Saturday, January 8, 2011
The Bunny Hill of DOOM
Do not underestimate the danger of a bunny, or a bunny hill.
I went snowboarding with some pals today at "Nashoba Valley", a small ski resort near Boston. Since we were all newbies or nearly-newbies we stayed on the "bunny hill". A bunny hill is a small hill with a gentle incline for beginner skiers and snowboarders.
Back when I lived in Washington State I was a decent downhill skier and would have scoffed at the sissyness of a bunny hill. But on a snowboard I found the little hill plenty challenging, and even managed to bang myself up a fair amount until I began to get the feel by the end of the day. My friend Katie was also having a tough time at first, but leapfrogged ahead of her husband Nick and me when she traded her rented snowboard for skis in the afternoon. I took some video with my GoPro camera. The more awkward / funny stuff is at the beginning, and the getting-the-hang-of-it is towards the end, set to "Electric Feel" by the band "MGMT".
I'm really stoked on snowboarding now and I'm going to try to get some more sessions this winter. I actually went ahead and bought a board, boots, and bindings with the some of the $$ I got from selling my kiteboarding stuff. (It wasn't too expensive, and I should still have plenty for visiting my Florida sweetheart, which is my #1 winter well-being expenditure.) Anyway, the board is a "Ride Agenda 159" 2010 model.
The folks at the shop helped me set it up for a "duck foot" stance, which is with both feet angled slightly toward the tips. Most people set up their snowboards asymmetrically based on which foot they prefer to be the "front", but I went for the symmetrical duck foot stance because:
1. That's how kiteboards are set up, so I figured I would already be used to riding with either foot forward.
2. I'm just obsessive compulsive enough that asymmetry nags me.
The stance worked fine and I was able to lead with either foot, but it was easier leading with my right foot, which means my natural stance is "goofy foot" and I'll have to work a little harder to get the hang of left foot forward.