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A snowboarding primer for skiers

I’ve been skiing for about 20 years so I consider myself a pretty decent skier. I usually eat blue slopes for breakfast and occasionally shred some black diamonds with moguls. So when our 10-year-old son begged us to take him snowboarding this year, I figured it would be an easy transition.

Boy, was I wrong!

The first thing you need to know is that snowboarding and skiing are two totally different things. The muscles are different. The technique is different. About the only similarity is that you’re sliding down a snow-covered mountain. Where skiing is about coordination and rhythm, snowboarding is all balance and footwork. Snowboarding is to skiing what rugby is to touch football.

And here’s the proof, a quick video of our first snowboarding trip…

So if you’re an experienced skier interested in making the leap to a board, let me break it down for you…

Equipment
Boots: Ski boots are extremely rigid, hard plastic shoes that transfer every subtle movement to the ski. Snowboard boots are more flexible shoes that lace up like heavy duty mountain hiking boots. Ski boots are storm troopers to snowboard boots’ Michelin man. Advantage: Snowboarding.

Bindings: Skis are designed to have your boots snap into place, and release when you twist or fall. Snowboards require your feet to be strapped in without releasing upon wipeouts. It’s a somewhat awkward movement to have your lead foot strapped in while your back foot is loose. This is necessary when getting on and off the lifts and for moving along flat landings. In addition, on skis, you exit the chair lift and immediately start down the hill. Snowboarding requires you to literally sit on the snow to strap your other foot to the board after the lift. Every time. Advantage: Skiing.

Boards/Skis: Obviously skiing uses two skis and two poles, which makes carrying and walking in those boots really challenging. Skis are also heavier than snowboards. Carrying a snowboard is easily done by holding the flat side next to your body and grabbing the board right under the top binding. Advantage: Snowboarding.

Technique
Downhill: The act of skiing involves basically aiming your feet in parallel, and turning in in a big ‘S’ pattern. As you get more advanced you can point straight down and grab your edges into the snow to slow down. It’s closer to standing and leaning, while you traverse the mountain. Because both feet are on a single board in snowboarding, the same method doesn’t translate. Instead, balance is the whole thing. You either lift your toes to dig your heels into the snow, or lift your heels to slow and turn, depending on which way you’re facing. But dig too deeply either way and you’re going down hard. Advantage: Skiing.

Lifts: As I mentioned, snowboarding is tougher to get on chair lifts, because you have to unstrap your back foot and slide into place. At the top, you still have only one foot in, so you have to get off the lift and get yourself out of the way before finding a place to sit and strap the other foot. In skiing it can sometimes be difficult to move yourself into position for the lift, but not having to adjust or unstrap every time, makes it more efficient. Advantage: Skiing.

Overall
Most skiers I talked to said they had a rough time trying to snowboard, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you will. Both sports are fun and have their pros and cons. Overall, it just depends what you want to do and what you enjoy. Just know that ability in one doesn’t automatically translate to the other. Advantage: You decide!

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2012 in Family, Thoughts, Travel

 

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Reflecting on The 2010 Brody World Tour: Some for work, all for fun

2010 was quite a year!  Reflecting on The 2010 Brody World Tour: Some for work, all for fun.

The numbers:

  • 32,186 miles
  • 14 cities
  • 7 states
  • 9 shows
  • 1 5.7-magnitude earthquake

The places:

  • New York City, NY
  • San Diego, CA (twice)
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Pasadena, CA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Sarasota, FL
  • Ft. Myers, FL (twice)
  • Orlando, FL
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Miami, FL
  • Key Largo, FL
  • College Station, TX

The shows:

  • Jason Mraz (twice)
  • Dave Matthews Band
  • Barenaked Ladies
  • Rush
  • The Hush Sound
  • Jonas Brothers (for the kiddo, of course ūüôā
  • Demi Lovato
  • Selena Gomez

…and I’m probably forgetting some…

On tap for 2011 so far:

  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Tampa, FL
  • Maui, HI
  • Bon Jovi
  • Train
 
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Posted by on December 31, 2010 in Family, Thoughts, Travel

 

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Ode to Chicago

I haven’t quite been able to put my finger on the pulse of this city.¬† Maybe that’s because it is at the same time so many different things.¬† Downtown is huge and vibrant, but without the hustle and bustle¬†of NYC or Philly. The vibe is young and active, fiercely proud, with clear bent¬†toward party town. Arts and culture abound, while sports, signature foods,¬†outdoors, architecture, and natural beauty give it character. The lake is enormous. The pubs are ubiquitous. There’s not enough time to experience it all. And¬†something tells me even if I had enough time I still wouldn’t get to¬†know this city completely.

I think Mark Twain had it right: “It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago – she outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them. She is always a novelty; for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time.”

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2010 in Random, Thoughts, Travel

 

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San Diego and L.A. 2010

Finally back home – what a trip – both exhilarating and exhausting. Can’t believe how much we squeezed in. Some highlights:

  • Two Padres games
  • One 5.7 earthquake
  • La Jolla beach, seals, caves
  • Visiting San Diego relatives Marv, Elaine, Serena
  • Beers at The Tilted Kilt with @johnhancock61
  • Visiting med school friend Dawn
  • Gaslamp dinner at Rockin’ Baja
  • Legoland
  • The Tonight Show with Jay Leno with set tour
  • Dinner at Prosecco in Teluca Lake with relatives Penny, Les, and Briggs
  • Santa Monica pier, beach, dinner
  • Biking from Santa Monica to Venice
  • California science center
  • La Brea tar pits
  • Watching Lakers win and not starting a riot
  • Vintage car show in Pasadena Old Town
  • LA Opening of Toy Story 3 at El Capitan with Fun Zone
  • Hollywood and Highland
  • Hollywood sign
  • Pacific Coast Highway
  • Malibu Paradise Cove beach
  • Pepperdine area/dinner
  • Star party at Griffith Observatory

Oh, and I worked for 3 days, too!

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2010 in Family, Random, Travel

 

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