They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Well, I only stepped on a pair of skis almost a decade ago aged 39 – so how hard can it be to snowboard?
The answer – very!
The Chill Factore indoor snow slope near Manchester runs snowboard taster sessions to give it a go. I am with my eight-year-old son – eight is the starting age for lessons – who has skied but fancied a go at boarding after a recent attempt on his sledge.
Instructor Arian first shows us how to actually get in and out of our boards. And, more importantly, how to fall properly – forwards and backwards – and get back up while having two feet strapped to the board.
It’s then up the baby slope, baby steps all the way.
One by one – there are 10 in the group – we slide down the small hill, front foot in the bindings, back foot resting on the board.
The key, as Arian tells us, is to lead with the leg you would use if you are sliding across a patch of ice.
There are mixed results – and a few fallers. We are encouraged to bend our knees and lean forward, out over the slope rather than down the line of the board as a skier would do.
We get four goes and each one is a little more confident – most of us just pleased not to fall over, the younger ones looking for more speed.
We are even encouraged to do a little jump and told next time we will learn to turn with two feet strapped in.
All too soon we are done, the hour lesson gives about 50 minutes on the snow.
I’ll leave the last word to the eight-year-old: “Is that an hour? Already?”
He will definitely be back on a board soon – I may stick to skis.
- A snowboard taster session with jacket and trousers is £36, but prices do vary so check the Chill Factor website.
- Chill Factore is situated on Trafford Quays Leisure Village near The Trafford Centre, postcode M41 7JA.