Ski school stories: My best day


Recently we posed this question to a few of our ski and snowboard instructors:

Will you share a story about your best day supporting a snowsports student?

Their replies, which we’ll post throughout the winter season, show that the word “lesson” really doesn’t do justice to the experience of snowsports instruction. Sure, the lesson is about learning or improving on skills, and that in itself is exciting. But as our “best day” stories show, a lesson can also be about fulfillment, exploration, challenge, independence, creativity, and friendship. And sometimes, that “best day” stretches into the full season, or beyond.

Snowboard instructor Drew Tolbert shares his “best day” story:

It was a cold day on the hill so things were a little slow; a little clunky. The young rider and I just wanted some smoother turns – not too much to ask for – but the crunchy snow and our equipment just didn’t want to cooperate. Feeling defeated, we loaded the lift and did a shaking, seated dance to try and warm up quick. On the lift ride, we started talking about hobbies. My snowboarding friend told me about her skills as a tap dancer; the fancy footwork and rhythm that made her a graceful and powerful performer. From there our mission was clear: she just needed to find her own beat and let her feet do the work!

Once we figured out that tap moves could be tapped right into the board, it was a whole new song and dance. She was sliding all over the trail with ease. Suddenly it wasn’t so cold and the lift rides were all smiles and laughter. After that, I was following her, trying to match her rhythm and admiring the smoothness of her turns. I paused at the top of the last steep pitch to watch her dance casually down the fast slope. Not long ago that same pitch felt like a white knuckle luge track.

We cruised down to the gazebo on Morse Mountain to finish the session. This stoked little girl was transformed – she had figured out how to use her other talents to make a breakthrough in her riding. Dancing on her snowboard, she said it was time to learn tricks!

Learn more about Smugglers’ Snow Sport University instruction programs. We guarantee that each member of your family will learn to ski or snowboard, or will improve technique, no matter what his or her ability level – novice to expert – or we will refund the lesson portion of that person’s vacation package. The guarantee is a simple sign of our confidence that you’ll have your own best day on our mountain!

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