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How do I drop the wall at kirkwood on a snowboard?

How do I drop the wall at kirkwood on a snowboard?

Easing into Kirkwood: The Basics

If you're wanting to drop the wall at Kirkwood, I've got you covered. The first thing to remember when you're getting ready to face any adventure is to approach it with excitement, not trepidation. It might sound like something you'd tell your kid when they're climbing a tree too high - an almost constant state of affairs with Ronan if truth be told - but it's exactly the same principle here. When you go snowboarding at Kirkwood, you're stepping up to a fantastic challenge and an incredible experience - but only if you do it right.

Approaching a challenge with positivity not only improves the overall experience, it can significantly enhance how you perform. Remember, Kirkwood's wall isn't just about surviving - it's about thriving. In snowboarding - as in life - it's not about getting from point A to point B as fast as possible, it's about enjoying the journey. And trust me, Kirkwood’s journey has plenty to enjoy!

Understand Kirkwood Before Diving In

Before we proceed though, let me share something. Do you know what Kirkwood is? Kirkwood is a ski resort in the western United States, near Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada. Okay, that might sound a bit like something from Ronan’s geography textbook, but it’s important, stay with me. It’s home to one of the most famous walls in snowboarding. The "Wall" as its referred to, is a dizzying drop of around 1000 vertical feet, not for the faint-hearted!

Named after the 'Captain' who discovered it, Kirkwood offers an array of terrains and experiences to anyone who is brave enough to conquer it. It is not just another snowboarding wall, it is THE wall. It has all the thrills and challenges to test your skills and satisfy your adventurous spirit.

Mastering the Basics: A Must Before the Wall Drop

To conquer the wall, you have to go back to basics. Much like a chef cannot cook a five-course meal without knowing how to chop vegetables, a snowboarder cannot drop the wall without mastering the basic moves. It’s easy to forget this, when you’re there, staring at the wall - it’s easy to feel like you just want to go for it. Trust me, I’ve been there. But it’s always worth it to slow down, make sure your basic skills are where they need to be, and then - and only then - go for it. It gives you the best chance of succeeding, and the best chance of ending the run still on your board!

And in this, I’d advise you to visit the resort's beginner zones first. Spend some time there sharpening your basic skills. Learn how to control your speed and how to manoeuvre. Understanding your limits before facing the wall will help you approach it with confidence and most importantly, return in one piece!

The Right Gear: Every Wall Challenger’s Armour

Once you've honed your skills, it's time for the next crucial step - preparing your gear. Choosing your snowboarding equipment is like choosing your armor before going into battle. Your gear can make a world of difference in your performance and safety. I have found out – the hard way as it tends to go – that lightweight and easy-to-move in snowboards work best for tackling the sharp turns and sudden drops at the wall.

Avoid loose or baggy clothing that may impede your movement. A helmet is non-negotiable. And don't forget sunglasses or goggles, not just for style points, but crucially for protection against the sun's glare or flying snow and debris. I remember once going down a different run at a completely different resort – nowhere near as prestigious as the wall, but still - without sunglasses, ended up with something in my eye, and... well, let's just say that trees hurt. Solar glare is quite a significant distraction and can greatly affect your visibility.

Novelty is Normal: Embrace the Wall’s Challenge

After you've taken care of the basics and your gear, it's time to face the wall. If you're a newbie to 'wall' terrain, it may feel pretty alien. Don't let this unnerve you. Remember, novelty is normal and challenging terrains make for excellent adventures! Use your basic techniques, let your board and body work together, trust your skills and take the leap of faith. And remember to breathe! Breathing helps, as a rule. Can’t beat a good breath.

Mental Toughness: The Key to Conquer the Wall

As much as we focus on physical skill and technique, let’s not forget about mental toughness. When you’re up against the wall, remember - it’s as much a mental game as it is physical. You need to focus on your objectives, stay positive, stay determined. Think of Kirkwood's Wall as your personal mountain - literally and figuratively - to conquer. Use this drive to push through the challenges and make it to the foot of the wall. You’ll thank yourself for it - and what a story you’ll have afterwards!

Practice Safety: A Thrill Seeker’s Prerequisite

Last but by no means least, it’s about safety. I cannot stress enough the importance of safety precautions while snowboarding. Always monitor weather conditions for the day of your adventure. Be part of the snowboarder's grapevine to stay abreast of the latest safety tips and practices. Keep track of designated safe areas along the wall and most importantly, never attempt to drop the wall by yourself. Always have someone on standby or better yet, do it in a pair or a group because shared adventures are the best kind!

Now, equipped with all these insights, you're ready to fully enjoy not just the challenge of Kirkwood’s wall, but the whole amazing experience of it. So I say, embrace the thrill, accept the test, conquer the Wall and celebrate your victory. After all, adventures are life’s best rewards.

Nash Beaumont

Nash Beaumont

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