Blake Rubin is a mobile developer who lives and works in Philadelphia. Since he earned a college degree that combines the field of technology and business, he possesses extensive skills when it comes to helping start-up companies grow through innovation. Most of his projects pertain to employee training and implementation of mobile resources. Moreover, as a leader of this industry in Philadelphia, he has built a reputation as an influential mentor for young professionals and a reliable business partner. Besides working, Blake Rubin spends a lot of time skiing. Although this is only a hobby, it has helped him visit some of the nation’s prettiest mountains.
What is your hobby?
Skiing. Although I learned when I was fifteen and have been skiing ever since then, I still enjoy it like the very first time that my parents introduced me to the sport. It started off as a basic alpine style, which stands for downhill skiing, but I eventually learned more advanced techniques.
How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?
My family and I visited Colorado almost every year for about a decade in the early 2000’s. During these times, everyone took up learning a different winter sport. We had some who were studying snowboarding, some were practicing ice skating, and I decided to go with skiing. In retrospect, the only reason why I picked this particular sport is the fact that I have seen too many movies about it. Although it may seem ridiculous, it was these Hollywood scenes that inspired me to stand on a pair of skis and try to go downhill without breaking my neck. Ultimately, I turned out to be quite good at it from the beginning and my neck never suffered any injuries.
Tell us what you love about it.
You could call me a speed junkie. I enjoy getting an adrenaline rush while I go down a steep mountain. The snow that splashes from underneath my skis, the sticks that I use to increase the acceleration, the momentum that must be properly handled to make a solid turn, and everything else related to this sport excites me. Also, I absolutely hate almost every other sport that involves a ball.
Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?
I did a few team competitions in amateur skiing. I never placed high in the rankings, however, as our team was quite mediocre. Regardless, our goal was to have fun while others were chasing imaginary titles and trophies. I would probably not trade with anyone who won many prizes as the memories I gathered seem more valuable than any wall plaques.
Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.
As with any other sport, I had to buy some basic tools to work on my craftsmanship. Besides the obvious purpose of my VolkiMantra skis, I also invested in some professional goggles, skiing suits, helmets, sticks, and other items that are mandatory in order to enjoy my hobby without worrying about safety hazards.
Where do you buy most of your supplies?
Either online or in stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Academy Sports and Outdoors. For the most part, it just depends on the offering. There have been instances where the in-store purchases would not make sense as their prices were too high compared to those of online retailers. This concept also applies on the vice-versa basis. I must admit, however, that it is more convenient to buy things over the internet as one does not have to worry about picking up heavy supplies.
Are there any good books for beginners?
Besides the mainstream books that try to teach people how to ski, there are very few readings that will be related to this topic in an entertaining manner. Some of the selected works include the “All-Mountain Skier” by R. Mark Elling, “Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain” by Bruce Tremper, and “Fifty Places to Ski and Snowboard Before You Die: Downhill Experts Share the World’s Greatest Destinations” by Chris Santella. The last book also makes a great bucket list for people who do not already have one.
How has this changed your life?
It helped me remain positive during difficult times of adversity. Also, I can now channel my energy in a very efficient manner. This enables me to minimize the amount of stress in the workplace and host an inclusive and productive atmosphere.
What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?
Take a few classes from experienced instructors and practice the basics. Skiing can either become an amazing sport or a gravely dangerous activity for those involved. Consider, for example, that every skill which you practice on flat land without speed will have to be executed perfectly while you slide at life-threatening speeds. Thus, you want to ensure that your abilities are up to par and that you will not be a risk to yourself or others.
Are there any other hobbies you have?
I like learning how to snowboard. Generally speaking, it has a lot of touching points with skiing. Nevertheless, I have still not mastered the art of the board. The fact that the center of gravity is completely shifted in snowboarding has made it almost impossible for me to learn. Regardless, I will keep trying until I finally succeed.