Whether you’re the kind of person who rents skis once a year and shreds the bunny hill or a seasoned pro with a limited-edition snowboard, or if you’re trying to meet new people who share the same love for the popular winter sports, President Maria Tibold and Vice President Chris Landis of the Plattsburgh State Ski and Snowboard club urge you to come check it out.
“Whatever level you are, skiing or snowboarding, everyone’s welcome, and we just go out and shred and have a good time,” Tibold said.
Tibold learned how to ski when she was eight. After she broke her leg, she made the switch to snowboarding.
Landis learned to ski when he was four, but eventually got bored of skiing and also made the switch to snowboarding. Since making the switch, they both noticed the clear differences between the two.
“It’s a better learning curve to ski because I think you can pick it up faster, while with snowboarding you really need dedication,” Tibold said.
Landis agreed with this notion.
“Skiing is also a lot more natural than snowboarding,” Landis said. “Snowboarding, you’re sideways, and it feels really weird but once you get it, it’s a lot more fun.”
When the club isn’t taking trips to Whiteface Mountain, the members go on other group trips such as Jay Peak and most recently Smugglers Notch in Vermont.
Member Claudia Czerw just went on the Smugglers Notch trip and had one of the best times. Czerw got into her middle school’s ski club, took a break during high school and then joined the PSUC Ski and Snowboard club her freshman year.
She felt that the trip highlighted what the club is all about.
“It was the worst conditions I will ever probably experience in my life,” Czerw said, laughing at the memory.
Czerw said it was the kind of cold that you felt through to the bone, and the trails were all ice. There were only about 30 trails open out of the 78 that exist, but regardless of the icy conditions and limited terrain, she had an amazing time.
“We still had an absolute blast together, and we made it fun,” Czerw said. “We took it and made it our own trip.”
Among the trips, they also put on events. The Ski and Snowboard Club hosts a Rail Jam. Besides collecting snow from hockey rinks and ski mountains, there is many other tasks to be done.
The e-board, which is all new this year, distributes each task among themselves.
They have to contact rental companies for certain equipment, as well as Jay Peak Mountain, for people to hit the rails.
Everyone pitches in to help set-up, including Ryan Mullins, who has participated in every Rail Jam since his freshman year.
Mullins has been snowboarding since he was nine years old, took a break and then came back to it when he was 14.
When he came to PSUC, he joined the club and became involved in its events and made friends with many of the members. When the Rail Jam comes around each year, Mullins shovels snow and participates in the actual competition.
He explains the competition is friendly, easy-going and lacks the high pressure that other competitions have.
“There’s really no competitive attitude towards it,” Mullins said. “If you win, you win, and if not, you still had fun.”
Mullins also said that it’s a way to better your skills and try tricks you may not have tried before. During his freshman year’s Rail Jam, he didn’t place at all, but he received third his sophomore year and second place at this year’s competition.
“This year, we set up the whole competition, and then the night before we got like, five inches of snow, so it was definitely the best year yet,” Mullins said.
Besides the Rail Jam, the Ski and Snowboard club collaborates with other outdoor clubs and has their Adventure Film Festival. This is where people can submit videos, and the audience gathers to watch the collection of videos.
The Ski and Snowboard Club meets every Tuesday in Yokum 201 to watch snowboard edits, plan upcoming events and trips or just hang out.