I was born in the flatlands of Iowa but grew up in Snowbird, Utah. From an early age, I raced on alpine skis and performed well enough to be noticed by the U.S. Ski Team when I was 13. But by the time I was 20, my interest waned, and I moved on to college. Then, at 25, I fell in love with snowboarding, and first competed when I was 29. I "got" snowboarding from the start, because I already understood how to carve.
My last skis were pink Salomon 3S's with no lift and little sidecut-making them hard to carve! But now shaped skis allow skiers to make the perfect, clean arcs snowboarders do. Recently, I jumped on a coach's pair of Dynastar Autodrive Carves, and they were a blast. I could roll them over, make them carve like a board, and even tighten the radius of the turn.
In many ways, ski and snowboard racing are growing closer. From a distance, it's hard to distinguish between a ski racer and a snowboard racer. Look at my photo: The ankles flex, and the knees come forward and bend, just like on skis. The hips angulate, and the shoulders stay level with the board. The head moves very little and the eyes look ahead, in this case anticipating the next gate. All the while the board "pendulums" out and back beneath the upper body as do a skier's skis.
Good skiers should try riding in a hard boot and learning on an entry-level snowboard before graduating to a carving board. You might find the crossover natural and easy. And you'll discover a whole new way to explore the mountain-and improve your skiing.
Have an instruction question? Email Stu Campbell at email@example.com.