As winter begins in New Zealand, so does the Snowsports Club at Macleans. Thirty lucky students have been travelling to Snowplanet every Monday for four weeks to take lessons in either skiing or snowboarding. A huge turnout of nearly a hundred students showed their interest at the meeting, but unfortunately, only a third were chosen to attend due to limited spaces. However, there will be another opportunity to join in Term 3, so here’s a little insight from those who have been so far!

Firstly, both skiing and snowboarding are sports of the privileged. Before you sign up, make sure to consider the costs behind it. Luckily for us, the school received a group discount, but those who would like to carry on individually may want to have a further conversation with their parents. Both sports require specialised clothing like jackets, pants, boots, gloves, helmets, and of course, snowboards, or skis and poles. Lessons are also extremely pricey and just one day pass costs quite a lot! However, there are membership options available which are beneficial for those who decide to commit long term.

Once you’ve figured out whether your parents are willing to financially support your new hobby, then you can decide which route in snow sports you would like to take. The most common reply you’ll be given on the difference between the two is that “skiing is easier to learn, but harder to master” while snowboarding tends to be the opposite. Some attribute the extra difficulty in snowboarding to the fact that your two feet are stuck together, which may be off-putting for some people as balancing becomes more of a challenge.

Another thing that both snowboarders and skiers have been finding challenging is definitely overcoming fear. While the magic carpet is a relatively gentle slope, the next step up to the top of the building may be daunting because of how steep it looks. Many fall before they even get up the ski lift and some find it hard to gather enough courage to come back down. There is also the cold to factor in, as well as the long, long drive to Silverdale.

Despite this, all the Macleans students have come out happy in the end and excited to return each week. I would definitely recommend going at least once before your lessons just to get a feel for things, as the world of snowsports can be quite intimidating for a first timer with lots of new equipment and protocol. Go with a friend who is confident, and although you might fall a lot at the beginning, you’ll be whizzing down the slopes in no time!

Beginner Snowboarding
Intermediate / Advanced Snowboarders lesson

28th June, 2024
Written by Ally Chu, edited by Hope Zhang
Image by Mads Schimdt Rasmussen on Unsplash, Photography by Kate Yu

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