Students chill on white powder

After painting their cars for the Ski Swap event that will be held Sunday, Ski and Snowboard Club members skate, throw footballs and snowboard on couches down the parking structure across from the stadium of Sac State. :Claire Padgett

After painting their cars for the Ski Swap event that will be held Sunday, Ski and Snowboard Club members skate, throw footballs and snowboard on couches down the parking structure across from the stadium of Sac State. :Claire Padgett

Amanda Pollard

You’re standing at the top of a snow-covered mountain. There is a crisp wind blowing on your face and you’re alone. You can do whatever you want; fly down the mountain at full speed or take your time. No one can tell you what to do. You’re free.

This is what senior child development major Lauren Brizzi said she feels every time she goes snowboarding. As the recruitment officer for the Sacramento State Ski and Snowboard Club, Brizzi said the feeling of freedom is the best part of snowboarding.

“You can’t keep me out of the snow. I was in a bad accident awhile back where a girl crashed into me. I had four surgeries and a metal plate put in my arm, but I couldn’t wait to get back out there,” Brizzi said.

In addition to being the oldest and largest club at Sac State, they also provide the lowest membership fee and are open to the public.

To join the club as a student, its members only need to pay $20 a semester. Among numerous other perks, you also receive access to a rented cabin in the winter and a 15 percent discount at Ground Zero Boardshop.

Club vice president Ben Gheen, a senior biology major, said the club allowed him to become a more social and ambitious person.

“I am one of the most eager and boisterous people now and it has provided me a good social outlet. I’ve also gotten to know some of my closest friends here. We are just a social club with a common hobby with a love for the snow,” Gheen said.

President Jesse Layton said that in addition to meeting a lot of new people, there are no limitations to what you can accomplish as a member of the club.

“I’d like to get a lot more members so we can accomplish even more,” Layton said.

Ground Zero Boardshop has been sponsoring the club for three years and owner Brendan Mohr said the club is one of the better ones to work with.

“They are more into what the core of snowboarding is about. It’s all about attitude – having a cool attitude toward the progression and having fun with it while not taking yourself too seriously,” Mohr said.

Mohr also said he wants to help out the club and those interested in snowboarding by giving them a 15 percent discount on all gear and apparel (other than skate) at his shop.

“Our involvement has increased sales even though the margin is smaller. We know these people are going to buy the stuff anyway, but if we can offer a discount we are helping them and the progression of snowboarding. When you have people that are giving the ability for it to be more accessible, it helps the sport and anyone involved,” Mohr said.

In addition to frequent events and weekly meetings, the club goes on a trip every winter break. During the upcoming break, the club will be traveling by bus to Telluride, Colo., from Jan. 4 to 9. The trip costs $600 per person and includes lift tickets, lodging and transportation.

Gheen coordinated this year’s trip through a travel agency the club has not used before and as a result, saved $177 per student.

“The trip gives us a chance to challenge ourselves. There are no requirements or certain skill levels. It’s just a chance for us to go to other places and board,” Gheen said.

Interested students can still sign up for the trip and are encouraged to attend the 7:30 Thursday night club meetings in the Hinde Auditorium.

This year the club will host its 43rd Annual Ski Swap. The event will be held at 9 a.m. on Sunday in the University Union, and is the main source of revenue for the club. In addition to all the other opportunities, the club offers its members the chance to visit a cabin rented with the money made at the Ski Swap. Gheen said six or seven vendors attend the event and provide over 7,000 items at wholesale price.

“All of the gear is at wholesale value and it’s a great way to get a discount on equipment. I’ve known several people who are so satisfied they continue to come back every year,” Gheen said.

In addition to discounted products, the first 800 people in the door will receive a free lift ticket to Sugar Bowl. It is $20 for an early bird ticket, beginning at 9 a.m. and $10 for a ticket from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Students who are interested in the club and its opportunities are encouraged to attend the weekly meetings or contact the club via its MySpace page at

Amanda Pollard can be reached at [email protected]