When I was a little girl my father always told me, “If you are going to do something, do it right.” I wished I had listened to him instead of making a classic rookie learn-to-ski mistake. I got the wrong equipment for my ability level. A ski swap seemed like a good idea at the time, but was a place I really had no business going.
My husband and I moved to Park City last fall and were very excited about learning to ski. So we picked up some gently used skis, helmets, poles, gloves and a really nice jacket for my son (which I have since claimed as my own) at the National Ability Center ski swap. We love donating to a great cause but when you think about it for a minute; I really didn’t have the slightest chance of finding the right skis. As expected, I didn’t. I found this out when I tried them out on the Wide West run (the bunny hill) and took off like a rocket!
After a few practice runs, I decided to try a green run so I hopped on the Carpenter Express with my friends and headed for “Success.” I must have been a sight crossing back and forth across the run. My friends were probably thinking, “Doesn’t she know she is supposed to go down the hill?” But every time I pointed my tips down the hill, I flew. I muddled my way down with some coaching from my friends but spent most of the day back on the Wide West run because I just didn’t feel confident.
When I got home that night, I “googled” my skis and bindings. I read the words, “slalom, racing, expert, and carving” and knew I was in trouble. None of those words even remotely applied to me. So the next day, I decided to get some help from the experts at the Deer Valley rental shop. A smiling green jacketed technician set up me up with some skis, Rossignol Avenger 74s that actually fit my height, weight and ability. They were shorter and much lighter with auto-turn technology– I saw words like “stable and forgiving” and I knew I was in the right place. My technician also gave me some tips on some runs to take. He said, “Take Ontario! It is wide and very beautiful – nice beginner run.” He took the time to show me exactly how to get there and off I went.
Guess what? I had a wonderful experience with controlled turns and I was actually skiing down the hill, not back and forth across the run (making life much easier for the skiers behind me also.) The right equipment made all the difference in the world.
Do you know what I am doing next? I am avoiding the second most common beginning skier mistake – not taking lessons. I decided to take my father’s advice after all and enrolled in a couple sessions of lessons. I haven’t met the smiling instructor in a green jacket who is going to take this rookie and turn her into a skier in three hours, but I am looking forward to doing so. I’ll let you know how it goes.