Liberty on Sunday

Our family went to Liberty today. I skied with Vương on the green terrains and switched to snowboard on the blues and black. Liberty opened its first double black diamond this season. I attempted to try snowboarding down the double black, but I was not sure if I was ready. In addition, too many ski students were there. I switched back to my skis and went down. I also hit the moguls. It was a nice trip with the family including my wife’s mother, her brother’s, and sister’s families. Back to work and school tomorrow.

Teaching & Carving

Today my wife and I went on a ski date at Liberty. It was nice to go skiing without the kids once in a while. I taught her how to turn and how to fix her skis from pizza to parallel. She is getting there. I also started to learn carving on the green terrains. Carving was the technique that I had wanted to learn on skiing, but I switched to snowboard. My goal is to learn to carve on ski this season. We haven’t had any snow day this year. I am still holding out hope that we will get some snow this winter.

Visiting Whitetail

I took Đạo, Đán, and Xuân to Whitetail today. We arrived around 10:30 am and left around 2 pm. I snowboarded first and switched to ski for two runs. Whitetail has big, wide blue terrains, which were great for snowboarding. Whitetail blasted snow guns even when the temperature was warming up. We had a great time together today.

My Seventeen-Year-Old Board

This week, the boys have Thursday and Friday off for student holiday. I took Đạo, Đán, and Xuân to Liberty today. Since today is weekday, the resort was not crowded. All four of us hit the blue terrains without having to wait in line for the lifts.

I worked on short turns with the 156-cm Capita Indoor Survival. The board is a bit taller than me. Turning was a bit harder at first, but quite effective once I could initiate the turns. I am starting to appreciate its sturdiness and stability. I made some great runs today on the blue and black terrains with my sons.

I got my snowboard boots back from Đán. He took over my boots and gave me his crappy rental boots since we both wear the same size. His rental boots hurt my feet so much that I made him exchanged it for another pair. The latest pair seems to work well for him. As for my boots, they helped tremendously with easing the burns. My feet were still uncomfortable in the first few runs, but they were fine afterward. I am still looking into buying a new pair of traditional bindings. That might be more comfortable than the step-in bindings.

After some googling, I learned that the Capita Indoor Survival was released in 2006. Even though it is 17 years old, the board is still in great condition. In retrospect, the board and I meant to be for each other. When the previous owner listed it on Facebook’s Marketplace, I thought it was a 110-cm board for kids. I contacted him to buy for my son, but he said it was definitely not for kids. Since he only asked for $35, I went to check it out. When we met up, the board still looked new. When I rubbed my finger on the bindings, microfibers came off like dusts. In addition, the board was way too tall for me. I declined the sale and walked back to my car. Then I changed my mind and wanted to just get it. At the same time, he drove up to me and said he would sale it for $20 because he just wanted to get rid of it. I smiled at him and handed him a $20 bill and he told me to pick up the board off his truck. Now thinking about it, I should have paid him $35 or $50. It was definitely a steal. I am going to maintain and use this boards for many years to come.

Invest in New Board and Bindings

I have been learning to snowboard on the 2008 Burton White Collection (143cm). Other than being uncomfortable on my feet, I am doing fine with it. As I am doing more research, however, I am learning that the board is not appropriate for my weight. I am weighing 156 bls.

Last Saturday, I switched to the 2006 Capita Indoor Survival (156cm). The board is as tall as me. I had trouble with my toe turns. I need more time to readjust to the longer board. Uncomfortability remains an issue for me. Maybe the Flow step-in bindings aren’t good for me. I might need the traditional strap-on bindings.

I didn’t realize that the board is already 17 years old even though it is still in good condition. It is time for me to invest in a new board and bindings since I am digging snowboarding.

My next goal is to learn how to make short turns. Malcolm Moore’s video looks promising. I hope I can pull this one off.

Chloe Kim Came to Rescue

Chloe Kim carried a stranded snowboarder on her back. Isn’t she just fucking awesome? This is another reason to love snowboarding. The community is fantastic.

Near the end of last year, I went to Bryce to learn snowboarding for the first time. I kept falling down even I was trying to stand on the snowboard. I got frustrated, but a young couple came and encouraged me. The guy told me that I was doing great and the only way to get better was to keep trying. I took his words and kept on trying.

Today I still have so much to learn, but I got past that frustrating stage. I can’t wait to hit the trails again tomorrow.

Made it Down From the Black Terrain

On Saturday, I snowboarded on the blue terrain learning to initiate my turns early. My toe turns are improving, but they are still not as effective as my heel turns. I am still trying to learn quick turns on steep terrains. I found this video useful in showing how to put pressure on my front foot and lift up my back foot to pivot the turn. I still haven’t accomplished this yet.

On Sunday, I snowboarded on the blue terrains at Liberty. I did well; therefore, I went on the black terrain. I was able to pull it off. I was happy about it. I want to spend more time learning the fast turns. In snowboarding, turns seem to be everything. Once you master your turns, you can enjoy your ride downhill. Learning tricks would be the next step.

Skiing and snowboarding have significant benefits for me. In addition to keeping myself active during the winter months, I haven’t had a gout attack even though I have been drinking quite a bit and consuming beef. Knock on wood, but I haven’t had any winter sickness like cold, cough, or congestion. When I ski or snowboard, I put all my stress behind. I don’t give a shit any more. I just go with the flow.

Survived the Blue Terrain

On Saturday, our whole family headed back to Liberty. The kids skied with their cousins. I skied with Vương for one run on the bunny slope and several blue and black terrains with Xuân and my nephews. I also taught my wife some basic skiing skills. We arrived around noon and left around 4pm. I didn’t get a chance to snowboard.

Today, we went to Roundtop. I skied with Vương for two runs on the green terrains then switched to snowboard. I did two runs on the green and headed up the blue. I was a bit nervous, but I made my way down with a few falls. This video from SnowboardProCamp helped boosted my confidence. I need to learn quick turns to get around the moguls. At least I made a bit of a progress on snowboarding.

After four weeks off, I will be returning to work tomorrow. I definitely need some adjustments for the reentry.

Zoo-Seeing & Snowboarding

On Thursday, I wanted to take Vương to skiing, but he didn’t want to go. We ended up taking the Metro to Smithsonian’s National Zoo. We had a wonderful bonding time together. He enjoyed seeing the animals and I enjoyed being with him. I just wanted him to get off the digital devices and spend more time outside. He is growing up too fast. I am going to miss him at this age.

Today, I headed back to Liberty early in the morning to practice snowboarding. My feet were still in pain when I turned, especially on my toe edge. I am not sure how to overcome this. I managed to make early edge changes and narrowed down my path. I picked up a tip from Malcolm Moore’s “Garlands” exercise—the front foot initiates the change the back foot follows. Here’s the rhythm: 1, 2 (heels), 3, 4 (toes). Once I mastered my edge changes, I will be ready to hit the blue and black terrains.

Of course, I had to hit two runs on ski before leaving the resort. I now have to carry both sets with me. Instead of having to choose one over the other, embrace both sports. Even though they share the slopes, the two sports are completely different. I like how my brain can switch back and forth for both. Snowboarding is still new to me; therefore, I enjoy the learning challenge. I am not an expert at skiing, but I am at the level where I can comfortably go down the steep terrains.

Climate Change is Real

Mother Nature hasn’t been nice to us all week with rain and warm weather. Despite 60°F today, I went to Liberty to see if the trails were still skiable. As expected, the ice was slushy. I couldn’t snowboard down the green trail without stopping to rest my feet. They were excruciatingly uncomfortable. I was using Đán’s rental boots because he took mine. After five runs, I couldn’t continue.

Because my feet hurt so bad, I didn’t make any progress on snowboarding. I wanted to work on the torsional twists and the pole drills, but I couldn’t do them. I ended up switching to skiing. I went up to the blue trail and skied around moguls. I still love skiing.

Climate change is making a huge impact on skiing and snowboarding. If the weather continues to get warmer and warmer in the winter, we won’t be able to ski in the next few years. I hope that won’t be the case.

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