Black People Don’t Ski

Black people ski

Black people skiPicture it. You’re speeding down the hillside with the wind in your face and the snow at your feet. It’s cold but you’re warmed by the thrill of the course. Doesn’t matter if it’s a black diamond or a bunny hill, skiing can be fun. Let’s debunk the myth that Black women don’t try anything new. Skiing for a long time was thought of as a sport for the rich. But as ski resorts have proliferated across America, they are more accessible to everyone at all price points.

You may be thinking to yourself that black people don’t ski. Let’s go ahead and put that in the same file as black people don’t swim, play golf, run, and the myriad other things black people don’t do. It’s a myth. Black people don’t like the cold. Now that may not be a myth, but really…who does like the cold? Blacks may not have had access to some of these sports while growing up but it doesn’t mean we don’t do them. If you’re interested in skiing or learning how to ski but you’re friends aren’t there are two things you can do about it. One, you can expand your circle of friends to include people of other races who do ski; or two, find other black people that ski. There’s a third option – to do both!

Learning How To Ski

Almost every resort has a bunny hill and some instruction. Don’t let the word “resort” scare you off thinking it’s super expensive. Places to ski started off as resorts but now there are lodges and places to ski just for the day. Think you have to travel hundreds of miles to get to a ski resort? Not so. Artificial snow is a beautiful thing. There are even places to ski in Tennessee. When you’re looking for someplace to ski find out what instruction they offer and the costs. I warn you, it can be pricey but that’s why it’s important to shop around. A typical session can be several hours of group instruction. You will learn the basics from getting into your skis to riding the lift.

How To Find Others To Ski With

Again, you can expand your circle of friends which is always a good idea anyway. But if you can’t find anyone who shares the interest head over to the National Brotherhood of Skiers website. They host an annual Black Ski Summit. You can go alone and meet others. Thousands of people attend this event. While it may be true that there are fewer black skiers than white, the black community is catching up. Going with such a large group enables deep discounts. The National Brotherhood of Skiers also has regional chapters. All else fails google in your area to find a ski club. There are hundreds of them.

Benefits Of Skiing

Believe it or not there are health benefits to hurling yourself down a mountainside. Needless to say the sport is physically demanding. It’s not high on cardio because friction and gravity are doing most of the work, but it is high on isometric strength training. This basically means the muscles are being strengthened through contraction or use versus by the application of weight. It requires a great amount of concentration to avoid anything in the path. The faster you go the more concentration you need. This type of mental stimulation is great for the brain. Because you have to make quick and precise corrections it’s also good to strengthen your stabilization muscles. Lastly, but not least, researchers at Yonsei University in South Korea surveyed 279 skiers and snowboarders revealed they may experience greater happiness and pleasure.

I have to be transparent here. I don’t particularly enjoy skiing. I’ve been several times. I have a knee injury from playing soccer and at times it was just too much stress on the joint. But I do love snowboarding. I’ve tried it twice. The first time involved lots of face-plants in the snow. But I had a ball. I can’t wait to go again and really learn how to do it. Don’t let the past or stereotypes dictate what you’re willing to try. Who cares that you’ll be the only black skier on the slope (and by the way, you’re not). Chances are you’re already the only black doing most things you do anyway.


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