We edged onto the slope, maneuvering our snowboards so they were at right angles to the fall line. Then, locking our free feet into the back bindings, we tilted the snowboards downhill and, lo, began to slide down.

April warned us to keep equal pressure on both feet as we slipped down the fall line, and to keep our knees bent and the board at a right angle to the slope. To slow our speed, we were told to push down on our heels so that the back edge of the board dug into the snow. To go a bit faster, we leaned slightly forward, pushing down on our toes.

Amazing! Hey, maybe this will become my new sport, I thought.

Next came the “falling leaf,” a maneuver in which we moved our boards to the left or right in a sort of zigzag motion without really turn - ing. As we started sliding down the fall line, our boards again at a right angle to the slope, we were told to look to the right and shift our weight gently to the right foot. Even more amazing. My board actually began to slide to the right.

To move to the left, the procedure was exactly the same: Look to the left, shift your weight to the left foot, and the board will edge to the left.

April, obviously showing off by snowboarding backwards so she could keep a wary eye on all of us, warned: “As you move back and forth put pressure on the back edge to slow down so the boards don’t run away with you.”

For me, her warning came a split second too late.

I quickly discovered that getting up from a fall on a slope is as chaL lenging to the snowboarder as it is to the skier. If you fall facing uphill, keep your board at a right angle to the fall line, roll over onto your knees, dig your board’s uphill edge into the snow, get onto your knees, and push yourself up.

The finale of that first lesson was to learn to convert the falling leaf into a linked turn.

Under our instructor’s sharp eye, we started by actually pointing our boards down the fall line, sort of, and looking in the direction we wanted to turn.

As she explained: To turn to the heel side, look to the heel side, push down easily on your heels, and the board will begin turning to the heel side. After it turns, look to the toe side, and your board will begin to follow your eyes. As it moves slowly to the toe side, shift your weight slightly to your toes, to ease the pressure on the back of the board while it’s turning.

It worked. Look to the toe side, turn to the toe side; look to the heel side, turn to the heel side.

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