Reflections From My First Snowboarding Season

Here in Western New York the winters tend to be long and snowy. For those who don’t enjoy winter sports it can be quite dreadful. Before last winter, I was one of those people. I didn’t grow up skiing like many people in Upstate New York, so I really missed out on some of the best winter recreation available. After having ACL reconstruction surgery following injuries in both of my knees, skiing made me very nervous.


For some reason, though, snowboarding always piqued my interest and seemed better-suited for my skills (and clumsiness). The first winter dating my partner, a lifelong skier and ski racer, also happened to be his first winter snowboarding. He was a natural and eventually snowboarding completely replaced skiing as his go-to winter activity. Fast-forward to the 2014-2015 winter ski/snowboard season and he was ready to get me out on the mountain with him.

Sunset Lift At Night
Riding the Sunset Chairlift at night is beautiful and serene.

We purchased a ski club package, offered through Rochester Young Professionals, that provided 12 weeks of Tuesday night twilight lift tickets at nearby Bristol Mountain. Since my partner gets a season pass at Bristol Mountain every year, we agreed to go each Tuesday after work from mid-December to early March.

First Snowboarding Lesson
All smiles after my first snowboarding lesson!

One of the biggest selling points of this package was that it included a group lesson each night, if desired. I took advantage of this option a couple times and, because I was the only snowboarder interested in a lesson on those nights, the group lessons actually turned into one-on-one lessons with a snowboard instructor. This was incredibly valuable, especially when I was first getting started. My partner was also able to provide helpful tips and instruction, though his patience turned out to be equally as beneficial as his knowledge.

Ski Pole Selfie with GoPro
Snowboarding with this guy makes winter a lot more fun!

Challenges of my first snowboarding season:

  • A collision with a skier who slammed into me from behind, causing severe lower back pain and bruising that lasted for weeks.
  • Getting the right equipment and gear – I had never even skied before!
  • Trying to master the toe side turn without catching an edge – I fell a lot.
  • Getting over my own fear of falling and crashing.
  • Getting easily frustrated with myself, and taking it out on my very patient, very loving partner!

Highlights of my first snowboarding season:

  • Finally getting my heel side and toe side turns!
  • Improving my technique and increasing my confidence.
  • Acquiring a few favorite trails. By the end of the season I was most comfortable on blue square trails.
  • Getting to experience all types of snow conditions for the first time: fresh powder, packed snow, slush, etc.
  • The Morning Star Cafe aka The Waffle Hut. I’m not ashamed of how much I enjoyed this yummy mid-mountain treat!
  • Spring snowboarding in 60-degree weather in April!
  • Bonding with my partner in a new way that brought us closer than ever.

Check out this highlight reel of my partner’s snowboarding videos from last season:

Overall it was an amazing winter and I learned that my love of the mountains definitely extends to snowboarding as well. I’m already eagerly anticipating the start of the 2015-2016 season – come on, snow!

What’s your favorite winter activity? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Published by Alli Mincher

Alli is a full-time product marketer and certified yoga teacher. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from The College at Brockport, State University of New York. She spends her free time practicing yoga, hiking, and adventuring with her family.

11 thoughts on “Reflections From My First Snowboarding Season

    1. Thank you! I never noticed the two “suns” – how funny! If you get a chance to try winter mountain sports I highly recommend it! I’m told it’s easier to learn to ski, but I’ll stick with snowboarding because of my history of knee injuries! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Unfortunately here in the England this winter we have no chance. Lots of rain! It does mean it’s warmer, which is good but no sign of any white stuff. One day I might do a proper winter holiday.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m glad snowboarding worked out for you! I tried it once, and promptly returned to my skis – I am definitely not meant for a board!

    As for winter activities, I’m pretty much an ice skater these days, though I did ask for snowshoes for Christmas, so maybe that will change!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ice skating and snowshoeing are both a ton of fun! I’ve heard other skiers say the same thing about snowboarding. I think I’m one of the weird ones who skipped the skies and went right to the board! I’m hoping for a pair of snowshoes this Christmas, too. Fingers crossed for both of us!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You know what I think is really odd? I tried water skiing years after I began snow skiing, and I think it is super difficult (I can’t figure out how to fall properly – I can get up and go, but when it comes to falling, I seem to injure myself!).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve never been good at water skiing! I’d love to try to get better at that and maybe give wake boarding a try also!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I think I would be better at wake boarding – I don’t have that “this is how you do it” mindset that causes me trouble with the water skiing.

        Until I try that, though, I’ll just stick with tubing. I am awesome at that (particularly the tubes with the cup holders that are slowly pulled behind the boat).

        Liked by 1 person

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