For the last three years on the ski slopes, I've listened to the teasing comments from Boy in Black and his snowboarding friends: "Only old people and little kids ski."
"Snowboarding is so much cooler."
I would roll my eyes and say something like: "If snowboarding is so much fun, how come you always see snowboarders sitting in the snow, freezing their butts?"
Boy in Black always had an answer: "That's because they are waiting for their slow skiing friends to catch up with them."
It's true that most of the adults and little kids we see on weekends ski instead of snowboard. I know if we went to the kind of resort that rich people go to, we might see whole families snowboarding together. But the ski centers we go to cater to the local high schools, and the snowboarding population is mostly teenage boys. Occasionally you do see a teenage girl. I can always pick Blonde Niece out as she goes zooming by because of the long pony tail hanging out from under her helmet. And once in awhile, you see someone in his twenties or even thirties with a snowboard.
I am not sure I would have even thought to take snowboarding lessons if my beautiful smart wonderful daughter and her cool snowboarding college roommate hadn't talked me into it. Even so, I had intended to snowboard just for the season and go back to skiing next year. So I've been skiing on Saturdays, while chaperoning With-a-Why and the kids from his class, and then snowboarding on Sundays, when I go with my gang. The snowboard instructor for the little kids on Saturday found out I was taking snowboard lessons on Sunday, and has been teasing me for being on skis. He keeps assuring me that I needed to just switch over to snowboarding.
"Come over to the dark side," he'll say. "You know you want to."
What I’ve found, after five Sundays of snowboard lessons, is that I really like snowboarding. It's easier on my knees than skiing. And once I made it past the difficult first lesson, I’ve been able to learn pretty fast. I like the movement, the balancing, the speed. The only thing that I haven't liked is the rental boots that didn't fit me right, and the rental boards that have dreadful bindings. So this week, I checked out the sales all the ski shops are having and bought myself a snowboard and boots. Why should teenage boys get to have all the fun?
Yep. I’ve gone over to the dark side.