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Winter is coming

Winter in Canada is the perfect time and place to enjoy the fun and healthy exercise that skiing and snowboarding provide. Most Canadian resorts offer Discover Skiing and Discover Snowboarding packages for beginners. A directory of resorts is included.

It’s the dead of winter. It’s cold outside. Your are hiding in your living room, slippers on, fire roaring, weather channel tuned in and it’s calling for snow. The “February Blahs” are falling. You’re feeling blue and house-bound and very pale compared with the rosy-cheeked weather people, who actually look as though they’re enjoying the season.

We have one message for you: This is winter folks! It’s Canada. It’s supposed to be cold. Snow is meant to cover the ground. Grab your skis, a snowboard, and get outside and have some fun!

Besides, ski and snowboard exercise is good for you.

Exercise adds spice to your dally routine. It keeps the stress levels in check, expands your energy reserves, enhances your self esteem, chases away the blues, and generally puts a fresh spin on things. Exercise clears the mind.

Discover winter. It’s a cure for what ails you. The One — Stop

Shuttle to Snow

Last year’s winter Saturdays started early in the Smith household. Suzy rose at 6:30 a.m. for figure skating lessons, Peter headed for hockey at nine, and Greg couldn’t be late for his guitar lesson at 11.

The Smith parents felt as though they were operating a not-for-profit taxi service. And after a winter of running at a pace that would rival Donovan Bailey’s 100-metre dash, they opted to throw in the towel.

With a pitch prepared to sell a “family weekend” — and a secret plan to reduce their shuttle service — the Smith parents have convinced the kids to try some snow sports. This winter the Smiths will ski and snowboard together.

Some quick research indicated that most ski areas in Canada offer Discover Skiing and Discover Snowboarding packages that include lift tickets, equipment rentals, and group lessons. The Smiths found one that provided something for everyone. Greg is interested in trying his skateboarding skills on a snowboard, and intends to head for the snowboarding park to do it. Suzy’s figure skating background has increased her comfort on skis, and she’s signed up for an intermediate group lesson for teens. Peter wants to try an inner-tube on snow, and will spend his days in a special area for tubing.

As for Mom and Dad, a Discover Skiing beginner lesson followed by a caffe’ latte by the fire and the knowledge that their kids are safe and together is all they can ask for. No more haste. No more 100-metre dash. No more weekends apart. And best of all, no more three-stop taxi service.

For the Smiths this winter, it’s the one-stop shuttle to snow.

Carving

There is a revolution going on. And it might make skiing easier.

To the delight of thousands who find skiing a touch too complicated to master, there’s a new ski on the market that can accelerate beginners to intermediate and even expert status at unprecedented speeds.

Shaped skis — sometimes called hourglass, super-sidecut or parabolic skis — exploded on the market only recently and should do for skiers what over-sized racquets did for novice tennis players — shorten the learning curve and increase the fun.

The technology is simple, just as skiing should be. Shaped skis are wide at the tip and tail and narrow in the middle, a design that gives them an hourglass appearance and makes the skis simple to turn. It’s goodbye to the slump some skiers get into in beginner and intermediate stages, and hello to graceful, easy, parallel turns.

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