First time snowboarder: Not as easy as it looks, but certainly as fun as it looks!

Well, I can’t say I’m the most athletic person I know but I’m also not the most clumsiest.  If you haven’t ever snowboarded before, I’d like to throw out there that once you are strapped in you can’t move your feet.  Now, I knew this before deciding I was going to try but your brain doesn’t really comprehend this until you’re strapped in and you lose your balance for the first time!  Then it hits you… Your instinct of catching your balance by stepping a foot out, isn’t gonna cut it.  But hey, let’s start from the beginning.

Ok, so upon entering Pinetop, we stopped at Krissie’s Ski and Board shop.   http://krissiesskiandboard.com/  We did this so we could avoid the lines in the AM when we got to Sunrise Park Resort.  A friend let me borrow his board but there was no way I was fitting into those boots.  I ended up spending $75 at Krissie’s but I probably could have gotten away with just $25.  Here’s why… I didn’t use my lift ticket!  (I’ll get into that a little further down).  I ended up renting boots for the board and snow bibs.  Totally worth it’s weight in gold!  I was super comfortable wearing boots that actually fit me and I stayed dry and warm all day from the bibs.  The staff at Krissie’s was amazing.  They didn’t make me feel like the silly goofball novice that I was, they actually took the time to clean my board, waxed it up for me, and made sure I was “slope ready” before I left.

Our family rented a cabin from a friend in the Pinetop area.  I would recommend this as well, especially if you are going with a large group.

So, the next morning my snowboarding adventure begins.  Sunrise Park Resort http://sunriseskiparkaz.com/ is about 45 minutes to an hour from the actual ski resort.  I believe the lifts are open between 9Am and 4PM everyday, but don’t quote me on that.  We got there right as it was opening to get the most out of the day.  From the second I stepped onto my board with both feet on flat ground and lost my balance, I knew I was in for a challenge.

The view from upon entering into the ski park.

My family that I went on my adventure with are extremely seasoned in the winter sports area and since this was my first time, I felt bad making them try to teach me.  So, I told them I would be totally fine finding my own adventure and that I would look into getting some lessons from the staff there at the resort.  The resort offered lessons but they were WAY more than I was willing to pay.  After watching a few YouTube videos that confused me to all sorts, I decided to just call my friend who let me borrow the board to see if he could walk me through a few attempts.  (with headphones of course, could you imagine having to hold the phone to my ear?  How weird would I have looked LOL!!!!)

This is what my first attempt at trying to stand on a snowboard looked through my eyes.

This was not an easy feat my friends.  After many failed attempts at trying to stand (it sure does use those ab muscles I so obviously ignore)  I finally make it to a squatting position and actually traveled about 20 feet!  I can’t even begin to tell you how exciting this was!  With motivating techno music blasting in my ears and the prospect of being able to stand up again!  I was hooked.

This was my first successful snow trail…. this is very exciting!

So the rest of my day (6 hours, roughly) I spent attempting to board down this little hill, then walking back up and doing it all over again.  I know it sounds like I must be some kind of crazy person because I did this, but I really got the hang of keeping my balance on the board and I achieved the confidence of actually being on a giant hill with the board that I was looking for.  Plus… if I would have known that I was going to be perfectly content chillin’ on this slope next to the lodge all day, I could have saved $50!

The picture of a successful snowboarder!

After awhile, I realized I was starting to get really really tired.  I set my board up against the rack and headed to the top floor of the lodge to enjoy an ice cold brew.  I wasn’t expecting much in the selection but I was pleasantly surprised to find that they offered Four Peaks Kiltlifter on tap.

Four Peaks Kiltlifter in a plastic cup…. is there a ping pong table around that I’m unaware of?

The bar in the lodge is nothing to write home to mom about.  It’s in such desperate need of a makeover that it felt “icky”.  At that point I didn’t care though.  I sat at my dirty wobbly table, completely exasperated, enjoyed my “hotel cup” of water and savored my cup of Kiltlifter with a smile on my face.  Today felt very successful.  …. that was of course…. till we made it to the parking lot…. dun dun dun!

TIP:  The parking lot is icy and dangerous… be careful when walking to your car! 

So, I met back up with my family of pro skiers and started telling them all about my amazing accomplishments and how I was ready to be sponsored as a pro boarder by Roxy.   I mean… I didn’t fall forward ALL day.  All of my tumbles had been backward and I was able to catch myself.  I am definitely a prodigy, no doubt about that!  When out of nowhere, I hit a patch of ice in the parking lot!  And… SMACK!  Flat on my face!  My record of no face plants was out the window in an instant!  …. Thanks Murphy… always keeping a look out for my big mouth.

War wounds from snowboarding… I’m so tough! (Shhhhh…. don’t tell anyone I got it in the parking lot!)

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