Linda Stamper Boyne: More proof our kids live in another world in Vail Valley
Vail, CO, Colorado
I don’t know how to say this without sounding old, so I’m just going to spit it out. Young people have a whole different idea about skiing than those of us who’ve been on this Earth since before Ronald Reagan was in office. They’re crazy.
This realization hit me during a conversation with my boys, begun innocently enough when I was going through the weekly folder from school while they started their homework.
Me: “Hey, Little Man, don’t forget you’re skiing this Friday so make sure on Thursday you bring home the homework you’ll need for the weekend.”
Little Man, moaning: “Oh, great.”
Me: “Is it really that much of a hardship to spend the day skiing instead of sitting in the classroom?”
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Little Man: “It’s all the rules. We can’t do double blacks. We can’t jump. We can’t go in the terrain park. We can’t go in the trees. We can’t drop cliffs. I don’t know why we even go.”
At this point, his little brother pipes in.
Small Boyne: “Yeah, Mom. It totally su…” He stopped mid-word when he caught my what-you’re-about-to-say-is-so-not-OK look. He restarted.
Small Boyne: “Mom, it totally doesn’t rock.”
I didn’t tell them that sounded like a great day of skiing to me. But for them, the goal is not to keep their skis on the snow.
Me: “Think of it as an opportunity to work on the basic skills, to perfect your turns, to practice your mogul runs.”
I got eye rolls from both boys. I spared them the “Don’t you realize how lucky you are?” speech, knowing it would fall on deaf ears at this moment. So I asked them to tell me about the terrain park instead.
Let me interject here that there is an entire vernacular of freestyle skiing for what you do, how you do it and the end result of the action that anyone over 35 has to acquire before gleaning anything from a conversation such as this.
Case in point: Little Man’s DEVO coach is the source of much of his newfound knowledge of all things freestyle. Following the first time the boys’ dad picked them up from DEVO, I asked him what the coach told him about the day on the slopes. He looked at me and said, “I have no idea. I couldn’t understand a thing he said.”
Little Man: “I just learned how to grind a rail. You want to do a 90 when you jump on so you hit it sideways then slide and at the end jump off and do a 90 backwards so you can ski switch.”
Small Boyne: “Dude! That’s so sick!”
Me: “Uh, yeah. Totally sick. What do you do on a box?”
Little Man: “You slide it. You can try to spin on it and do a 180 or a 360. That’s easier on a butter box because it wider. I’m working on my 540.”
Small Boyne: “Dude, I saw this guy launch a jump and try to do a 180 and he lost it and totally ate it. It was sick.”
Little Man: “No, dude, I saw this hippie skiing with a boom box and he totally gapped the knuckle and landed it and kept going. It was so cool.”
I left them in Dudeland at this point, discussion the merits of the mailbox versus the butter box. I don’t remember ever wanting to launch myself off anything while on skis. Is it this the influence of the X Games on the sport of skiing? Do we look to snowboarding for the explanation? Or is it merely evolution, taking the sport up to the next level, doing things on the newer generation of equipment that we could not on our old, long skis?
I’ve come to the conclusion that skiing will not just be an enjoyable pastime and a little cardiovascular exercise for me from now on. While skiing with my boys, it will now also have the detrimental health effects of making my heart race and/or skipping a beat every time I see one of my boys airborne or balanced precariously on some object. I’m going to put Ski Patrol on my speed dial.
Linda Stamper Boyne of Edwards writes weekly for the Vail Daily. She can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org