Monday, December 19, 2016

Downhill Skiing $$ 🎓🎓🎓 💪💪💪

Strap a pair of long, flat, edged, boards to your feet and head down hill!   Well, it's a bit more complicated than that.  You need some safety equipment (helmet), appropriate clothing, skis, boots, and a ticket to ride the lifts.  Unless you want to hike up the mountain, (takes a lot of time but saves a lot of money) - which is really a different sport (called "Telemark skiing", uses a different boot and binding).

Skiing is all about balance and ankle movements - move your balance to the left (tilting your feet/skis)  and you turn left.  Move your balance to the right, tilting your skis, and turn right.  Turn enough and you face up hill, which slows you down.  You also need to be above your skis, not sitting back for the best control.   The boots have to be fairly tight, as it is all about ankles.

But you get going fairly fast.  The world record is over 150 mph.  Most people won't go over 50 mph, and beginners usually stick to 10 mph.

Skiing is a rich man's sport, but you don't have to be rich to try it.  You can easily get a first time skier package that includes rental, lesson, and ski equipment for less than $75.  Most of these are state specific - i.e. to qualify for it you must live in the state that is offering it.   Moreover if you are from out of state, transportation and housing really drives the price up (unless you take a bus at 6 AM to be at the mountain by 9 AM, then bus home - but that's hard core).   For that reason I did not classify it as cheap.    For most people a ski trip costs more than $200 per day, involving transportation, hotel, equipment rental and a lift ticket.   But if you are not alone, you can split a lot of the costs, it's not per person.

It's very different if you live within 40 miles of a ski resort.  Then you can buy a season pass, buy your own skis, and sleep at home instead of a hotel.  Then it becomes a very affordable hobby, which explains why so many Olympic skiers come from locations that are famous for skiing - they have done it since grade school, even if they grew up poor.

Nor is skiing easy to do - expect to take lots of lessons (again, expensive), and it is definitely a work out, particularly if you go fast.   

It's split fairly evenly down the middle, with lots of men and women.  Kids are welcome, if you can afford it/live near by.  They take them as young as 3.   Many ski resorts offer discounts for older skiers and you see a solid mix of all ages.   But the age limit for the cheap skiing has gone up as skiing became more popular among the wealthy senior citizens.

I grew up skiing at Mt. Snow:

It's the closest of the really big ski mountains to Manhattan.  It's very crowded during winter weekends (particularly holidays), a lot less so during non-holidays weeks.

But if you live closer to a smaller mountain, consider checking them out.   Especially if you live within an hour of ski resort.  Some people move to be near a ski resort.

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