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The beginner’s guide to skiing and snowboarding

It’s that time of year. The weather is cold, the roads are icy, and the hills are snowy. Dreaded by many but highly anticipated by few, it’s time for winter sports to begin.

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By Jasmin Sprangers (Contributor) – Email

Print Edition: January 7, 2015

Image: bez_uk i/flickr

Image: bez_uk i/flickr

It’s that time of year. The weather is cold, the roads are icy, and the hills are snowy. Dreaded by many but highly anticipated by few, it’s time for winter sports to begin. With fresh snow on local hills such as Cypress and Manning, snowboarders and skiers couldn’t be more excited.

Despite a late and grueling start, the season is starting to kick off. Skiers and boarders, novices and experts, it’s your turn to get out there, carve your mark in the snow, and shred some powder!

Many people look at the cost of boarding and skiing, and are instantly turned away. They are not cheap sports. Not only is there a cost for the lift ticket, and general snow gear (hats, mitts, snow pants, jacket), but there’s a cost for the boots, the snowboard and bindings, skis, and poles, too. It adds up real fast. But don’t let that scare you off. Renting is a possibility for around $50 a day for the full package (ski or board, boots, poles or bindings). This is a bit easier if you’re not a regular skier or boarder.

With Manning and Hemlock offering half-day prices, it becomes even better! If you’re not wanting to rent from the hill, No Sweat Sports in Chilliwack offers equipment rentals. If looking to buy boots or poles, consignment stores or the annual Ski Swap are great places to check out. Even Craigslist is an option. It’s a bit easier, with less driving, and a picture is usually posted. Once you’ve got your gear all set, it’s time to head up the hill.

There are a few very important things to keep in mind when on the hill.

Know how to stop

Even if purposely falling on your bum is considered stopping, do it. It’s better to have a bruised bottom than it is to run into a tree, person, or go hurtling over a cliff. Your whole body will thank you later.

Know what’s in front of you

Nobody likes being run over by the person behind them who was flying down the hill while looking at the sky — as beautiful as it may have been.

Chairlift safety

Don’t lower the bar unless both people are ready (metal on the head is not a good combination).

Keep track of your limbs

Especially for skiers, know where your hands and arms are when losing control. Shoulder injuries suck, and poles jabbing into the legs can’t be too pleasant either.

Mind your head

While more of a safety tip, and not quite as popular, a helmet is always a good idea. Somersaulting hurts, and it hurts more without a helmet. Wearing one is even becoming a requirement on some hills.

Skiing and snowboarding are great activities. The sense of freedom when flying down the hill is amazing, and the feeling of powder beneath your board is exhilarating! Although weird at first, the feeling becomes natural quickly as you learn the correct way to angle your board around obstacles in the snow. The cost may seem daunting at first, but the rush of adrenaline makes it all worthwhile.

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