Hello Everyone –
Before I get into this week’s topic of January being Learn to Ski And Snowboard Month and as I write this, the temperature at all of the resorts in the region is turning more to winter norm. It looks like by the middle of the week (1/8) it is going to be downright chilly with the first below zero temperatures of the season. Just remember if slope time is in your very near future the sport is a lot more fun when everyone is warm on the slopes. So remember layers, layers and layers. Also when the temperature is colder than you are accustomed to try staying out for shorter periods of time and go in and get warm.
Something else – use sunscreen, it will help your skin from drying out because of the cold temperatures. Remember this sport is supposed to be fun and dressing accordingly will help everyone accomplish that easily attainable feat.
Now let’s talk some about LSSM and its sidekick, the Bring A Friend section of the program. This program is no Johnny Come Lately idea because since 2007 all of the resorts in the southeast have been a part of the campaign to get new folks into the winter sport. Don’t look now but the conditions continue to improve throughout the region and now is a good time to:
1. Learn the sport,
2. Help a friend get involved in the winter sport and/or
3. Learn to enjoy the sport even more than you already do.
In last week’s column you learned one of my attainable resolutions this year is to get my son on skis this winter. You see what I didn’t mention is that he loves snow and I mean every single of flake of the stuff.
He doesn’t mind rolling in it or getting a little cold if he is dressed accordingly. A four-hour snowtubing session is the norm for him, so this is the year he is going to find out that gravity can be your friend. We are lucky to live where we do in West Virginia because all of the resorts in the southeast from Tennessee to Maryland have excellent Learn To Ski Programs.
All of the resorts pride themselves on getting new people into the sport. All have dedicated ski and snowboard schools, with excellent instructors for everyone from the very young to the very veteran. It is so much easier to learn in this region and then move forward in difficulty, in other words that expert terrain everyone wants to say they can do but unfortunately without lessons they just survive can be possible.
I have mentioned this before but I believe it bears repeating – how many times have you gone to a resort to ski or snowboard or even snowtube and think that one of your friends would really enjoy sliding down the hill and you would really enjoy their company at the resort and that includes traveling to and from any given ski area. As I mentioned earlier in the column again with this year’s LSSM is the Bring A Friend section. Here is a website you need to check out www.bringafriend.org and it will give you some ideas to follow through with when you are planning to get your friend or friends into the sport.
Now the main website for the entire LSSM program is www.skiandsnowboardmonth.org and there you will find out everything you need to know about what is going on with the promotion across the region this month. Or you can just click on any banner ad here at skisoutheast.com (forthcoming) as Mike, Kenny and the rest of the staff have always been big promoters of the program. This is not brain surgery, you see the more folks who get into the sport, then more people will learn about the website.
Hey nobody said we were trying to solve world peace, just spreading the word about having fun in winter.
Now let’s switch gears a little bit and speak on how this program can also help those of you who think they are experts when it comes to skiing and snowboarding and don’t need any help. The chances are that everyone could still use a lesson or two and again unfortunately are just too stubborn to realize that fact. Just like with anything, the better you get with it, the more fun you will have – again, not brain surgery here folks. Each resort not only has excellent beginner instructors but also excellent instructors to help advance your ability on the slopes. If you are familiar with this column you have heard me mention that the best hitter in baseball I can remember is the late Tony Gwynn. During his 20-years as a San Diego Padre, the Hall of Famer always took batting practice with the team’s hitting coach watching him. Why, because it made him better. Get my drift now? Now go have some fun and don’t forget to take a friend.
That’s it for this column, more to come as the season continues, just remember whether it be cold or whether it be hot, we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather will be. Think about it! See you on the slopes.
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Joe Stevens, a member of the southeast ski industry since 1990 is a regular columnist for skisoutheast.com and serves as the Communications Director for the West Virginia Ski Areas Association.