Strapping my feet to a board and shimmying down a slope in my first ever snowboarding lesson was nothing short of petrifying. I thought having both feet on one board may prove more successful than my skiing record, which plays like a never-ending loop of Bambi on ice. In no particular order, I have tangled my skis in the most awkward way so as to severely twist my knee, slid back down the travelator into the person behind me and most embarrassingly forgotten how to stop before crashing through, and under, the barriers at the bottom of the slope, so I think my fear of snowboarding was justified.
My husband has been hinting about a skiing holiday for years and each time I have cringed at the idea courtesy of my obvious lack of skiing talent. Lately though, I’ve been fantasising about a winter holiday and actually sampling this so-called ‘apres-ski’; so in a last ditch attempt I decided to give snowboarding a try.
Nerves were abundant in the beginning, even with just one foot strapped into the board. My instructor encouraged to place the board pointing down the slope, to pop my free foot onto it and slide down. It was semi successful in that I reached the bottom still standing, but any effort to suppress my nerves failed as I winced, shut my eyes and let out a little unrepeatable expression.
Next it was time to use the travelator to the top of the beginners’ slope (which for the record is big when you know you have to snowboard down it!). I strapped in my other foot and suddenly there was no freedom or escape. I shuffled to the edge while keeping my toes up for balance. With bent knees I started moving down the slope and came to realise that the smallest of movements in the feet or legs can have the biggest impact on movement in the board.
By the end of the session I was able to glide down the hill from left to right in a painfully slow fashion, but I was super proud I made it! The bonus too was although my moves were shaky, I didn’t fall once throughout the session (only from lack of balance while waiting for my turn).
Will I be going back for more? Well, if my husband mentions a ski holiday again, it’ll be met with me signing up for snowboarding classes rather than the duckling ski school.