$1,000 New Equipments

I have been spending some time researching and searching for new sports equipments. I would like Đạo and Đán to switch over to aggressive skates instead of rollerblades so they can do more tricks at the skateparks. I also would like a new pair of aggressive skates because the coping on my Flying Eagle is way too small. Stalling on it is way too hard. Aggressive skates are way too expensive. I couldn’t find anything decent for under $250.

I am also looking to get Đán a snowboard, a pair of bindings, and a pair of boots. The entire packet would cost at least $500. We’ll do rental for him again next year since he’s still growing and he’s quite picky about the board. I have a two really old boards. The shorter one I am using in the basement to train during off season. The longer one I will use for the winter, but it is not too great. I bought a new pair of bindings last season. I would like to get a new board, but I couldn’t find anything under $250.

If I want to get some new gears (three pair of aggressive skates and a snowboard), I have to spend at least $1,000. I am less concerned about the money, but more concerned about Đạo and Đán not using them. They are becoming less interested in skating. Yesterday evening, when I asked Đán to go to the skatepark, he threw a tantrum. He just wanted to play video games instead. I was infuriated. I wanted them to be active instead of just sitting on their behinds playing on their digital devices all day, especially in the summer.

My Response to the Ski Trip for Scouts

Thanks Chị Tâm for doing the research and organizing the trip. The detailed Google Sheet is very helpful.

All of our family members have seasonal passes; therefore, we have a handful of buddy passes. I believe buddy passes are 40% off the rate for the day you want to ski. If you missed the Epic Day deal and still want to join us, let me know. I will send you the link to purchase the passes online in advance. We have to pick up the tickets together at the window.

For skiing lessons, you should definitely sign up for your kids. I recommend a half-day group lesson. Kids will pick up fast. They’ll be able to ski after 4 hours of learning. They can learn in the morning and ski with their Scout buddies the rest of the day.

For adults, I can give you some skiing tips, but you should also take a two-hour or half-day group lesson. When I first started, I hesitated to learn skiing. My wife signed me up without my consent for a two-hour lesson and forced me to take it. She wanted me to ski with the kids. That lesson unlocked the potential I didn’t know I had. You should get that experience as well.

As for snowboarding, the learning curve is steeper than skiing. I started learning snowboarding last season. I fell five days straight before I could start to snowboard. That first day was brutal. My whole body was in pain. Skating off the lift was also a challenge. I fell every time. After I got over the boot-camp period, however, I enjoyed snowboarding immensely. Nowadays, I switch back and forth between skiing and snowboarding. I love both sports.

In addition to taking lessons, the best place to learn skiing and snowboarding is YouTube. You should check out the videos before hitting the slopes. I learned intermediate skills through YouTube videos.

I hope you will give these sports a try. They will keep you and your kids active during the winter. Before skiing and snowboarding, our family caught all kinds of winter illnesses. In the past few years, we enjoyed our winter activities a whole lot more than before.

Just Blade

I have been blading regularly. On my lunch break at work, I would hit the skatepark with my aggressive skates then hit the bike trail with my three-wheel skates. The big wheels make blading on bike paths comfortable. I blade as fast as a jogger and that’s my exercise for the day.

As for aggressive skating, I haven’t elevated my skills. I pretty much stayed in my comfort zone. I can stall, but I can’t grind. I only drop in at a certain height. I had no motivation to pick up more advanced skills. This afternoon, I realized that I should focus on learning to blade backward. My backward skills definitely need improvement. I haven’t thought much about it.

I still practice snowboarding in my basement. My focus is on my posture, particularly my stand for carving. I just can’t wait for the winter again so we can go skiing and snowboarding.

Snowboarding In My Basement

I am not adjusting well with warm weather. I am not looking forward to doing yard work around our property. Although I am enjoying rollerblading, I am missing skiing and snowboarding in the winter. To keep myself in the game, I continue to do snowboard training in my basement.

Base on the video clips of myself snowboarding last season, I still need to work on my stance. I need to remember to keep my whole body on the board and only my knees bent. I am OK with my toe stance, but I am still falling on my butt once in a while on my heel stance. Tring to sit on a chair without a chair is not as easy as I have imagined.

I am also working on my turns. Since my stance is goofy, I press down with my right foot first then my back foot would follow for my toe turn. For my heel turn, I roll my right knee first then my back knee would follow. The rhythm is 1, 2, 3, 4. Malcolm Moore has an excellent explanation on this technique.

I am also working on my 180-jumps to prepare myself for steep slopes. I always save this one for last because jumping is exhausting. It’s a great exercise.

I wonder what else I can learn snowboarding in my basement.

Relearning Figure Skating

I haven’t skated on ice in a while. I want to go back to relearn the basics. Instead of following the Ice Sports Industry (ISI) curriculum, I want to create my own roadmap. This is what I came up with:






Advanced Jumps

Summer Sports

Skiing season has just ended and I am feeling nostalgic already. I still want to ski and snowboard. My wife already bought Epic passes for all of us for the next season. Eight more months should pass by quick.

We are now heading back to the skate parks for rollerblading and scootering. Đạo still blades a bit. Đán just stops and he’s the best one out of all of us. What a waste of talent. Xuân is still very active with scooting. He progresses each day. I hope he keeps going and not losing momentum. He and I are the only two in the family who are still interested in going to the skate parks.

My blading has peaked. I haven’t learn any new techniques and I have been hesitated to take risks. I still enjoy blading though. I am thinking of giving skateboarding a try since I really love snowboarding. I haven’t been to an ice rink for months. I probably forget all of my figure-skating techniques. I’ll try to get back to it in a bit, but the weather is so nice out and the skate parks are always free. A public ice skating session costs $15 an hour. An hour on ice is nothing.

Đán is also giving up on piano. He no longer wants to practice. He doesn’t value the cost of private lessons we give him. I wanted to give piano a try, but I don’t want to spend $90 an hour for private lessons.

Why I Learn Snowboarding

On December 21, 2021, I took a semi-private, two-hour snowboarding lesson with my son Đán for the first time at Attitash. Our instructor was a young man in his 20s. In our conversation, he told me that he had taught snowboard and ski. I was in awe.

In our lesson, I could barely keep up with Đán. I fell on my ass so many times. My legs were burned and my feet were in pain. The worst part was when I lost my balance on the magic carpet. I tried to push my left hand again the snow, but I landed on the mechanical part of the conveyor belt. My fingers didn’t get chopped off, but my thumb bruised and I was in pain for months afterward.

After our lesson, our instructor told us to keep practicing on the bunny slope, but Đán went on the lift to the green slope. He fell, got back up, and kept snowboarding. He advanced to blue and black, and double-black terrains on his own. As for me, I gave up on snowboarding and focused on skiing. I eventually advanced to blue, black, and double-black terrains on skiing. I was a happy skier, but I was not completely satisfied. Maybe it was my own egotistical, but I felt as if I had failed to learn snowboarding. Then the instructor’s words came to mind. If he could teach skiing and snowboarding, I could learn both. I set out a challenge for myself.

Exactly one year later, December 21, 2022, I took another snowboarding lesson at Okemo. Even though I signed up for a group lesson, the students were just me and another young lady. We had the instructor to ourselves for the entire day. She and I were around the same level. The lesson was also tough. We fell over and over again. Once we were on the green slope, I skated on one foot on a flat terrain, but I couldn’t stop as I picked up the speed. I fell and twisted my ankle. It was a weird twist, but somehow I didn’t sprain anything.

After the lesson, I practiced on my own and continued to fall until I couldn’t feel the pain anymore. I could not skate off the chairlift without falling, but I determined to push forward. It took me a couple of days to stop falling and to control my speed. I watched YouTube lessons to advance to blue, black, and double-black terrains. It was not the right way to learn. I should have taken my time to learn to ride smoothly on the green slopes first before progressing to the next level. After having survived the double-black slopes, I went back to learn proper riding techniques on the green and blue slopes. Because I survived black and double-black slopes, focusing on the techniques was easier.

Skiing and snowboarding are great winter sports. They get me out of the house and off my digital devices. I used to hate the winter because I was afraid of the cold and I kept getting sick. Now I love the winter and I hadn’t been sick during the winter in the last two years I started skiing and snowboarding. If you never tried skiing or snowboarding, you should definitely give it a shot. You can start at any age. I wished I started earlier, but I got into these sports in my 40s. You can choose skiing or snowboarding or both.

I am glad that I have learn both skiing and snowboarding. Even though they share the same playing field, they are two completely different sports. I had to switch my brain from one to another. I still have more techniques to learn in both sports, but I am happy with my journey. I have achieved my personal goals. Now that I know I can do anything when I put my mind to it.

Sixth Day at Mount Snow

Today is our last day skiing and snowboarding for this year. I woke up around 6:00 am, put dishes in the dishwasher, made a sandwich, and brewed a cup of coffee. I left the condo around 8:00 am. I snowboarded down Long John, but my legs hadn’t recovered. I took 45 minutes to snowboard down the green trail.

I went back to the condo around 9:00 am. The kids were up and playing on their digital devices. We had brunch and said goodbye to my brother-in-law and nephew. Around 10:30 am, we headed back to the mountains. My kids and I went back to Long John. One of Vương’s ski popped off when we got on the lift. The lifty handed to another skier behind us. I told Vương to ski with one foot when we get off the lift. He lifted his ski-free leg really high as we skied off the lift together. He looked so cute.

After Long John, Vương wanted a eight-dollar waffle as usual. We bought two so the four brothers could share. After that my wife drove Vương back to the condo to relax. I skied on the black terrains with Đạo, Đán, and Xuân. They were a bit icy, but fun. We did three runs on the three black trails that were opened.

After that we skied back to the main base to load our gears, snacks, and drinks so my wife could take them to the condo. I switched to snowboard, we went back up the lift, and skied and snowboarded back to our rental condo. We were done around 2:00 pm. My legs were too tired and I ran out of energy after skiing and snowboarding for six days.

The trip was definitely worthwhile. My wife and my brother-in-law could get off the chair lift themselves and skied on the green slope. Vương had a fantastic time even though he only skied one long trail a day. Đạo, Đán, Xuân, and Hân spent quality time together on the slopes and digital devices. I picked up snowboarding skills—early edge changes and knee steerings—I needed.

In retrospect, I learned snowboarding the wrong way. I tried to advanced from green slopes all the way to surviving double-black-diamond slopes, and yet I didn’t get the basic riding down. I had to go back to learn those quick turns. Thanks to Long John, I was able to accomplish what I needed to learn. Since I could already handle blue and black terrains, I had more confidence in my riding.

As we close out the season, I still have more techniques to learn next year, but I have reached my goal for learning snowboarding this year. Even though I still love skiing, I am glad that took on the challenge to learn a new sport. Although skiing and snowboarding share the same slopes, they are completely different sports. Switching from one to another requires rewiring my brain, but that’s the beauty of each sport and I like them both.

Đán, our second son, learned skiing, but decided to switch to snowboarding and he is doing good; therefore, he doesn’t want to switch back to skiing. Xuân, our third son, wanted to learn snowboarding this year with me. We got him his gears. We even signed him up for a full-day lesson, but he couldn’t make the switch. He has advanced in skiing; he doesn’t have the patience to learn snowboarding from the beginning. I was also in his situation, but I had the patience and determination to take myself on a new challenge.

Before I learned snowboarding, I heard the rivalry from both sides. Older skiers dissed snowboarding and younger snowboarders dissed skiing. Having learned both sports, I still have my reservations. Ski boots are still a pain to wear and strapping up snowboard binding every time is also annoying, but I have embraced them both. I like switching between them and I will keep up with both sports for as long as I can. I met more skiers than snowboarder in their 70s. I wonder if I will be able to ski or snowboard when I reach 70.

This trip has been fantastic. Mad props to my wife for making it happened. She is always my rock. I love her so much for showering me with all these luxuries. I do not take these privileges for granted. These sports aren’t cheap to get into, but they are worthwhile if we devoted our time into them as a family. I hope my kids will appreciate them when they grow older later.

Fifth Day at Mount Snow

I headed over the mountains around 7:50 am before the lifts open at 8:00 am. I went to Long John trying to learn carving on snowboard. I didn’t do too well. I tried on the blue run, but I ended up doing short turns and knee steerings. I hit the blue trails twice before the rest of the family came over.

I switched to ski to take Long John with Vương. He let me use the harness. He skied well with the strings. I only held him close to me on steeper slopes. We made it down to the main base and my legs were burning. I had to take a break.

After lunch I went over to the discovery area to teach my wife and her brother skiing. I was able to get them to ski off the lift on their own. They still need to learn their turns, but they are getting there.

We wrapped up around 3:30 pm. I switched back to snowboarding and took on the blue slopes. I was able to take the last lift at 3:50 pm. I took Long John home and I was the only one on the entire mountain. It was nice to be able to snowboard back to the condo.

I am completely exhausted, but I loved every moment of it. What more can I say? I love skiing and snowboarding.

Fourth Day at Mount Snow

My wife’s brother and his son joined us last night. I woke early and hit the mountains around 8:30 am. The lift opened at 9:00 am and the line was longer than previous days.

I continued to work on early edge changes. I also moved on to the blue terrains and had lots of fun. I wanted to incorporate carving into my turns, but I am not quite there yet.

Around 10:30 am, the rest of the family arrived. I switched to ski to take Vương on Long John. Skiing with him made to switch to pizza. Now I am having a hard time switching back to parallel. While skiing down Long John, I saw my nephew skiing backward. I challenged Đạo, Xuân, and my nephew to backward skiing. I also ready switch back to snowboarding.

Today is our fourth day at Mount Snow and I am exhausted. The legs are giving out at the end of the day, but I always get up the next day and do it again. I love skiing and snowboarding life.

Beacon of HOV