Southerner Takes the Slopes: Too Cool for School
Published Date: 03/31/2021
Read Time: 3 Minutes
Being from North Texas, Lindsey never got to experience real snow. Now she's documenting her experience learning to snowboard through the Mountain School program.
If you asked me a year ago if I would be riding down Regulator Johnson or surfing through Hot Foot Gully, I would’ve laughed. There was no way that I, a ballerina from Texas, would be ripping down advanced terrain, going off-piste or attempting to turn through moguls. I was convinced I’d be a green and blue terrain girl for life.
Luckily, the incredibly patient and persistent encouragements from my Mountain School instructors paved the way for me to feel more confident while riding. They also showed me some gnarly runs that are often overlooked by the general public. Perks of taking a lesson with the best in the biz. Which is why I’m so glad I continued to take lessons even as an intermediate rider that knows how to navigate the mountain.
Tailored to You
Most people think that taking a Mountain School lesson means that you will only learn certain skills in each level. This is a common misconception that I also fell for. Once you move past the beginner terrain, your level placement has less to do with learning certain skills and more to do with mastering techniques and adapting them to your individual riding. Always fall in moguls? Can’t find your edge while carving? Want to explore riding through trees or steep terrain? Let your instructor know that’s something you want to work on before the lesson. Advanced lessons are all about customizing the experience to you and your needs.
The Devil is in the Details
Do you notice that you perform the same maneuvers every time you are on the mountain? It might be time for a lesson. There is no shame in plateauing. Everyone reaches a point where they fall on the same steep run and avoid exploring difficult terrain. Or, maybe you aren’t improving as fast as you would like. An expert instructor can show you simple tips that results in huge improvements in your riding that will help you out of your slump. A small detail like the timing of executing the different parts of a turn or adjusting your weight distribution can make a huge impact on the level of terrain you can ride.
Your Mountain School instructor can also help determine if the gear you have is best suited for your new skills. Instructors are a plethora of set-up knowledge, meaning they can spot if your bindings should be adjusted to a new angle, how to choose the best wax for different conditions and if it’s time to upgrade your board.
Discover the Steeps & Deeps
If you are anything like me, you have a poor sense of direction and get lost easily. On a big mountain like Snowbird, it can be intimidating to seek out new terrain alone. The best part of taking an advanced lesson is finding secret stashes, unique terrain and hidden runs because who knows the mountain better than the people who ride it every day? During my lessons, I’ve noticed that I ride more terrain, track more vertical feet and explore more difficult runs than I would on my own. Every lesson is a new adventure and area waiting to be discovered.
While you may think you are too cool for school, there is always an opportunity to improve your shredding. If that alone doesn’t convince you, maybe priority lift-line privileges will. Either way, taking an advanced lesson will improve your riding confidence so much that you’ll wish you would’ve signed up sooner.
About the Author
Once an aspiring prima ballerina, Lindsey Steed retired her pointe shoes to pursue a "normal" lifestyle including shredding the Bird. She now utilizes her creativity and discipline as a marketing professional, freelance writer and proofreader extraordinaire. You can often find her at a hot yoga studio, baking sourdough bread or cuddling her dog Johnny Cash.