First time snowboarding!

We are beaten, bruised, tired, and I am pretty sure that I broke a rib.  But we can't wait to go again.

That was just 2 hours on the bunny hill, we still are pretty bad, definitely do not have the skills for the big hills yet.

I know this is a recurring theme for us, we go surfing once, want to go every weekend.  I wish we could go surfing every weekend.  Ella still has her surfboard and is hoping for some summer weekends to make a drive out to the coast in Maine for some surfing fun.

I also remember swearing off athletic pursuits after breaking my shoulder, just too old to be doing this stuff anymore.  To recap, I broke my toe and a rib (the same rib that I am pretty sure I broke again today) surfing.  Then a little footrace in New Orleans cost me a bit of bone in my shoulder on the operating table.  Enough was enough.

However, the beauty of the Olympics is their ability to inspire people.  Just like Ella was inspired to teach herself how to swim (successfully) after watching Michael Phelps in Athens, Max wanted to get into snowboarding after watching the competition in Sochi.  Max showing any interest in athletics was enough for me to make it happen.  Even if that meant I needed to participate to do it with him.  In fact, the whole family got in on the action to give it a try.  The kids had never been on skis or a snowboard in their lives.  Sarah skied once I think, and I have skied a few times.  Nothing to inspire confidence in our ability to do this, but if our family has a motto, it is to always try, so we were going to give it a try.

Lucky for us, Montreal is pretty awesome for skiers, there is skiing all over the place.  We headed up to Mont Saint Sauveur for a pretty good introduction package.  Private lessons, equipment, lift pass, everything you need to give it a go.
Max and Ella with our 2 instructors

To give these athletes some credit, snowboarding is a lot harder than it looks, harder than I remember skiing being.  You need to keep a good low center of gravity which puts a lot of stress on your quads to hold that position and stay ready.  But when you start to get it going, it is a lot of fun.  I know you read a lot of articles that suggest starting out learning how to ski and then transitioning.  Some people think that learning the mechanics is easier on skis and they translate over better.  After jumping straight into snowboarding, I don't know how I feel about that.  I think it probably helped me that I have skied even a little.  It didn't seem to impede Max much, he understand right away to stop that you had to get the edge of the board parallel to the slope and dig it in the back edge to slow down.  He got it right away and was quite good at it.
This kid is a natural

Ella is eager to try anything, she didn't want to leave

Sarah lacks the reckless gene and tends to be more calculated, but she really started to get it at the end

Conquering the bunny hill, the Petit Viking!

Everyone did pretty good, I think we could all get the hang of it.  Max seems to have the best instincts for it.  He had a good natural low stance, and isn't afraid to whip the board around to maneuver better.  He just lacks the confidence to really go for it.  The rest of us could mostly make it down without incident, but sometimes you dig an edge in more than you expect and it sends you head or over heals pretty quickly (see broken rib).  It was not always rosy, we all spent a lot of time laying on the ground.


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