Woodward Intro Session: “Old Dog, New Tricks?”

With an opportunity to check out the digs at the Woodward Barn I had to ask myself, “Can you teach and old dog new tricks.” The answer is “Yes”, but they better be tricks like “sit” or “stay”. While I successfully had a great time, I didn’t leave as the next Olympic hopeful. Although I’m sure some of the youngsters running circles around me might be.

When I first had the opportunity to participate in a Woodward at Copper Intro Session, I jumped on it thinking it would be all fun and games in the Woodward Barn.  While it was mostly fun and games, I didn’t realize that it would also be hard work. 

The Intro Session is mandatory for anyone who’d like to use the facilities at Woodward.  The primary objective is to learn how to use the trampolines, features, and Snowflex.  If you’re athletic and a good snowboarder, that sounds pretty easy, right?  Wrong.  Unless you are also a gymnast you will definitely find that there is a learning curve to all of the equipment in the Barn.  I had never been on an Olympic style trampoline, so I jumped on like it was your backyard variety.  After all, I saw small children doing back flips with ease.  Within 3 jumps I was 17 ft in the air. With a little practice and some direction from the skilled instructors, I was able to figure it out and have some fun.  Flipping off the trampolines into the foam pit was exhilarating and a little liberating knowing that your life was not in peril.  You can really cut loose when there isn’t an icy snow-packed knuckle waiting for you upon landing. 

After the warm-up, foam pits, and trampolines we moved on to the Snowflex ramps.  Again, I thought to myself, “I can ride anything on the mountain; this should be a piece of cake.”  Wrong again.  Snowflex, which is essentially a large version of velcro, doesn’t quite feel like real snow under your board and has a tendency to grab your edges.  While the feel of Snowflex took some getting used to, I was able to navigate the features without any incident and moved over to the large ramp.  The instructors coached us through a few practice runs before we could just let it rip, but soaring off the jump into the giant foam pit was a blast.  


While I wasn’t able to master the Double McTwist 1260 or leave feeling like the next X-Games medalist, I did gain some new found respect for the guys (and women) who can really throw it down.  Thanks Woodward, I’ll be back!

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