With her long blonde hair, warm and genuine smile, and a beautiful Golden Retriever riding alongside on her paddle board, Breeze Turner is the “it” girl of Northern California. But really, half way through your first conversation with Breeze, you realize she’s so much more than what she appears to be. With a wicked sense of wit and sarcasm, a sharp set of skills, and a heart bigger than “the jewel of the Sierra”, Breeze is as real and honest as they come.
“I have finally made peace with winter” she messaged me. I met Breeze a few years ago on a photoshoot in Lake Tahoe and we’d had a few conversations about how she struggled with the long winters in Lake Tahoe- I mean, winter lasts forever in Lake Tahoe. What made this quintessential Summer Girl finally fall in love with winter? I quickly scanned back through her Instagram squares until I found it. Breeze finally learned to ski, and within a season went from a beginner to a black diamond skier.
We’re all blown away by the little rippers charging down the mountain on their skis. But I’m more impressed by adults who learn how to ski. Can you still have fun learning to ski as an adult? We’re here to tell you YES, you can have fun learning to ski as an adult. But don’t take our word for it, let’s ask Breeze!
What finally encouraged you to get out that first day on the mountain, and commit to learning to ski?
Breeze: Ultimately I was tired of being sad when summer was over. I was tired of being left behind by all my friends. Seeing how excited my boyfriend and his peers were made me want to learn to ski! I landed a job with a tourism company where I got passes to learn to ski, and I figured this was the perfect excuse. Once I got my feet wet, it made me realize skiing wasn’t really all that intimidating. This year is the first year that I’m not that bummed about summer ending, and I’m actually looking forward to winter so I can ski!
What is the most challenging part about learning to ski as an adult? Any tips to make it easier?
Breeze: The most intimidating thing for me was not being immediately “good” at something. I grew up waterskiing and was a water sport athlete. I was used to being “the best”. Starting as a beginner at a sport where all my friends and peers were already SO GOOD made me feel nervous about holding people back. I was hard on myself. After going a few times I began to feel more confident in knowing I could do a run or two by myself.
One day last season I skied a day by myself at Northstar. I was so scared! But it helped build my confidence, to where I knew I could break off and ski on my own and meet up for a drink or a run with friends later. You gain so much confidence each time you go.
As a beginner, did quality gear really make a difference?
Breeze: My dad gave me a used set up that he found at a second hand store in Colorado. It didn’t quite fit me. I actually got a comment on Instagram where somebody said my skis were THE HOT SKI 20 years ago, haha. Even though the skis let me get out on the mountain, I noticed I just felt squirly and didn’t feel like I had a lot of control. I felt like I had to work hard to turn, and it just didn’t feel natural. One day I borrowed my friend’s new skis for a run. I clicked into her bindings and realized “this feels so easy and natural!” New gear makes a HUGE difference.
How long did it take before you fell in love with skiing?
Breeze: Last winter I went on a trip to Beaver Creek with Ski Butlers, and it was the first time I truly fell in love with skiing. The fact that I got to ski two days in a row on really good equipment made a huge difference. I felt myself actually IMPROVE, and it got me really excited! That feeling of improvement made me fall in love with the sport. It was just so easy and luxurious to fly into town, go to our cabin, and have Ski Butlers show up and do a boot fitting and get me dialed into the high performance gear that was a perfect fit for me.
Any first day tips? What would you tell another adult learning to ski?
Breeze: Be gentle and patient with yourself, and keep realistic expectations. You are only operating on YOUR OWN time frame. You aren’t competing with anybody or expected to perform on anybody else’s level. You are out there on the mountain to ENJOY yourself. This day is all about you. Also, one beer can do wonders. If I’m feeling stiff and anxious, I’ll take a break and have a Coors light, and come back to skiing feeling just a bit looser and more playful.
We took care of Breeze last winter, getting her set up on skis, and helping her find the perfect fitting boot and the appropriate ski each time she went out. It’s no secret that we offer high end performance skis for the most advanced skiers, but did you know that we also offer beginner skis? Having gear that is lightly used, freshly waxed and tuned, and fits properly makes all the difference in the world when you are learning to ski. We’re here to cater to your exact needs, and will actually come swap out skis for you during your trip if they feel too short or too long, or if you feel like you’d do better on something else.
That first day on the mountain can feel intimidating. Let us help! We’d love to take care of you and help make your trip as easy as possible. The only thing you need to worry about is learning when to french fry or when to pizza, and having a great time.