Time spent in the mountains is huge influence on my artwork and for the past 20 or so winters, my vehicle of choice has been a snowboard. So last year when we moved to Stowe, my wife and I decided to pick up part time jobs teaching skiing and snowboarding respectively. Not only was it a great way to meet people and make friends, but also happened to net us each a free season pass. Many times last season whilst playing overpaid babysitter for overactive and ill-behaved tweens, I asked myself if the social rewards were really adequate. But as the season progressed, I began to truly relish these opportunities, to hone in on a small step each student could take to improve their riding, and to actually see substantive change at the end of a session. I pursued some certifications through the American Association of Snowboard Instructors and ended the season satisfied with my personal discovery of a whole new aspect of snowboarding that I had heretofore misjudged.
This season, I was offered the chance to coach a season-long program for advanced snowboarders that focuses on “all-mountain” riding (all-mountain being an amorphous catch all for just being able to ride any type of terrain). Wanting to capitalize on the teaching triumphs I felt I had last season, I jumped on it. All-mountain riding is near and dear to my heart as it’s my feeling that the key to being a capable all-mountain rider is having solid fundamental skills and being able to…wait for it…turn your snowboard!
Despite some epically unsavory weather this winter, our season has gotten off to a killer start. I have some eager young students that are not only hungry to progress, but also highly capable shredders that keep me on my toes. It’s funny the paths that life takes us on. I’ve come to really appreciate the subtleties associated with snowboarding and am addicted to seeing these young riders improve each week. Having these breaks on the weekend makes Mondays in the studio that much better as I sit down with tired legs and a fresh mind.
Message for the day: go snowboarding. If you’re no good, take a lesson. 🙂