This post is sponsored by Sun and Ski Sports, however all opinions are my own!
One of our favorite trips as a couple is snowboarding in the winter! We love exploring new resorts every year, but we usually always take one trip to Colorado. Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada has been our absolute favorite – and we will definitely be back!
On our recent trip to Breckenridge, CO last week, Ross actually proposed! It was absolutely perfect – more details to come on the proposal later this week!
Before I knew our snowboarding trip was actually a surprise engagement trip, I planned a collaboration with Sun and Ski Sports! We’ve always bought all of our gear from Sun and Ski Sports, so it’s been a dream partnering together to share that January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month.
In honor of Learn to Ski & Snowboard month, Ross and I are sharing our journey on how we learned to snowboard together! It’s honestly better if neither of you have done it before, so you can truly learn together! It’s more encouraging have each other’s support to keep going – I have a feeling if I was doing it by myself I wouldn’t be as motivated! We will share a transition video on Instagram of where we started on the bunny hill to where we are now!
For this blog post, we asked you what questions you had about how we learned snowboarding together as a couple on Instagram Stories. Translating that Q&A format to the blog post here!
One more thing before we start the Q&A – Sun and Ski is giving away a snowboarding/skiing gear package worth over $2,000! Goggles, helmet, skis or board, jacket, everything you need! Enter here before it ends on January 31, 2021! In addition, you can find all of our outfits in the above photos below:
- Women’s Burton Floral Jacket
- Women’s Burton Pink Snow Pants
- Women’s Anon Neck Warmer
- Men’s Volcom Jacket
Learn to Snowboard Q&A
Q: So how did you get into snowboarding?
A: It all started with a family ski trip! I grew up skiing (I’m from Michigan so skiing was easily accessible) and we always did annual ski trips as a family. Ross was ready to join in on the tradition after we had been dating for almost 2 years – but there was one issue. He grew up in the South, and didn’t really grow up skiing, so his skill level was very basic. He thought snowboarding looked cooler anyway, and wanted both of us to be at the same level. He didn’t think it would be fun for me if I was waiting for him at the bunny hill all day – which is true! The family ski trip was planned for March 2018, so in December 2017 he surprised me with a trip to Vail + 3 day snowboarding lessons! It’s a great Christmas gift idea if you’re looking to gift more of an experience than another “thing” under the tree. Anyway, I was kind of “forced” into switching from skiing to snowboarding so we could learn together. This way, we we’re at the same ability level for a more enjoyable experience on the mountain.
Q: When did you learn to snowboard?
A: Technically, I attempted to learn when I was 15. I took a lesson, then went out on the slopes with my friends and broke my wrist. After that, I switched back to skiing! Then I met Ross, and he really wanted to learn to snowboard before our family ski trip. As stated above, we learned in 2017 and have taken 2 trips a year ever since!
Q: Was it hard to learn as an adult?
A: Personally, I think snowboarding is hard. It takes a while to learn the balance of the board and feel stable so you won’t fall. It takes a ton of practice, but once you get it, you get it! I definitely needed the “3-day bootcamp” style lesson. Day 1, you learn the basics and not even really on a hill – you’re with the little kids on the magic carpet. Day 2, you might make it up the small chairlift. Day 3, you can actually start doing runs – with an instructor who coaches you along the way! We learned at Vail Resorts, and honestly ANY Epic Resort will have amazing instructors from all over the world.
Q: How long did it take you to pick it up?
A: Honestly, the 3-day snowboard class was enough for us to be good enough to go out on our own! Ross and I definitely stayed on the greens (beginner trails) the first few trips though as we continued to get better, but we were fully able to snowboard after 3 days. We couldn’t really hang with more experienced riders, so it’s good to be at the same level as someone.
Q: Would you say you’ve “mastered” it yet?
A: Yes and no. I technically have mastered the skills, but I’m too afraid to go fast and don’t like doing black diamonds because it’s too much speed for me to still feel in control of my turns. Skiing though, I love blacks and double blacks. For snowboarding, I am perfectly happy cruising on the blues and feel in control! It’s always best to stay within your comfort zone on the mountain for the safety of you, and others.
Q: What do you recommend for first time snowboarders?
A: Absolutely, 100% you need lessons. Someone who’s going to walk you to through the basics of toe edge, heel edge, going back and forth on the board to stay balanced. I also recommend learning with someone you know. It’s more fun – whether it’s a friend, brother, sister, or significant other. You’ll be more likely to stick with it too / not give up since it’s something fun you can do with each other!
Q: Who’s had more wipeouts?
A: Pretty even – neither of us really fall much anymore! Maybe 0 – 2 times a day. Usually I can catch myself before I fall and slow down / adjust.
Q: Who’s better now?
A: Again, we are pretty even. I am more technical and care about doing all the turns and getting down the mountain the “right way” over speed. Ross will go faster and do tricks (I will NOT do jumps), so inevitably he’s falling more bc he’s trying new things!
Q: How is snowboarding compared to skiing?
A: They are completely, COMPLETELY different! Skiing is much easier to stay up and balanced, while snowboarding will take a bit to feel balanced and comfortable on the board. Both are about shifting your weight side to side, but in a completely different way. It’s totally up to you what you want to do! Skiing is a little easier to learn (you can be pretty beginner and make it down the mountain as long as you know how to stop) while snowboarding, you really need to know what you’re doing before you head down the mountain.
Q: What’s your favorite gear?
A: We love Burton, Roxy, Volcom, The North Face and Quicksilver! I really recommend getting a snowboarding brand like Burton for your jacket and snow pants. Snowboarding jackets are made longer than regular ski jackets and cover your butt. Skiing you don’t ever sit down, but for snowboarding you have to strap in at the top of every hill and it requires sitting. Your butt gets pretty cold fast, so the extra jacket layer helps! Same with snow pants. When I first started, I wore my Spyder brand snow pants (a ski brand) and my butt got wet faster than when I switched over to Burton. The insulation is just made differently for the sports!
All of our favorite brands are available at Sun & Ski, and that’s where we buy all of our equipment and clothing! Everything from the basics like mittens and jackets to goggles, snowboard bag, and actual board. We love our Sun and Ski brand double snowboarding bag for travelling through the airport – it’s big enough to hold both of our snowboards and a few jackets/snow pants stuffed in!
Q: Buy or rent?
A: For the first few times, I recommend renting. Try a few boards before you buy. Demo boards are available from tons of stores, and Sun and Ski even does rentals. See the rental locations here! Once you know the brand, length and style board you want, you can looking into buying one! It might seem expensive at first, but it will pay for itself after a few trips over renting.
Should I convert from skiing to snowboarding? What’s the experience like?
A: Totally up to you! Honestly, if it wasn’t for Ross, I would have never switched. I’m perfectly comfortable skiing – I would still say I’m better at skiing than snowboarding even though I haven’t done it in years. So you have to be committed if you want to switch – it’s going to frustrate you’re not as good, but it’s a learning curve! We’ve gone on 9 trips now and I feel totally comfortable on any run but a black diamond. I can even do some blacks – just depends on the terrain and I don’t “love” them – in terms of they are more work to get down! If you’re up for the challenge of learning something new – GO FOR IT! You still need a lesson though.