The Times West Virginian

Daily Grind

March 30, 2009

On the slopes

Skiing, snowboarding fun sports

Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh. Skiers and snowboarders whisk down the slope, gliding past one another. The chilly mountain air is in their faces, a light dusting of snow on their goggles as they reach the bottom of their run. Unfortunately, this time of year in West Virginia does not last for long.

Although spring has finally arrived, Wisp Resort is extending its hours of operation for this season until the first two weekends in April — weather permitting. Wisp will be open April 4, 5, 11 and 12, said the Web site.

Skiing and snowboarding are risky sports, but participants in the winter wonderland reap a lot of rewards that includes burning calories during this time of year instead of curling up with blankets. If riders play by the safety rules, this is the first step to having a successful day on the slopes.

Skiers and snowboarders can do tricks, try jumps and ride in terrain parks or they may choose to free ride down the mountain at their own pace. Skiers and snowboarders “definitely” burn a lot of calories, said Addison Salzmann, a member of the WVU snowboarding club. Corey Snyder, president of the WVU snowboarding club, said he ate breakfast before the Maryland Open and two hours later he was already famished.

Salzmann and Snyder believe that another benefit of snowboarding is relieving stress. “It’s a mind game. The biggest thing is it gives you something to do,” Salzmann said. Salzmann and his friends do not party that much in Morgantown so snowboarding helps them elevate tension from schoolwork. “When we ride, there’s nothing else in our head.”

Snyder agrees.

“I guess for me it’s more mental stuff, you can get out a lot of anger and aggression out here,” Snyder said. Skis and snowboards do not come with warning labels. “When I was a freshman in college, I overshot a jump, went past the line, too far, came down really hard on front leg and broke a bone in my hip,” Salzmann said. “I kinda flipped to my hand and crushed it.” Salzmann had surgery and had to stay off the slopes for three months. He still has limited mobility in his hand.

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