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Aptly named because the first few nights on the slopes I was completely covered in snow from falling every which way. I could lay down and no one could see me. I'm no common blogger but would like to chart my progress from a new snowboarder to next season where I hope to get on the ASU Snowboarding Team and travel around for races and boardercross.
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2-2-2011 Catching Up

Posted 02-02-2011 at 09:13 PM by Tachypsychia
Updated 02-02-2011 at 09:30 PM by Tachypsychia

So I've been boarding for about three weeks now total, not counting the one outing I had when I was a wee lad of about seven. The first few days were a complete disaster, and I went home feeling like an inmate at county. I decided just going out on the slopes and hoping for the best wouldn't cut it, and spent my days outside of class researching into riding and the physics of it in general. Being a physics major, I like to know the specifics of things in an out. I also signed up for the snowboarding class my college offers. Once a week we get out on the slopes and get one of the lodges instructors to show us what for for about 45 minutes.

I was blow away by the quality of instruction. As much as I was learning online, it didn't hold a candle to personal instruction. Maybe it was just the caliber of instructor we had. He would tell us to do something, which overly exagerated the move he wanted us to perform. Such as riding with our hands straight out like a scarecrow and trying to bend to touch the front of our boards. Doing that emphasized the forward bias on our weight, allowing us to turn better.

After each lesson he went over why we did that and how to incorperate it into our sessions to make improvements. I decided that I really liked snowboarding and picked up a night pass at App Ski Mtn to get out there on nights I didn't have class. I did more reading and lurking here on the forums for info and got a good list of things to work on for my level.

I've gotten comfortable riding down the slopes milder black diamonds when the snow is appropriate (tonight it was very icy) and doing flat 360s as I go down both FS and BS from regular and switched stances. Based on that I wanted to start buttering on the slopes, so tonight I set out to do just that.

However, last night when I rode, it was very slushy and rainy. We had a thunderstorm and I still stayed out, because the slush was ideal for carving through riding switch, and was forgiving when I leaned back to far trying to turn. Because of yesterdays weather, today it iced over, and along with the shaved ice they blew on the slopes, it made for a very rocky experience.

My first run on Orchard Run, a quick blue square, I washed out a few times in piles of shaved off ice. Headed up to the black diamond, I had very little confidence going down quickly and making shallow carves. I did try the slalom they had set up twice and leaned back too far on the heelside carve too much each time. I guess I felt I didn't have enough bite off the edges.

Reading on the forums makes me think I need to get the edges sharpened and a good coat of wax on. I dont think it's ever had a coat of wax and as hard as I've been riding (about 10 5 hour sessions so far) I'm sure I need an overhaul.

The rest of the night was pretty uneventful. I took it to the flat ground where I tried to see about popping the board up and balancing on the tail and nose. It was disappointing however to find out that my board is very resistant to flexing. Technically it isn't my board, but my old roommates, and its too short for my weight. I figured that could be the problem. I did get a small ollie out of it, but the act of flexing the board to do one really took a toll on my calves, so I stopped after a while.

On my own I started turning the end of a toeside carve into a 270 and continuing down the slope. Apparently it's called a buttered pretzel. It was interesting to find out after I started doing them that I was doing a beginner butter move.

I couldnt really ride the tail down the bunny slopes. I'd get afraid of the speed and just set it down and sideslip and try again. I ended up doing the buttered pretzels from heel and toeside the rest of the night down some steeper slopes, and trying to do it without shaving off too much speed.

The wind gusts were around 30-45mph tonight, and I didn't have goggles or a facemask on so I decided to call it quits a little over two hours. I'll probably use tomorrow to rest a bit since I'm working and friday I'll head onto the slopes again to watch the big air event they're hosting and try to improve some more.
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