News Old - DO NOT USE - The Coast News Rancho Santa Fe

Learn to ski, no snow necessary

ENCINITAS — The revolving, carpeted ramp tucked away in the parking lot behind Hansen’s on Highway 101 provides more than a novel approach to learning to ski and snowboard.
According to Kent Bry, owner of Adventure Ski and Snowboard School, the “carpet” — as he refers to it — helps save people time and money and create more efficient techniques in practicing popular mountain sports. “On the mountain, you can get down but on the carpet you see the inefficiencies and can learn how to correct them,” he said.
Like most would-be skiers and snowboarders, Hunter Haggard, 15, was prepared to learn on the mountain. But his parents caught sight of the school after renting a board at Hansen’s the day before a trip to Mountain High and decided to enroll him in
two back-to-back lessons. Hunter’s father, Stuart, said he’s been snowboarding since 1979, long before the sport became acceptable to resorts. He likens the carpet to a “rotating hamster wheel,” but said it has proven successful in teaching his son the basics.
Max Salmonsen, 5, hasn’t made it to the snow just yet. Strapped in a pair of miniature skis, he learns the fundamentals of stopping and balancing. His father, Dan, skis and snowboards and is looking forward to enjoying the sports with Max. “He had a lot of fun at his first lesson,” Dan Salmonsen said. “He keeps asking when the carpet is going to move.”
Bry said many of his students come to the school after giving up on snowboarding. “I would say at least one-third of them start in the snow and give up,” he said. “You spend most of the day freezing and falling and not enjoying yourself very much,” Bry said. “The carpet is warmer, drier and closer to home.”
Students come from as far away as Los Angeles to take advantage of the unique revolving carpeted slope and individual lessons, according to Bry. After 30 years as an instructor, he said he has seen remarkable progress in numerous students, including his 18-year-old daughter, Mieu. After moving to Encinitas from Thailand at age 9, Mieu began learning to ski. She is now one of the school’s instructors.
“I’m not sure what I’m going to do when she goes to college,” Bry said with a smile.
One of Bry’s youngest students, Poway resident Leila Baclig, was already on her second lesson at age 2 1/2. Her parents are planning a trip to Lake Tahoe in a couple of weeks and wanted Leila to feel comfortable on the slopes.
“We recommend five lessons before going to the snow,” Bry said. “The repetition helps to create good habits and that translates to having a more enjoyable experience.”
Saving time and money makes sense Bry said. “I can’t tell you how many of my students tell me they had a lot more fun on the mountain after learning on the carpet.”
For more information on Adventure Ski and Snowboard School, call (760) 942-2188 or visit www.