Ski, Boards and Ice | Urban Living

Ski, Boards and Ice

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The first skateboard I ever owned was a red painted board, about a foot long and six inches wide, with metal roller skating wheels on the front and back. My parents bought it at the Ben Franklin store for less than $10. There were no safety helmets, pads or instructions—just a rolling good time of falls and fun. Centuries later (OK, I'm not quite that old), skateboarding will appear in the 2020 Olympics in Japan for the first time ever.

I mention skateboarding because it's related to snowboarding, and this time of year is Ski and Snowboard Month in Utah. When I first moved here, I learned to ski, but that was on two long boards, not one. Supposedly the first snowboard was invented by Sherman Poppen, who in 1965 came up with the idea of one board called the Snurfer. I never moved from two boards to one, probably because I was so bad at skateboarding as a child.

Ski Utah works with the state's major resorts to get more people on the slopes by offering ski or snowboard lessons for only $49. Each resort honors the marketing plan during different times of the month, except weekends and holidays. With heavy snow pack around the state, it's an exceptional time to take advantage of these lessons and slide your way into winter happiness. Participating resorts include Alta, Beaver Mountain, Brian Head, Brighton, Deer Valley, Eagle Point, Nordic Valley, Park City, Powder Mountain, Snowbasin, Snowbird, Solitude and Sundance. The great part is that the price also includes your equipment and lift ticket. These days, lift tickets alone range $50-$150 in Utah for just one day.

Not all resorts are snowboard-friendly. As a matter of fact, in the United States, only three—Utah's Deer Valley and Alta and Vermont's Mad River Glen—continue to ban snowboarding, despite lawsuits from boarders challenging the policies.

For those of you who don't ski for whatever reason, there's always sledding or tubing. We have some fun places close to the tri-city area: Gorgoza Park between Salt Lake and Park City and Soldier Hollow up in Midway. Also, the magical Ice Castles are now open in Midway (icecastles.com/midway). It's a wintertime must-see for the whole family.

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