For our latest “Kick the Bucket” installment, we decided to hit the slopes at Sno Mountain in Scranton and give snowboarding a shot. The folks up there were kind enough to provide two members of our staff with a free lesson and lift ticket, letting them partake in the beauty of the mountain with nary a hassle.
Our graphic designer Amanda Dittmar and staff writer Sara Pokorny decided to suit up and take to the snow. One had experience, one didn't, and you can find out which is which by not only reading their points of view below, but checking out the video at theweekender.com.
Amanda's point of view
Since coming up with the idea of “Kick the Bucket” at the beginning of the year, I've been itching to try one of the challenges. Since none of the guys were willing to give snowboarding a go, I said I would join Sara on the slopes, and with good reason.
As a child, I was a bit of a snow bunny, so I wasn't completely unfamiliar with it. However, seven years had passed since I last strapped on a board and took to the mountain.
My first thought was, “I really hope I don't break something.” I hoped that it would be like riding a bike and I would be able to acclimate quickly, even though I was well aware that I may not be at the same skill level I was back in the day.
Once we got to the lesson (which was on flat ground), I realized that I actually had retained some of my old skills. It occurred to me very quickly that I was completely comfortable with what was going on and even ready to get on the hill after Sara bitched out during the lesson. Her words, not mine.
After a few runs on the bunny slope (I still have no idea why it's called that), I suggested taking a shot at the terrain park, which had always been a favorite of mine. This may or may not have been my most brilliant idea.
I took a run first to check out all the obstacles. After that, I felt really prepared and, at first, things were going brilliantly at the top of the park. I was hitting box after box (that's what she said) and connecting my run.
That was great until I eventually incorrectly estimated my speed for the jumps. Yes - I fell. Pretty hard, actually, but all and all, it was a jolly good time.
My conclusion regarding this whole thing? If you want to look good at something, do it with Sara right next to you. Also, I really need to get back on the slopes.
Sara's point of view
Amanda is right: I've decided that we're going to change the name of this feature to “If you want to look good doing something, bring Sara along with you to do it, too.”
I have never snowboarded before. I ski bladed once in high school and it took me two hours to get down the mountain because I was terrified. Guess what, guys? Still terrifying, and I didn't even make it to a hill.
We started the day with a wonderful instructor, Bethany, who taught us a lesson on flat ground with only one foot hooked to the board.
When I was younger, I was a skateboarder, so I though the concept of pushing myself around on the board with one foot would be an easy one for me, but of course it wasn't. (Shall I tell you again how un-athletic I am, like I did during my foray into aerial silks in January?)
However, I eventually got the hang of it thanks to Bethany and was even comfortable enough to glide down the little bump in the snow she had us going over and over again until we were used to the feel of boarding.
For the most part, I felt like a fool (which is no one's fault but my inept own), but there was about three glorious seconds where I thought I could really give Shaun White a run for his money.
I was gliding down the baby bump brilliantly, and then I bent my knees slightly, shifted my weight, and holy s—t, I turned. All by myself. And not into something, mind you.
That was the second to last run, because the next time around I totally crashed, sat in the snow and pouted like a two-year-old, then took over videoing duties with our editor Rich Howells while Amanda hit the bunny slope and terrain park.
Despite my shortcomings, it was a blast, and what made it even better was being the one to video Amanda completely biffing after a jump on the terrain park.