There's one rule I've discovered this weekend with snowboarding: The better you get, the less you fall... but the more it hurts when you do.
This weekend was absolutely incredible, spending time with redarius and cutenyeboi and their friends... all really "good" people. No evil anywhere (redarius has this odd knack for picking out good people... smart boy).
Our time on the slopes was increased dramatically because out of the group of 6, we managed to pair off into perfectly matching skill levels... so we all did what we wanted to do... it was pretty flawless, and my partner was a particularly enjoyable snobuddy :)
I have officially become a "Level 5" rider. I was talking to an instructor who was doing 1-on-1 lessons with a "Level 5" rider and asked her what the levels mean. She said "Level 1 is 'had a lesson, still can't do anything'" (insert various levels here) "Level 5 is taking light blacks and blue runs, definate S-pattern (aka, can carve well)". Since I can now officially carve it up, and started every run on a mini-black on our way to the blue runs, I'm very, very happy with myself. There's nothing more motivating in a sport than a clearly demonstrated increase in skill.
...as to the first line in this entry... well... I managed to make it through the vast majority of the day without any major spills at all. Seriously... not one. (yes, I'm very impressed with myself.)... then on the last run of the day, when we're riding down into Northstar Village... the sun has been shining... the snow has gotten a bit more compact (it was otherwise a BEAUTIFUL snow day) and is starting to re-freeze from it's minor moment of slushiness... I'm going down a wide open space of smooth snow and decide to build up some serious speed... doing great... feeling good... bottom starts to feel a little icy... control slowly going down, but still managing to make it okay... and then SMACK! TUMBLETUMBLETUMBLE! Flat on my back, every muscle in my body locked in shock... unable to do anything but moan very, very loudly for about 2 minutes (my lungs were included in the muscle-locking) and finally relaxed... became coherent again... I was probably doing about 40mph when I caught a toe-edge and did was has been described to me as a "summersault with a twist". Not, not fun. But, I'm a trooper... and after practically killing myself, got back up and went down the hill like nuthin happened. (okay, I was a little stiff, but I still carved my way down). I'd give it an olympic 8.1 on the crash scale :P
Good times... very good times... Thank you redarius and cutenyeboi!!! :)