Ski groups grow during winter
January 9, 2017
Winter in Minnesota comes with cold temperatures and lots of snow. New winter sports approach and skiing and snowboarding are two popular choices for students. Recreational skiing has been around since the 1850s originating in Norway. There is a variety of skiing that students can try such as cross country, downhill, backcountry, freestyle, telemark and adaptive skiing. The most common type of skiing is downhill and the next most popular is cross country.
Afton Alps offers slopes for people of all ages and activities. From snowboarding and skiing to hiking, there is something for everyone. Afton Alps has been around for 52 years.
Offering 18 lifts and four terrain courses, Afton creates a welcoming atmosphere while still providing good runs and five facilities.
Senior Grace Donner said, “We practice at Afton Alps Monday through Thursday. It’s a really nice place to have a high school practice at because they have a lot of room for all the teams that practice there. Most of our meets are there as well so we are familiar with the hills.”
Skiing is something that can be fun for all ages because skiers don’t need to be a certain age to join. For many sports it is best to join younger or in your teens, however skiing and snowboarding can be learned at any age. It is best to have some type of background if you are planning on joining a ski team. It can also be a great way to expand your horizons and a great opportunity to learn more.
Junior Katie Wallace said, “I would recommend having some experience because we mostly work on racing techniques rather than just basic techniques.”
Racing is something to consider if students are wanting to go to the next level. Freestyle skiing is another option skiers can do as well, a good option if skiers are sick of just doing runs.
Sophomore Emma Lehmann said, “I have been skiing of 13 years. I decided to start freestyle skiing because I was sick of just skiing up and down a hill and I just needed to do more.”
If a student is seriously considering starting to ski, the price is something students will want to look into. The equipment can be very expensive, especially if students are planning to get serious. There are ways to rent equipment or purchase second-hand as well. Students will also need to invest into a season pass or pay every time students go. The lowest pass starts at $49 and goes up from there.
Donner said, “Skiing is a very expensive sport especially if you really get into it. I participate in a racing club that practices after high school so doing that drives up the cost too, but you can do things a cheaper way. Places like hi tempo, a nearby ski shop, offers cheap racing rentals for the season so that amount of money you put in it really depends on how serious you take the sport.”
A normal practice starts off with stretching, then the group is free to do a couple runs with friends while coaches set up a course or two to practice skills and drills. Joining the ski team is a great way to form new friendships, do a sport you love and still have a fun time.
Donner said, “I really like the atmosphere of the team; we are all very welcoming and a chill group of people.”
Skiing is not only fun, but it is also very good for students health. It has benefits to almost every aspect. Skiing helps strengthen cardiovascular endurance and it also helps if a student has seasonal depression. It gets students outside in the sun during the winter, which can help to make seasonal depression lessen, and makes students happiness rise. It also works on balance and coordination, one wrong move and skiers could be tumbling down the hill.
Wallace said, “I have been skiing since I was four years old; it is very fun. I have a lot of friends on my team and it is a fun group of people.”