As the year’s end approaches and the snow begins sticking to the ground, many Michiganders huddle in their homes wrapped in blankets, waiting for the season to end. On the other hand, many are eager to go outside with skis, snowboards and snowshoes strapped to their feet, excited for the winter season.
The term “winter sports” encompasses a wide variety of activities including snowboarding, luging and ice climbing. Those who love winter sports have a limited window of time in the year to enjoy their winter passions. Therefore, they are likely to be in the cold as much as possible.
Shred, a registered student organization devoted to all board sports, makes a point of spending a lot of time outdoors.
“We’re a big community,” said Scott Barger, Ferris business administration senior and president of Shred. “We welcome all board sports, but we make a lot of plans during the winter. We have people going all over the state, but most recently to Boyne, Crystal, Cannonsburg Caberfae, and maybe even the U.P. this year. We are focusing on getting groups together to have a great time.”
Barger said he enjoys winter because the sports bring the possibility of building a bigger community for Shred, which currently has 180 members. According to Barger, almost everybody who joins Shred does so with a different interest in mind. For winter sports they attract many snowboarders and skiers, but also some people who enjoy activities such as ice climbing, which involves scaling a large body of ice using a rope and an ice axe.
“‘Shred’ isn’t just for winter sports; we do all board-based sports, really,” said Barger. “I’m not into winter sports as much as some of the other guys, but I’ve got a few I really enjoy. I’m really into ice climbing, and I’ll go snowboarding if my friends invite me. Shred isn’t about the sports; it is all about your own style and having fun. Shred focuses on bringing in those communities and making friendships tight and swerve. We are just a network. A group.”
Those looking to get involved with Shred may want to take lessons before strapping on a pair of skis.
Becca Rose, a student in the dental hygiene program, is also a snowboard instructor at Caberfae Peaks. She recommends that most people to go through training before hitting the slopes.
“I would say about 70 percent of lessons are people that have absolutely no knowledge of the sport and then the other 30 percent make up the people who have taken lessons before,” said Rose, “and somtimes – rarely – we will get more intermediate riders wanting to work on more technical aspects, or even tricks.”
Barger says to join Shred, all you need to have is an interest in any type of board sport and the willingness to meet new people. Shred plans trips to various skiing and snowboarding resorts throughout the winter.
To become a part of Shred, join the Facebook group “Ferris State Shred.”