Originally Posted by kgtrips
Too Hard. It took me 20 years to learn to ski. Why would I want to spend hours on my backside ( as a result of falling - not strapping in). This old dog doesn't want to learn any new tricks.
One day when I was out skiing, I saw a couple of snowboarders ride 20 feet high on a bank on the side of a trail and then "surf" down the fresh powder. At the time, skiers didn't do this kind of stuff. My reaction was "Cool, I'd like to do that". But I did notice that beginner riders spent a lot of time falling down and sitting on the snow. I decided to wait until a soft snow day before I tried. Then, whenever there was a powder day, I didn't want to waste it sitting around all day.
Fast forward a few years to after I started working as an instructor. I was able to try boarding for free. A slow news day came along, so I grabbed a board from the rental shop and joined a class. After 10 minutes, the instructor told me, you got it - take off (in a nice way). I didn't really have it, but I did not need to sit down every 20 feet. I did it for about an hour and said to my self "Self, that's enough of that!" and went back to work. Compared to skiing, being a beginner was not particularly fun and after an hour of fighting the board I was getting tired. If I was a quitter, that would have been it.
I tried riding a couple more times. Each time I "lasted" a little longer. But I still sucked. In those days, all of our snowboard instructors were kids. It did not take long before I was given a snowboard class to teach because all of the regular snowboard instructors had left for the day and I was the only one working who been on a board at all. By the end of my class, I had 1/2 my students riding better than I could. That gave me a little more motivation, because if they could do it, I should be able to also. If I could teach them to ride that well, why couldn't I teach myself?
Eventually (and despite some back trouble at the time that made strapping in a 5 minute experience), I started to get the board on edge and I started to get it. By the time it was time to get my own gear, I was making visible progress every day. One year, I took my board with me on a ski trip to Wolf Creek. I rode every other day. It was pretty cool to wear out one set of muscles while the other set of muscles got a break. I rode powder. I started riding blacks. I'd finally discovered that the snowboard is not an inferior contraption that is just for kids. It worked a little different than skis, but it did work. The joy of sliding on snow, sideways, had joined the joy of sliding on snow, forward.
When I started riding I had been skiing for over 30 years. Because of my ski instructing, my skiing was still improving, but progress was slow. Half of the fun of riding has been the huge amount of progress made every day on the slopes. After 8 seasons of riding, my rate of progress is beginning to slow, but there are still challenges left to be conquered that would be no problem on skis. And now there are people coming up to me saying "Wow - I wish I could do that!" (it does not happen often, but it's nice when it does).
In the years since I started riding, snowboard instruction has improved greatly. You don't have to bust your ass on day 1 to get it. Some places still teach this way, but with specific beginner equipment like the Burton Learn To Ride boards and teaching methods that focus on the "building block" movements it is possible to learn without slamming into the snow or spending a large amount of time sitting around catching your breath.
Your mileage may vary. But just because you're an old dog does not mean that you are too old to have fun learning a new trick. There are a lot of reasons why skiers shouldn't bother to learn to ride. If your number of days on snow are limited, the expense of more equipment is an issue, or the risk of falling is too great, then learning to ride may not be for you. But if your main objection is just plain stubbornness, consider this a poke to get you off your butt and on the road to discovering an expanded world of snow sliding.