In an informal survey, most folks who want to ski say the risk is too high.
Yes, it’s true, skiing can be risky, but so can driving your car to the store. The rest of the barriers were as follows: cost, peers, and effort. With all these barriers, there must be no one out there skiing! Ha!
Here’s how to get around these and start doing something you love.
1. Risk – Ski What You’re Comfortable With
Day one doesn’t mean blasting through tree runs to make friends with the sprites and fairies of the forest. Day one means figuring out what the heck two sticks are doing strapped to your feet. There’s a balancing act that has to take place before your body can adjust to its new reality. As the famed MLB manager for the Cincinnati Reds once said, “Good seasons start with good beginnings,” so make sure your first trip to the hill is fun one. Once you experience the joy of flying, no matter how hard it gets down the road, you’ll work your tail off to have back that first good high.
2. Cost – Buy used gear
Used gear can be very very good gear. There’s a lot of folks out there who churn and burn through the latest trends in ski gear and if you play your cards right, you can even get last year’s equipment for way cheap prices. Sources like Craigslist and Ebay are always good options. Beyond that, though, check your local area for pro sales (sales put on by professional skiers and boarders who get free gear and then sell it once they’re through with it so they can make enough money to eat) and ski industry expo’s, like the BEWI Ski & Snowboard Expo in Boston or Denver where you can snag huge discounts on last year’s gear.
3. Peers – Let the Internet Be Your Guide
This barrier is the one I would say is the hardest to break through since this means dealing with people…those fickle monsters, but never fear! Resources abound for this dilemma. I will say first, though, that once you start making the necessary steps to start skiing (number one being actually wanting to start), the other pieces will start to fall into place. It’s a perfect scenario for one of my favorite lines from my favorite book, The Alchemist, that says “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.” I couldn’t describe the number of opportunities that have popped up to ski when I decided that’s what I wanted to do.
But, beyond intentions is a great resource called MeetUp. The service is free to use and can open you up to communities of skiers and boarders all over the country. I’ve used this website several times to snag rides to Winter Park and Copper Mountain here in Colorado, making friends all along the way. Being on the Internet, MeetUp exists everywhere and if there’s mountains near you to ski, someone is probably piecing together a ride share to go shred.
4. Effort – The mountain is the best gym you never paid for
January, AKA the month of New Year’s Resolutions, is conveniently smack dab in the middle of the ski season. How about that! This season I have completely replaced my measly efforts to go to the gym (Oh, I hate the gym dearly) with days spent on the mountains and have found far more satisfaction that way. On top of that, I’m in some of the best shape of my life, even better than when I was playing college football. Skiing and boarding is playing! Its fun and it keeps you in awesome shape. Years ago in Norway the government emphasized the image of ski-idrœt–the image of a person who used skiing as a means of developing fitness, mental clarity, and a connection to his or her surroundings. So you will one day embody the ski-idrœt don’t worry so much about grippin’ and rippin’ it at first. Have fun and appreciate where you are first, and then check out how healthy you are because of it.
Not convinced? Check out this article from Health.com explaining the benefits of getting outside.