Noob needs some advice on gear, instruction, etc.
I've posted a couple of times here before. I just moved to Alaska from Oklahoma. We arrived a few days ago. I'm in the Air Force at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage. They have a ski slope right on the base. It's about two minutes from where I work! I've been back there a couple of times to check it out and I am very impressed! Most of the people here tell me that it's a pretty easy place, but it looks intimidating for somebody from Oklahoma. HA! Anyways, I could definitely see myself doing this. I've been to a few places around Anchorage checking out gear. So far, I've found that the place with a good selection and was the most help was the Sports Authority. They're kind of a chain store, but all of their gear is 25% off. I talked to one of the salesmen there who was a retired Air Force guy. He was tons of help and seemed to know a lot. I am looking at a K2 board. I don't know which model. It is 159cm and a wide board. I'm 6'1 and about 205 pounds. I have size 12 feet. It is $139 before the 25% off. I'm also looking at stuff for my 10 year old son. I'm willing to spend around $1,000, maybe a bit more for the both of us. Anything we should avoid? Anybody ever buy stuff at the Sports Authority? Any other suggestions for the Anchorage area?
At the ski slope on base, they offer instruction. It's an hour and a half for snow boarding, $50 for me, and $20 for my son. I'm assuming they teach us both at the same time. Is instruction worth it? Keep in mind that I have NEVER ski'd snow boarded or anything like this before. My son is pretty good at riding a skate board. Would I be better off just saving my $70 and learning on my own? I'm pretty coordinated.
Also, what do you guys wear? The weather since we got here has been around 10 to 20 degrees. It snowed quite a bit yesterday, but it's been sunny the rest of the time. We come from Oklahoma and don't have a lot of cold weather gear yet. I can't really tell what a lot of people are wearing, just by looking. Layers I'm assuming. My hands and face get real cold. I'd imagine that I will need good gloves and a face mask of some sort. Do you wear a helmet and goggles? Thanks for any info!