Your friend looks apprehensive. They reply “my biggest fear with skiing is that I won’t be able to stop.” You tell them “You’ll be fine! When I was four my grandpa wrapped my up in my snowsuit and pushed me down the bunny hill and I never got hurt. I learned to stop in no time.”
Your friend reluctantly agrees to go on the ski trip with you. They have never skied or rode a snowboard before. When you get to the mountain the whole group heads up to a wide cruisy blue to “warm up”. You take it a turn at a time with your friend, until you get frustrated. You ski on without them. They fall a lot. Both of your smartphones die because of the cold.
Later that day you finally meet up with you friend in the lodge. You see them with their boots off, rental gear returned, and hot toddy in hand. Your friend says to you “I had to take a snowmobile down. After the tenth fall my legs were so tired and my body so bruised that I gave up and slid on my butt. A ski patroller radioed for a snowmobile, brought me down, and helped me get my gear returned. I never want to go out on the slopes with you again. Next March we are going to the tropics.”
This whole day could have gone better if you had approached the day differently. What if the conversation went more like this?
“You HAVE to come with us next time!” you exclaim to your friend after returning from your recent ski trip. “The snow was so great, it was sunny all day, and I met a hot hunk in the hot tub afterward.” Your friend looks apprehensive. They reply “my biggest fear with skiing is that I won’t be able to stop.” You tell them “I’ll buy you a lesson package. The instructors at (insert your favorite resort) are truly professional. They will make sure you will learn at your own speed, build your skills, and teach you how to handle harder and harder terrain each day. When you are done with your lessons, we’ll take an easier run together and you can show off all your steezy pizza turns.”
Your friend reluctantly agrees to go on the trip with you. They take their lessons. Later that day you meet up with them at the base of the beginner lift. They load and unload the lift without yardsaleing in the lift line. They make slow but controlled turns the whole way down your favorite green circle sunset cruiser.
Later, when you both are at the bar with hot toddies, your friend exclaims “That was a really fun trip. I can’t wait to come back next year so I can learn to ski with all of you guys. Skiing (or snowboarding) is awesome!”
Friends don’t let friends teach friends. Hire a professional to teach your friend (or lover) how to ski. They will want to come back, and they won’t hate you afterward.
-- Jacob Fager
Board Member, OutRyders member since 2017
How to save your friendship (or your marriage) on the slopes.