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Hello Everyone –

Well 2013 is now upon us and that means it’s time for the fifth annual Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (LSSM) and this year there is a Bring A Friend section of the program.  Now that all of the resorts in the southeast are up and open for the season and have awesome conditions this would be a perfect time to 1. Learn the sport, 2. Help a friend get involved in the winter sport or 3. Learn to enjoy the sport even more than you already do.

I first hit the slopes on New Year’s Day, 1985, at Massanutten Ski Resort in Virginia and have been skiing and snowboarding in the southeast ever since. It took my roommate at the time when I was working the Virginia News Network in Richmond who decided that it was time for me to learn to have some fun in the winter. It now looks like he was way ahead of his time.  But as brain cells stretch, I remember that back then, it seemed to be easier to convince people to try the sport for the first time. Times change, don’t they?

All of the resorts in the southeast pride themselves in getting new people into the sport.  All have dedicated ski and snowboard schools, with excellent instructors.  I can’t tell you how many times I have talked to people who have learned the sport somewhere in the south, maybe at Winterplace, Beech, Homestead or Wisp. It is so much easier to learn in this region and then move forward in difficulty.  That’s not say that there aren’t Black Diamond slopes in the southeast, just saying the sport can be a bit more challenging in some other regions in the country.
Now 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 traveling to and from the ski area. As I mentioned earlier in the column there is something new with this year’s LSSM and that 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. 

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 as Mike and his staff has been one of the big promoters of the program. Thanks to folks like Mike at Skisoutheast.com more folks may get into the sport that he and his staff love. More people in the sport mean more people enjoying the website, see how this type of thing works.  Hey nobody said we were trying to solve world peace – even though that would be good thing.

Now let’s switch gears a little bit and speak on how this program can also help those of you who already know how to ski or snowboard and think your next stops are the World Cup, X-Games or the Olympics.  Well, let me be the first to clue you in on something, your chances are a lot better that you can have a lot more fun on the slopes if you, yes you, take a lesson or two.  Just like with anything, the better you get with it, the more fun you will have.  Along those lines, the best way to get better is to have a non-friend work on your technique.  Each resort not only has excellent beginner instructors but also excellent instructors to help advance your ability on the slopes. I hear ya, I am already an excellent skier or snowboarder and don’t need any more instruction; well mogul buster, you are very far from the truth.  You see one of the best hitters I ever saw play baseball, Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres, always took batting practice before games and watching him was the team’s hitting coach.  So despite being an excellent hitter, Gwynn wanted to make sure he had some outside eyes checking out his bad habits and not be afraid to speak their peace.  Having a friend help you sometimes makes it difficult for them to give you a true evaluation. Just take a lesson and thank me later.  Now go have some fun and don’t forget to take a friend.
That’s it for this week, 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 and enjoy the holidays, you deserve it!

Send your comments to: [email protected]
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.


Send your comments to: [email protected]
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.

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