rolisz's site

Winter sports

From up close, it looks just like the wallpaper from one of the Mac OS
versions

I've been in Switzer­land for almost two and half years now, but I haven't done the typical Swiss things (except eating Fondue). Last winter I was either not here or busy at work, so I avoided all winter sports.

But this year two op­por­tu­ni­ties came up when I could go with colleagues to do skiing or snow­board­ing. So I finally tried both. I had a little skiing experience from two years ago, but that was it.

I'm on a snowboard

One Friday at 8 PM a colleague asked me if I wanted to go to Laax for skiing the next day. I didn't really have any plans, so I said why not. He was going to teach his girlfriend how to snowboard, so I decided I would tag along with them. The others were skiers with more experience, so I didn't want to be the clunky wheel.

I fell on my butt more times than I can imagine and it was sore for two days. But it was fuuun!. Towards the end of the day I could go about 100 m without falling!

The week after that, my team had some visitors and during dinner, we decided we should all go skiing in Lenz­er­hei­de two days later. There was another beginner in this group, so we decided to take ski lessons together.

Skiing went better. I remembered more than I expected since last year. I fell only about two or three times. One of which was standing in place. Whoops. Another one being the al­ter­na­tive to running into a fence.

Some mountain peak around Lenzerheide

However, I found that I had much less control over my skis, especially with regards to speed. When you are on the snowboard, you are in an unstable equi­lib­ri­um and you constantly have to balance. Because of this, as a beginner, you don't really get to a high speed, because as you go faster, it's harder to balance, so you fall before reaching a dangerous speed. It will hurt a bit, but it's unlikely to break any bones. But on the skis, you are in a stable equi­lib­ri­um, so if you just do nothing as you are sliding down, you will pick up speed, with little risk of just toppling over. But then, when a turn comes, you won't be able to make it, so you'll either fall (at a much higher speed), hit the fence/tree or run off-piste.

And off we go

Of course, this is all true only for beginners like me. When you get to more advanced stuff, it might change, but for now, I feel more com­fort­able on the snowboard. And hopefully I can go again in two weeks time!