Our Snowboards Have Arrived!

23 Dec

This year James and I bought each other snowboard stuff for Christmas. =) We were sick of losing 30-60 minutes at the start of the day getting our rentals and figured that there wouldn’t be much price difference between buying and renting for a season anyway. We started off by going 3 times in 8 days and our gear arrived in time for snowboarding today. Our friends have invited us on a January trip to Whistler which we’ll consider depending on how much we improve between now and then!

James took this photo of me just as I got to the bottom of one of the greens.

There was a guy roughly my size wearing the same shade of orange pants who also had a black jacket and James said he kept getting us confused until he realised that the guy was going really fast. I wonder if that guy’s friends saw me and was like “man, Gavin has gotten real shit”.

When it’s time to replace my helmet I’ll try to get one that’s bright turquoise or lime green so I’m even easier to spot. The worst is when people dress head to toe in white – why?? Why would you deliberately blend in with the snow? If you crashed people would probably accidentally run over you! =(

James thinks his pants make it easy for me to find him. This is actually not true. From a distance his pants kind of look like they’re brown or olive which is a pretty common colour. It’s only once you’re up close that you can appreciate their true glory.

You can kind of see his new board (better in the next photo though) and his fancy Flow bindings – he got quick entry ones like Chi Kai because everyone is jealous of how quickly Chi Kai straps in. You can also see his new boots. He wears a size 11 shoe but a size 9.5 snowboard boot. He said that the first day he wore them they were really painful but today they felt great. I wear a size 5-5.5 shoe and a size snowboard boot. I couldn’t tough out the pain and had to get them heat molded to accelerate the breaking in process.

James and I stuck to the greens for most of the day but at the end our friends talked us into a couple of blue runs – one was an easy blue and one was a regular blue. The easy blue was doable (we did a couple of brave linked turns but mainly falling leafed our way down the steeper parts) but the regular blue run had just too many steep hills for me to be comfortable.

We’re at the top of the regular blue run here. This photo was taken right after some guy sat on Mike’s head and crunched his neck badly (Mike was sitting on the ground and the guy was skiing backwards). You can see poor Mike smiling through the pain.

He had a heat pack on it for part of the ride home and also took an ibuprofen. I bet it’s going to hurt like a bitch tomorrow. =(

We stuck around until the lifts closed and it was soooo good. Everyone seems to leave around 3-3:30 so for the final half hour Stevens was really empty. On our final run James and I hardly saw anyone else on the blue part of the run and we were the only ones on the green part. It was amazing – like we had our own private mountain! I didn’t need to worry about avoiding anyone and just focused on linking my turns and not falling!

And since Klene asked for it here is a photo of me and my new stuff. It was taken around 4pm when it was already starting to get dark.

My snowboard is the Never Summer Pandora (retail: $400, paid: $270). It’s 146cm and actually intended as a park board but because it’s soft and narrow it’s easier to turn with my small feet. I don’t really love the topsheet (though the rainbow is growing on me) but it’s covered in snow half the time anyway.

Also James and I agree that it was well worth getting the helmets. Today was the first day that I had a bad fall – I caught my heel edge, went flying backwards and landed with all the impact on the back of my head. The snow was all hard and packed down in that spot and there was a moment of “whoa that could have been really bad” before I dusted myself off and continued falling down the mountain. James has been similarly saved but his worst fall was when he landed on his coccyx and said he could feel it all the way up his spine.

So anyway, that was our fourth day snowboarding. It took several runs to get used to our new boards (they seem faster and a lot more sensitive?) but I’m really glad we have them!

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