Hi there (:
..I'm new to this forum so I apologize if I messed up/posted where this shouldn't be. I have a few questions...if you could take some time to read them that would be great.
I've been snowboarding for 2 years now and I was just wondering if it's possible to learn park without an instructor. I have one buddy to ride with, but she's usually busy so I ride alone a lot. (I go to an all girls school, almost no one there snowboards..) At my local mountains I could say that I'm one of the better ones at carving and whatnot, but I'm super intimidated to start doing some freestyle stuff. Mainly because everyone in the park scares the crap out of me/are very judgemental. I've watched numerous how-to videos and I really want to try some of them, but I know I'll bail like hell when I first start. I also don't want to bother anyone in the park like if I'm in the way/too slow or something...
After only riding for 2 years you need a bit of a reality check if you think you are one of the "better" carvers on the mountain. not trying to discourage you or be mean in any way, but with the amount of time it sounds like the go you are still a beginner at 2 years. If you can get down all of the blue runs good, while doing good dynamic carves or turns, and not falling at all you can probably try park. but even so it still takes a lot of board skills and small precise movements to get decent at park. also balls, it takes a bit of courage to look at features for the first time and commit to hitting them. Of course the bigger the feature the more commitment you need. once you decide you are mentally psyched, and you stand up and start going there can be no hesitation or second thoughts. you charge it, send it as best as you can, and try to land safley. bailing, second guessing, worrying about getting hurt, and riding sloppy will get you hurt in the park. Once you can commit yourself to charge it and not bail each time, it gets easier and easier from there. just start out on small jumps, and ride on rails and get comftorable on those while you get good at Approach Takeoff Maneuver Landing (ATML), the feeling of sliding on jib surfaces and getting your jump/speed/flying confidence, air control and awareness down.
i dont think you need an instructor for the park near as much as you need an instructor for general lessons on good riding technique. i would suggest taking a lesson or two so you get good riding fundamentals and board control down. park is just trial and error wand getting a new type of muscle memory down. you also need to be able to take pain and not be a bitch about it. learning park you will fall on hard things and you will get hurt. if you want to get anywhere you cant give up because you banged your knee, got a bruise, or knocked the wind out of yourself.
going to the park is like going to the gym. you think everyone looks at you and judges you for not being stacked or lifting an impressive amount of weight, but in reality thats usually just not the case. everyone understands that you have to start from somewhere, and when you start you are going to suck. and as long as you dont sit there for 20 minutes in front of each hit and block it you have nothing to worry about and nobody is going to care. If anyone is being judgmental or making dick comments they are probably the dip shit tween park rats who think they are the baddest thing to hit the scene since tall tees. Dont sweat it.
I agree with what hobo said. go find a friend who is as into park as you are, and as eager to progress as you are. it is truly amazing how fast you learn if you are always trying to one up your friend in friendly competition. also being a girl i guarantee guys will be 100x more willing to help you out and give you pointers. all you have to do is ask. which brings me to the next point. people are too dam shy. most people up on the hill are there for one reason, to have as much fun snowboarding as possible. if you went up to some people around your age and skill level and introduced yourself and asked if you could hang out with them and ride with them, i would also bet my new board they would say yes. you just have to break the ice.
I know this sounds totally crazy but do you think that it's too late for me to invest into competing slopestyle? I'm 14 already and barely did any park before. It's probably just some stupid goal/dream for me but I really want to compete. I don't even know how to do any tricks right now but I'm dying to learn. I'm literally addicted to snowboarding, I spend all my time watching vids + researching everything snowboarding related. The thing right now is that I don't have a lot of time to actually go snowboarding, but my mom says that she will devote sending me to the mountains on saturdays if I join a club. I've also competed in mini high school alpine races but I've decided that I do not like speed at all..and I ride way faster off the course.
at your level i would push out any goals of competing for at least 2 or 3 years (even then it would just be HS competitions) and just focus on having as much fun as possible learning switch, getting comfortable hitting all of the features in the park, learning a good range of tricks, and getting smooth at hitting them.
Last question haha, I was wondering if my freestyle board is a bit too long for me...I'm 165cm and my board is 146cm (just below my chin). As I mentioned before, I watch a lot of snowboard videos/movies etc, and people like Torstein Horgmo (172cm) have 150cm boards for jumps and stuff.
Thank you so much for reading my long post...if you could please reply with any tips that would be super great!
if its just below the chin you will be perfectly fine. in the beginning it is mostly the rider, not the board.
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Last edited by IdahoFreshies; 03-23-2012 at 09:30 PM.