A Flip Side Collection

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13

Snowboarding, U.S.A.


The newest sport in the Olympics (and already one of the best) is snowboarding.


Iím glad to see that it has finally caught on, mostly because it is a different brand of sport and has a different age group to back it. Other Olympic so-called sports, however, such as curling, couldnít catch my attention with a net. But the real meaning behind these winter sports is for people to have fun.


Besides our own winter sports, such as having snowball fights and throwing snowballs at cars, I started getting involved with winter sports in fourth or fifth grade when I went every Friday night to Lost Valley with the Augusta Recreation Department. This was where I learned to ski and have fun doing it, just as long as I didnít crash into a fence or another individual.


After about five years now, itís still as fun as it ever was, and I donít crash into that many things anymore.


The point is, skiing was fun, but I knew I was missing something. Most of my friends had snowboards and wanted me to try it too. So I thought taking my first run on a snowboard would be easy. It wasnít. It started out at the point where I would go down the hill about 10 inches at a time, wiping out every five. Then after getting my initial balance, I would make it about 10.62839 inches at a time, still wiping out all the time. But my main reason for the first days on a board, all my friends said, is to get your balance. That kept me going for a while, but I was exhausted by the middle of the day every day we went.


Now I wasnít tired from snowboarding all this time, I was tired from getting back up after I had fallen. But after mastered my balance the rest just came. My friend Rick, an exceptional snowboarder, taught me the basics in about one sentence, and then I just practiced. Now I wish I started much before this because I think itís more fun than skiing.


Now that I could turn and go off a jump without dumping it, Jared, another friend of mine, and Rick and I go around town wherever we find a hill and build gigantic jumps (placed strategically to hurt ourselves, otherwise it wouldnít be fun) and just snowboard until itís too dark. Even after the ice storm Rick and I worked one entire day just ripping the lethal crust up and getting to the powder underneath to make a snowboarding trail in his yard, to which we built a relatively small jump and practiced with that.


Whatever you do, whether itís tossing granite down a section of ice with teammates called scrubbers, who do absolutely nothing but wave their brooms on the ice like maniacs, snowboard, or bobsled, itís important that you have fun doing it.


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© By Paul Adams