was starting to get the hang of things a little more. I’m keen

This evening we’ve been a little more sensible and are in bed at about midnight. Guess tomorrow will be the test of whether or not this will aid our technique.

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