Speeding down the slopes

Winter Break provides opportunity to learn snowboarding.

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Sophomore Takouhi Asdorian takes a break from a day of snowboarding at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort. Tahoe-area ski resorts offer equipment rentals and lessons in addition to lift passes.

Olivia Rounsaville, Senior Reporter

Many students are pulling out their goggles, helmets, boots and snowboards in preparation for a popular winter activity over next week’s Winter Break ― snowboarding.

“One day my parents suggested either taking a snowboarding lesson or a ski lesson,” junior Audrey Hunnicutt said. “I loved watching snowboarding in the Olympics so I decided to choose snowboarding even though all my friends liked to ski, hoping to stand out a little and not do something solely for the reason that my friends did it.”

While students like Hunnicutt snowboard competitively, others like sophomores Mia Sassi and Takhoui Asdorian snowboard recreationally at resorts in Tahoe. 

“My dad taught me snowboarding when I was little and I’ve just been doing it ever since,” Asdorian said. “I love the excitement of going down the mountain and it’s something special my dad and I can bond over.”

Sassi, who had skied since she was 5, recently decided to switch to snowboarding because snowboarding gives her more freedom to get down the slopes. 

“I really enjoy the thrill of snowboarding,” Sassi said. “I had been skiing for so long, and it got boring for me because it became repetitive after a while.”

Hunnicutt was a member of the Northstar Competition Snowboard team for three years at the ski and snowboard resort in Lake Tahoe. The team is a part of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association which participates in competitions in Tahoe and across the country. 

“Snowboarding is a challenging endeavor,” Hunnicutt’s snowboarding coach Nancy Brest said. “Snowboarders must learn their limitations and what they need to work on.”

Snowboarding competitions include a variety of events, including slopestyle, halfpipe and rail jam. Competitions can also include less serious races such as bank phone or skolf, a cross between golf and snowboarding. 

“Competitions can be stressful,” Hunnicutt said, “but they are also a great way to improve and learn from everyone there and get to know more people from the Tahoe area and the Bay Area.” 

Major Tahoe resorts including Squaw, Sugar Bowl and Mt. Rose have snowboarding teams that are open to kids ranging from around 7 to 18 depending on the team and those interested in joining a team can visit resort websites or contact coaches for more information. 

“Joining a snowboarding team is a big commitment,” Sassi said. “I would prefer to just snowboard for fun when my family travels to the snow.”

Sports Basement sells lift tickets for Sugar Bowl, Diamond Peak, Sierra at Tahoe, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows and Homewood Mountain Resort ranging from $34 to $75. Most resorts offer snowboarding lessons which average at $130 for a two hour lesson. 

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