I went up the resort for the 4th time today. I did 3 lessons, then today got my season pass...because it was a special deal and I only had to pay $65.
I have had high hopes. I keep reading about people who took one lesson or no lessons and were carving down the mountain by day 2. This is not me.
I seem to be an uncoordinated clutz. I cant even make it down the kiddie bunny hill. I get up there, I get going down.....and then nothing wants to work. I catch an edge, or I lose my balance, or I start spinning around as I am heading down the hill like a freakish helicopter.
Today I had my first really scary fall. I tweaked my ankle, slammed my head into the ground, and just generally messed up my back. After 4 weeks I am covered in bruises. There is a 12 inch section of each leg that is just black and blue (centered around the knee). I have bruises on my behind, on my arms. I am a mess.
So the questions are.....did you ever think of giving up? Did any of you have this hard of a time learning and then end up actually progressing beyond the point of a mentally disabled circus animal? Are you sure anyone can learn...or should some of us just realize we are hopeless and then cry over the obscene amount of money they have already spent on this?
Ok...so maybe I am just cranky and want to bitch. But I am actually sort of serious with the questions.
This is my first post but I have been lurking for a year. Great site!! Just about everything I know about snowboarding I learned here. I started snowboarding one year ago when I was 44 years old. I was 40 pounds over weight and hadn't exercised in 20 years. I grew up skateboarding in the 70's but had no experience with snow sports. I always really wanted to snowboard because I was a skateboarder but I never had the opportunity. My 4 kids got snowboards last year and they wanted me to go. At the time my kids were 14, 13, 10, and 6 so it was a good opportunity for me to fall down with them. I had heard the horror stories from my 13 year old son who is very athletic just killing himself and failing so I was a little nervous.
My two first trips to the "bunny hills" at our local hill were brutal. I was totally out of shape and very worried about getting injured because I am the sole provider. My wife was terrified I was going to kill myself. My first real run where I got serious speed I caught an edge at the bottom of the hill and landed on my chest. I got the wind knocked out of me and had a bruise the size of a softball on my sternum. My kids thought I was going to die.
Here are some of my recommendations:
-Make sure you really want to do this badly. I would have never been able to push through the pain and difficulty of being out of shape but I REALLY wanted to snowboard.
-Trust and understand what your boots, bindings and board are built to do. I have never been involved with an activity where the equipment plays such a critical role. Each component is designed in a certain way to assist you in riding your board.
-Watch Snow Wolf's videos. I learned how to snowboard from his videos and now is a perfect time to watch them. You have been out there a few times and his advice will make more sense now.
-Get protective equipment. The older we get the more consequences there are to falling. Get hip, knee and rear pads. This will allow you to take the risks you need to learn with less fear of pain. This year I also purchased the Level Super Pipe Gloves with the bio-metric wrist support. These are amazing and excellent for avoiding wrist injuries. My wrist hurt for 6 months after the season last year. They were the first thing I bought this year. The first time I wore them my confidence improved.
-Take a break and lay off the lessons. I have noticed when you are trying to learn something new, at the point when it is the worst you are about to have a break through. Oftentimes if you take a week off and you come back to the activity you make more progress. Lessons are great but there is nothing harder than trying to do something and failing in front of someone else. Go to the hill by yourself and just work on specific points to improve. Don't over think. Don't try to get too technical.
-It is going to hurt!! Before I started snowboarding I asked a few of my friends who had kids if they ever snowboarded. These guys were all in great shape and worked out regularly. Everyone of them told me don't do it. They said it hurt more than anything they have ever done and they would never get on a board again. It hurts to walk in the boots when you start, falling hurts and your pride hurts. Your body will adapt and it will stop hurting.
-If you are working out keeping doing it. I snowboarded 10 times in 2 months last year. This was my exercise and I was losing weight. I was also building stamina. The more tired you are the harder it is to execute while on your board. I realized when I got tired I would start making mistakes that I made on my first runs ever. I was afraid of injury so I would stop immediately. The more in shape you get the easier it is to ride. I realized it is hard to balance when you have a fat gut hanging in front of you. During the summer I started biking and this has improved my stamina greatly on my board this year.
Once you carve your first run it will all be worth it and you won't be able to stop. So don't give up now if you really want to snowboard. I would agree with other posts on this sight that 8-10 times on the hill is when things start to click. Good luck!!