Saturday, January 27, 2007

Fabulous Life of Andrew?

My brother and I made plans a while ago to go snowboarding in Utah. Granted it was his plan and he skis, but yesterday he flew and I drove into Salt Lake City. If you were wondering about this, Nevada is big.

Anyway, I picked him up at the airport and we drove to the Ramada in Draper, where they'd given away our rooms, then to the Day's Inn, which shares an owner and has rooms. And a jacuzzi.

We got a latish start this morning, after finally getting our room sorted out around 2am. We went up to Brighton, where there were light crowds and some hard-boot snowboarders promoting their version of the sport.

I've been researching hard boots for a while, so of course I jumped at the opportunity to try it. That type of setup brings precision to a whole new level. Also doesn't forgive mistakes. The way the board's edge grabs the snow is terrifying. And the boots transmit every motion they allow you to make to the board. It was a lot like going back to being a beginner, except on the top of a pretty difficult run. One of my first heelside turns dropped me on my back and reminded me that it's a good thing I wear a helmet. After a second run, though, I started to get the hang of it, and on my last run on their gear, I was doing pretty decent carved turns. Not as good as theirs, and I was just a little terrified, but nearly what I can do on my gear, which I'm familiar with.

The verdict, for me, is that as long as I have to ride a "quiver of one" snowboard, it's going to be my present setup or one very much like it. I have the precision to do a pretty good carve, and it's a loose and forgiving enough setup for the sloppier style that I don't mind admitting I employ off-piste and when conditions get sketchy. If I could afford to have a second setup, though...

After Brighton, Zach and I had a really good Mexican dinner, then bought swimsuits to wear in the motel's hot tub, which we had to ourselves. Definitely worth the $13 for the suit.

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