Learning to snow ski without leaving the Tampa Bay area

TAMPA (WFLA) – The Winter Olympics give Floridians a look at sports not often played or performed close to home. It’s hard for us to imagine racing down a ski slope or jumping into a bobsled.

Bill Jackson’s Shop for Adventure in Pinellas Park wants to get us warm-blooded Floridians ready to face the cold slopes and make us look like we know what we’re doing. Using a ramp with a treadmill-like conveyor belt, Co-President Darry Jackson and his staff can give ski lessons in the store.

“This is exactly what it feels like skiing in a wedge,” explained Jackson.

The shop offers hour-long classes for $78. In that class, you’ll learn the basics of skiing: From how to put on the ski boots and connect them to the ski to how to safely slide down a mountain. All this, while staying toasty and warm inside the building.

When News Channel 8’s Gayle Guyardo and Leigh Spann tried out a class, neither of them had been skiing in many years.

Jackson is an experienced teacher and quickly showed them how to ski in a wedge as the treadmill moved under them. The “wedge” is where the skier points the front of the skies together so they are nearly touching.

Next, he taught Leigh and Gayle how to make gentle turns. “Take your right ski and point it over at Leigh. Put your weight on that ski and lean like I am,” he explained as he showed the movements on the treadmill.

Finally, a quick lesson on how to walk up the mountain with skis, turning your skies perpendicular to the slope and sidestepping your way up.

Jackson recommends at least three classes before taking your skills up the ski lift and onto an actual mountain.

Meanwhile, we can stay tuned to News Channel 8 for all the high-flying, speed-racing, and ski jumping action of the 2018 Winter Olympics starting Feb. 8.

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