Learning the basics of downhill skiing makes me wonder what the founder of the sport was thinking. For me, cross country skiing makes sense. It’s easy to see how it was created as a means of transportation back when people had to hunt for survival in the winter.
A quick search on Google and Bing didn’t bring satisfactory results, saying its origins were unclear. Either he/she was a fearless soul who accidentally stumbled upon a new adrenaline trip or a suicidal maniac.
Don’t get me wrong; although I’m still a beginner, I love skiing. So why do I say this? One thing I learned about downhill skiing is that it is very counterintuitive. When I’m skiing from the top of a relatively steep run with thoughts of careening out of control, the last thing I want to do is to lean forward. Yet that’s exactly what my ski instructor wants me to do. Same thing when I’m making turns and I’m told to lean into the turn. It just doesn’t add up until you understand the mechanics behind how skis work.
I doubt the first downhill skier knew that. I’m betting it was by accident.
All I can say is that I’m glad that with modern day ski lessons, I can put my trust on knowledgeable ski instructors who can explain exactly why I should do these maneuvers. So when my ski instructor yells “Lean forward!” I can finally do so without panicking.
Having good ski instructors is key to learning and loving the sport. Even I am surprised at how far I’ve come. From that first day on the slope at the top of the Sunbeam run when I was too frozen with fear to move, I’m now able to go down a beginner blue run with relative ease and speed.
Skiing can be an expensive sport but this week, there are some good deals to be had for beginners nationwide. The National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Week runs until Sunday, so if you’d like to go for a few days of lessons, this is the perfect opportunity for you. Participating ski resorts, including Sun Peaks Resort, are offering package deals that include rentals, ski lifts and lessons for both children and adult beginners. Who knows, you might end up liking the sport?
The Sun Peaks Adaptive Snow Sports Festival from Jan. 28 to 31 is another big event happening next week. It’s great to know that there are a group of dedicated people who are working to make our local mountain accessible to everyone.
From Jan. 28 to 29, anyone wanting to take their CADS Level 1, 2 and 2a certification can register for training with Adaptive Sports at Sun Peaks. Those with hopes of pursuing a racing career can join the Carving the Future race development program. If you’d like to try sitskiing, ASSP is also doing a Come and Try weekend on Jan. 30 and 31 for both able-bodied and disabled skiers.
On the same weekend, catch some downhill action and cheer on the sidelines as over 50 racers compete in the 2010 Western Canadian and B.C. Para-Alpine Championships. You might even meet members from the B.C. Para-alpine Ski Team. To find out more, visit www.disabledskiingbc.com or contact Candise White, Adapted Sports Coordinator, by telephone 250-578-5419 or e-mail [email protected].