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2006 December 12 Tuesday.

It is getting warmer these days, and some of the snow is melting. 
This won't last long, but it is bad news for skiers and the owners of ski grounds.

I won't have any time to go snowboarding until sometime after December 23, so I'm hoping by then that there will be some more BIG POWDER SNOW on the slopes for me to glide through.

  If you are a skier but have never tried snowboarding before, may I suggest that you read an essay I wrote several years ago about it by clicking here.   

I myself have never been a skier, except for cross country skiing.  In fact, I had never even been to a ski ground until I came to Asahikawa almost 17 years ago. 

One thing I do know for sure, is that snowboarding is much easier to learn than skiing in the beginning stages.  The learning curve for snowboarding is much faster. 

After you finally get the feel of the balance for it, it is sort of like riding a bicycle.  You will never forget how to do it.  I think that skiing is also the same way, but it takes much longer to get really good at it.

As you might well imagine, there are many very good skiers living here in Asahikawa.  I always ask them if they have tried snowboarding before. 

Many of them have, but most of them say that they like skiing better.  It is not hard to understand why.  For one thing, skiers can go much faster than even the fastest snowboarder.

  Another thing is that the skier is facing straight ahead while going down the slope.  A snowboarder must stand sideways and look over his or her shoulder in order to see where they are going.

Most skiers don't like this snowboarding stance, and therefore don't like snowboarding that much.

However for me, having never learned how to ski in the first place, snowboarding is the most fun I have ever had on the snow, during the winter. 

If you have ever gone downhill sledding or inner-tubing and enjoyed it, you will love snowboarding.  It is like surfing on a big huge frozen wave.  A wave that doesn't move by itself. 

It is much easier than wave surfing, or even wind sailing on the ocean.  I know this for a fact, because I have tried doing both. 

Many people say that snowboarding is dangerous because both of your feet are firmly bolted into place and can't be moved. 

This is in fact, a good thing.  You will never lose control of your legs and end up doing the splits, like a ballerina. 

One of the biggest dangers is falling over backwards.  This happens a lot when you are first learning how to snowboard, but it doesn't happen much after you have become good at it.

It does happen from time to time however, and that is why I always wear a helmet when I ride.  Not only is the helmet good for safety, but it also helps to keep your head warmer too. 

Play it safe and ride in comfort.  Also, snowboards such as the slope-style one that I have, work best in deep powder snow, while free riding down a big wide slope.   

Later on during the ski season in late February, when the slopes get hard and icy, I don't go snowboarding at all.  Ice boarding is very hard work physically, and also extremely dangerous. 

Best to be avoided.  See you on the slopes!





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