Snowboarding is the easiest sport to describe. But it isn’t the most fun. In the race for the fastest run on a trail, a powder hog’s main goal is to push the speed limit as far as he or she can. But snowboarding, even when riding in thick, pristine powder, is a race to the bottom as well, because if you fall, it means you’re not moving fast enough.
I used to think snowboarding wasn’t anything like skiing. At the top of steep, long, snowy slopes, skiing is about moving quickly and sending the least amount of energy to the drop in the snow. To me, snowboarding seemed like more of a mean, aggravating adventure sport than something enjoyable.
Then, while reading this ski story, I realized something. Skiing and snowboarding are one and the same. If snowboarding only requires that you push the limits of your speed and keep your core and knees warm, then perhaps there’s a way to compete in both.
So I’ve come up with a new twist on an old sport that I think every adult can enjoy.
Snowboarding might not be fun, but snowboarding could be a good way to spend winter — in the kind of snow that snowboarders really love: packed powder.
I decided to go “as far as I could go,” so I started adding in a little bit of speed, then sped up until my back was to the obstacle on the trail. Just as I was cutting off to move over the top of the obstacle, I would force my body to slow down, then speed up again. I’m going as fast as I can get to see if I can clear that last hurdle. If I skis off the bottom, I’ll hit the fence on the course, and I’ll slide in the middle of the mountain in a giant ball of snow. For the first few times I tried it, I just didn’t know how the impact would feel. It’s hard not to fly through the air when your body is heated up. I eventually figured it out. But as much as I enjoyed it, the feeling is strangely terrifying.
There’s a solution: the Indy Ski Pass. It’s the perfect alternative to the traditional ski season pass. At the $470 cost of a season pass, you’re paying almost twice as much as your nearest counterpart. (By comparison, skiing on a beginner’s run in Vail Village costs about $45.)
But you can ski as much as you want during the season: The pass includes unlimited access to 26 ski resorts in North America and the Carolinas. And most of the passes allow skiing in the super-high powder-packed, icy powder (the kind that’s always perfect for a snowboarder) that snowboarders enjoy most.
So even if you’re not a snowboarder, there’s a way to watch snowboarding. There’s even a combination of Nordic and snowboarding, which is like ski racing. But it’s snowy and really fast. I could make myself warm up by skiing while snowboarding. When I ski, I stop skiing.
So after running all over our neighborhood in search of this ski pass, we landed on the very best of both worlds — snowboarding and skiing. Most amazing, it only costs $700.