Posts Tagged ‘Club Teams’

Dreading the upcoming family ski trip? While the prospect of spending days with mom, dad and your littlerace1 brother on runs like EZ Street and Beginners’ Way may seem a bit dull, the Columbia Ski and Snowboard Racing Team has come up with a few tips to help you find fun on the groomers (after all, we’re mostly confined to icy/rainy east-coast skiing, so finding fun in less-than-ideal conditions is our modus operandi). You might even burn a few calories, too.

1. Skiers: learn to race carve.

What seperates you from Bode Miller? He’s edging more (and he’s 6’5). Rather than skidding through turns, try putting more and more pressure on your downhill leg/shin to feel the edge of the ski carve through your turns without breaking its grip on the snow. Once you’re comfortable with this and begin to get a feeling for the natural arc of your ski’s turn, try getting a little more speed and work on moving your body out farther from your skis as you turn. Once you’re making 60 degree angles with your body through turns, groomers with the family become decidedly more fun.

2. Find excuses to go fast.

The Chinese Downhill is one of the most sacred events in ski and snowboard racing. What’s more, anyone can do it. Round up a posse of friends, family, ski school bandits – whoever.  Start from the highest point on a run, and first one to the bottom wins. The only rule is, there are no rules – anything goes (though true Chinese Downhillers might opt for a helmet first). Event popularized by the 1980s ski/amateur porn film Hot Dog.

3. Discover new ways to go downhill.

Whether it’s strapping into your sister’s snowboard in ski boots and going for a run, or going without skis/a board at all – there’s always a new and challenging way to make it down the mountain. You don’t need to waste money on exotic rental items like ski bikes or teleboards to amuse yourself (and onlookers).

4. Ski/ride harder

If you don’t end your day tired, you’re not working enough. It’s easy to think that a sport that relies primarily on gravity, ice and metal blades doesn’t involve much work – but you don’t have to take it easy! Intense race carving, and even just tucking down runs, can burn hundreds of calories per hour.

So, while a week in the mountains with your family might not seem ideal at first glance, you CAN make it more fun than your friends’ boring trip to DR. Alternatively, you’re invited to join the 114 members of Columbia Ski and Ride next year for another epic season – because while 1020 and the Heights get old, waking up to fresh tracks with Columbia Ski and Ride never does.

-Raph Graybill and Francesca Overwater, Co-Captains

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Did you know that Columbia has an Equestrian Club? This surprises many people given Columbia’s urban setting. The most commonly asked question is “Where do you ride?”.  We train at Garret Mountain Equestrian Center, in West Paterson, NJ- only about 30 minutes from Columbia’s campus. Located on county parkland, it has many trails through the park and is a great escape from the city. The club welcomes riders of all levels. We have members who have been riding and competing their entire lives, as well as members who had never taken riding lessons before joining the club. We train in huntseat equitation, which is a style of English riding. Eligible members also compete in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. IHSA competitions have classes for all levels, from walk-trot for beginner riders, up to 3’ fences classes for the more advanced riders. Lessons are held on Tuesday through Friday mornings and also on Friday afternoons.

Riding develops both physical and mental stamina. Correct rider position is essential to being an effective rider. A rider must develop the leg, back, and core muscles needed to correctly position one’s leg on the horse and balance one’s weight. The rider uses her legs, hands, seat, back, balance and voice to control the horse. Using these aides, the rider creates forward motion and impulsion, influences the horse’s balance and bend, directs the horse, and controls the tempo and length of the horse’s stride. Working with a 1200 pounds non-human partner adds a unique aspect to riding that other sports do not have. Horses are very sensitive to their riders; they notice when they are nervous, imbalanced or not focused. As our trainer says, a horse is a good barometer of how its rider is feeling. Thus, in addition to the physical aspect of riding, the rider must be focused, aware at all times of her position and her relation to the horse and thinking ahead. Developing this relationship and synchrony with the horse is a challenging but very rewarding process.

If this intrigues you, or if you rode in the past and are now thinking about how much you miss it, you should consider joining the Equestrian Club. It is a wonderful opportunity to not only to learn to ride, but also to join a friendly group of fellow riders.  Please send me an email (lmm2178@columbia.edu) if you have any questions or want more information.


(Stay tuned for information about a trail riding event open to the Columbia community that we will be holding in the spring)

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Hey sports loving enthusiasts! I’m using this opportunity  to promote what has been by far one of my favorite activities in my four years of college – RUGBY!!!! I joined the team spring of freshman year, and its been INCREDIBLE! Club sports are just like intramurals – they’re not a lot of pressure, and all skill levels are welcome.  Except they’re even more awesome because you get to travel, and if you’re looking for something that requires a little more commitment, club sports are better.  Personally, in my very-biased opinion – rugby is your best option.  Its really big on college campuses, but not so big in high schools, meaning that basically everyone is starting at the beginning, so you don’t have to worry or feel intimidated AT ALL. Additionally, it’s a super social sport – which means you’ll never be lacking something to do – the rugby team goes out together at least once a week, sometimes 2 or 3 times.  Plus, you have the obvious benefits of getting a great workout and meeting a really fun and accepting group of people (which, admittedly, is true of any club sport you play).

For more information on club sports at Columbia, you can go to the club sports website.  There’s contact information there for the presidents of all the teams.  Alternatively, you can pick up a flyer in the entrance to Dodge.

I’ve always been big on organized sports, and first semester of freshman year it was something I REALLY missed.  So, if you’re like me, joining a club sports team can really change your college experience for the better – take it from someone who knows.

And one last plug for rugby to be the sport you join: check out our website, where you can see just how awesome we really are.

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