I have been skiing for one winter. That's it. I have snowboarded for six years and never thought of skiing as an option. Boy was I wrong. To fully understand and be totally immersed in my story, you'll need to know a little history: Skiing runs in my family plain and simple. My dad grew up taking long trips from southern California with his father to ski. My mother didn't start until a bit later but somehow they both ended up and the birthplace of "The Best Snow On Earth", Alta, Utah. This is where they first met and spent most of their early years as a budding couple. Eventually, they moved to Berkley California where my older sister was born. After living in the hustle and bustle of a downtown area filled with hippies, they decided they needed a change. But as it is very evident, not that much change. They simply moved back to Salt Lake City, Utah. This is where I come in to the picture. I spent the first precious few years of my life in one of the United State's skiing epicenters, but wouldn't come to realize the significance of this until much later. I then moved around quite a bit in my early years and by the time I was four, I had settled in the small town of Keene, New Hampshire right in the heart of the BEast Coast. As I grew up, I began to get into snow sports and (just to spite my family as the young rebel I was) began to focus on snowboarding. Some of my earliest clear memories are of flying down the mountain, albeit a bit out of control, but still having the time of my life. The sensation of my hot cheeks being brushed by the cold, crisp New England Air was almost to good to be true to such a hyper-perceptive young boy as my self. I think it was these early experiences among others that really got me hooked on the outdoors and extreme sports. I went to private school from first through eighth grade, but this was no ordinary mini prep school, this was Waldorf school, a place where traditional teaching methods, mass media, cartoons, video games, computers and sedentary lifestyles are greeted with great distain and generally frowned upon. Growing up in this environment allowed my love for the outdoors to be nurtured and to grow into an all out addiction. I spent nearly every waking hour doing something that got me in the fresh air and got my heart rate and adrenaline pumping. This first of my mother-terrifying activities was skateboarding. I loved to skateboard ever since the first one I got for my 6th birthday. It just allowed me a freedom no other vehicle that I had, up to this point, had interactions with. It let me express my pint-sized creativity without being hindered by great amounts of equipment. However, this thrill was short lived because, however much I still like skating, it was utterly defeated by two large opponents: Better skaters, and the ocean. The ocean really is where I love to be. I love feeling the energy and all of the life that you're in contact with when you are in it's waters. Surfing is one thing I've loved since the first time I tried it in second grade on my trip to california. Since then most of my summer activities have centered around getting to the ocean. The main reason I feel that surfing is a great sport is because once you are a competent surfer, it allows almost total freedom on the wave, its like the wave is your canvas and you are the artist waiting to create an aesthetic masterpiece. Although I love surfing, it doesn't offer too many opportunities in the winter in New England unless you like the threat of hypothermia. This is where snowboarding came into play. Up until I experienced surfing, snowboarding was just something I did, but after, it was my winter surfing emulation. I snowboard exactly like I surf, a style that doesn't lend itself to freestyle snowboarding. This is where my first and only major problem was hit: I was bad and I didn't like it. Sure I could get around the mountain but I saw all of these people flying through the air, flipping, spinning, and jibbing rails and I wanted that new kind of freedom. However, despite this large misgiving, it took a very distinctive situation in order for me to make the switch to skiing: last year I was going snowboarding for the first time with a few of my friends and I went to clip into my binding when, lo and behold, my strap on my left (front) binding broke. I thought: "Okay, I'll just go to the pro shop and get it fixed." So I did. Then I met up with my friends again (who I forgot to mention were all skiers), went to the top of the first chair and... drumroll please... my OTHER binding broke. Defeated, I went into the rental shop and, on an impulse due to the fact I was the only snowboarder, I rented skis. That was the defining moment of my winter life. Right off the bat I loved skiing like nothing else. Sure it took a few runs to get the hang of it but after that, I started hitting jumps and jibbing trees. I adored the freedom and made a decision that would materialize the very next day. This decision was that to join my high school ski team and there was only one problem: tryouts were the next day. So that night I made a few calls and got some skis and boots and I found a pair of poles that were my mom's. The boots were size 11 (I now wear 9 1/2) and the skis were 150s (I'm slightly over 6 foot) but they would have to work. I showed up to tryouts and worked my but off at both slalom and GS. All of the next two weeks I worked. I got a little better and got cross-blocking down. Then it was time for Christmas break and although I hadn't made the team yet, I could still use the team as an excuse for free passes. Then it came: the call. My coach called and told me that I had made the team. I had beat out kid's who had been skiing their entire lives. I was ecstatic. I vowed that day that at some point I would be in the active top seven of the racers on the team. But not only did this allow me to practice my racing, it allowed me to try more freestyle and ultimately get addicted. I bought old twin tips from one of my friends and found my dad's old yellow Langes and just started trying things. First it was boxes, then 180s, 360s, rails, switch-ups on boxes, 3s with grabs, rail switch-ups, 540s and more. Thats about as far as I got in my first year and I owe it all to the awesome skiers that are my friends and who've helped me more than any book or video ever could. They pushed me to where I am and they will continue to push me to be better and once I've caught up to them and I'll push them to be better too. Then skiing's natural progression will continue to take place. I have already had indescribable amounts of fun on skis and hope to have more and more every year. ***Up next: My first 360***PLEASE RATE AND COMMENT!!!!!


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