This summer Sarah went to New Zealand for a family reunion and some remedial snowboarding. Poor Sarah isn’t as good at snowboarding as me and has a habit of trundling down the mountain, crawling from side to side with a grin on her face. The grin is good, obviously. When she finally catches up with me where I’ve been waiting for her, she generally mutters something about how my board is better than hers, or her technique is more refined, allowing greater control, or some such. Insanity, all of it, but I smile and nod and then dart off down the mountain. So, with her remedial lessons I was hoping she’d be able to keep up. When she got back, in fact, she admitted that her assessment of our boards was wrong and that she just hadn’t had the bottle before, but she does now. Sounds good.
Last month it was Sarah’s birthday and we went to Milton Keynes for some boarding at Xscape and a little test of how she’s been doing. We decided to hire boards there to save us lugging them on the Virgin trains and scary MK buses, allowing us to test this better board theory. And we decided against all our padding, just taking wrist guards (no helmets, knee pads, or arse protection). The hire boards were pretty knackered and of course not set up as we would like, but that was part of the challenge and the fun. I started off badly by not even managing the lift – I fell off twice and had to sit down and regroup. It was pretty embarrassing. Sarah tootled down the slope and very kindly didn’t laugh at me, but did give me good advice on taking the lift. When I finally got up the slope, it took me a couple of runs to start getting the feel of it back, and the slope had some nasty icy patches, just waiting to catch us out. Sarah really unluckily fell quite early on and hurt her knee (oh, why didn’t we take our knee pads?!). This, combined with, um, what was the excuse, oh yeah, combined with her not having her goggles with prescription inserts, meant that I’m still faster than her. Oh, the shame of it!
So, we’re off boarding on Boxing Day to see how Sarah will do with the padding, the prescription inserts in her goggles, and her own board. Not to mention a real slope. Wish her luck, the poor little petal.