Members of Bad Boarderz at a recent trip to Mammoth Mountain. Get great deals on lift tickets and equipment, and interact with the ski and snowboarding community at Ski Dazzle.By Jason LewisSentinel Sports Editor
The 48th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Ski Show & Snowboard Expo will take place on December 1-4 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and the members of Bad Boarderz, a predominately African American snowboarding club, will be on hand to inform the public about the sport, and to raise funds so that more inner city children can learn how to snowboard.Bad Boarderz’ slogan is, “We take our snowboarding and partying seriously!” And they do it at Big Bear, Ca; Mammoth, Ca; Snow Valley, Ca; Mt. High, Ca, Mt. Baldy, Ca; Lake Tahoe, Ca; Park City, Ut; Aspen, Co, Vail, Co, and Whistler/Blackcomb, Canada. They are serious about snowboarding, with athletes competing in freestyle and downhill salomon events, but they also attract the casual snowboarder, and they more than welcome the novice rider.“We do ‘learn to ski’ trips for people who have never been to the mountains,” Bad Boarderz President Karim Arkeem said. “We usually take them up to Snow Valley (about an hour outside of Los Angeles.) They can start to get into the swing of things and learn a little bit more about the mountain.”Bad Boarderz hosts several ski trips during the winter, where members enjoy snowboarding during the day, and then join the party at night. The age range of the club is from early 20s to 50s, and the ratio between men and women is about 50/50. As much as this club is designed for adults, Bad Boarderz also makes great efforts to bring this sport to inner city children. “The focus is to generate enough income so that we can get some of the youth out of the inner city so that they can come up to the mountains and have a good time while learning to snowboard,” Arkeem said. There are some African American children in Los Angeles that have never been to the beach, which is within 15 miles of most of them. So imagine how many have never been to the snow. Arkeem feels that they are broadening the world for many black kids. “It means a lot to the kids because there are so many kids in California and in the inner city who have never even been to the snow,” Arkeem said. “Some of them never even knew that there was snow out here. It gives them an opportunity to see something different. To participate in a total different type of sport, and learn something new as they grow into young adults. Versus being stereotyped, stuck into the same types of sports, such as basketball and football.”Arkeem and other members of Bad Boarderz will be on hand at the Los Angeles Ski Show & Snowboard Expo, selling merchandise, such as t-shirts and bandanas, to help raise funds for their youth programs and for their snowboarding teams. Anybody who is into skiing or snowboarding will find the expo as the place to be, where they will be able to purchase lift tickets, skiing and snowboarding equipment and apparel at discounted prices, and socialize with other members of the skiing and snowboarding community. Discounts will be up to 70 percent off, and there will be free ski lessons for people of all ages. Many children strap on the skis and snowboards for the first time at this event. This event is “The most important ski trip you’ll take all season!”For more information about Bad Boarderz, visit their website at www.badboarderz.com. For more information about the Los Angeles Ski Show & Snowboard Expo, visit www.skidazzle.com.
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