From newbie to gnarly: Rider hits her stride on the slopes
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Genie Wong gives big kudos to an aunt and uncle for introducing her to snowboarding and as a result learning to love Alberta winters. Growing up in Macau, China, Wong came to Calgary to go to high school and her aunt and uncle didn’t want their niece sitting around at home all winter.
“You should come along and have some fun in winter. This is a Canadian sport, and you should do it,” her aunt told Wong, who was living with them at the time.
As an athletic person, having played basketball in China, Wong, 25, didn’t need much convincing and embraced the sport with gusto. She now refers to Lake Louise her “habitat.”
After seven or so years of boarding, you’ll find Wong – a self-confessed winter lover – shredding the bowls at Lake Louise – in particular Larch Bowl, but these days she’s smitten with Boomerang Bowl, a place she got to check out recently with a private instructor. It's just an indication of how far she's come in her boarding skills in such a short time.
“This is my first time at the back bowl, and I was so amazed by how great it looked - definitely a million-dollar view and it has LOTS of powder because not many people go.”
During the lesson, she also had the chance to challenge herself with a little snow hiking. “This was my first time and the view that comes afterward is worth the sweat and energy. You see a view of Lake Louise that not very many people get to see.”
Aside from getting out and doing the real thing, Wong’s way of progressing her snowboarding game is by doing a lot of research on YouTube, checking out tips and techniques from more experienced riders. Some of those YouTube videos have motivated her to play around in the terrain park, which helps her learn even more about snowboarding. “Say I try jumps, that gives me a lot of new ideas and just having fun with the different aspects of the board.”
Snowboarding has also taught Wong some important life skills such as determination and resiliency. “It’s not just about snowboarding but everything that extends from it. Snowboarding leads me to places I’ve never been in life. It’s a great way to explore the world and stay in touch with nature.”
Wong refers to snowboarding as an ideology. “When you’re skiing or snowboarding you just keep trying and every time you fall, you get back up and ride.”
In fact, snowboarding is what led Wong to earning a degree in Kinesiology, from the University of Lethbridge, where she will graduate in June. “It ties back to why I love snowboarding. Whenever you do a sport, there’s a risk of injury. I know how to recover faster from injuries and to prevent injuries.
Part of Wong's plan is to also become a snowboard instructor, pairing her kinesiology background with teaching people how to board. “I can teach and help people to avoid injuries.”
Meanwhile, her advice for anyone wanting to learn how to snowboard is this: “Do a lot of research on YouTube and … apply what you have watched and learned and get out there try and do the stuff you were hoping to do. Keep trying!”
Want to take a lesson?
SnowSeekers’ #NewSkiAB can get you and your significant other or you and a buddy on the slopes for your first lessons at Lake Louise. Sign up today for private ski or snowboard lessons at Lake Louise and up those skills and your love of winter. There are lots of spaces available.
SnowSeekers is stoked to partner with HEAD Skis, Lake Louise Ski Resort and our friends at Immigrant Services Calgary. A legacy of oour #Calgary2026 work, we’ve formed this #NewSkiAB partnership, helping to welcome more diversity to Western Canada’s slopes. Check out this story to learn more.