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Old 09-12-2007, 10:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
caboose117
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Default Riding Switch/Park

Hey guys... this season I am looking to start learning to ride park. Last season I went from riding greens to carving and riding down blacks (out west blacks). Anyway since I am in Toronto for higher education I will only be seeing Ontario skiing while my best friends are going to Silver Star and the Swiss Alps. Not fair....
Anyhow I heard Blue Mountain is not that bad and it has a pretty good park, which is why I want to get into park this season. So do I have to know how to ride switch to start park?
I ride a 159 bullet, size 10 boots, 6 ft 190 lbs. What should I concentrate in the park as a park beginner anyhow?
I'd like to do a few boxes, maybe rails, jumps for sure. I like hitting the jumps that are scattered around trails since I am more of a freerider...
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Progression is the key. Always start off small whether it be a box, rail, etc and keep doing it until you want a bigger challenge. Then work up to the next larger size. Rails and boxes, get your 50/50s dialed in first always staying flat on your base and keep your eyes LOCKED on the end of the rail or box. Always ride around the features for the first run before you hit them to see the feature conditions and your take-offs and landings. This will save you a lot of pain and embarrassment. Even though the park has rules for drops, etc observe the local riders and don't rock the boat. Don't have attitude unless you want to have every rider in the park come down on you for every screw-up you make. Don't be afraid to ask riders questions on how to hit the features: if you are polite and genuine they will probably coach you through the features. Ask the little groms questions as well; those little 11 and 12 year olds can hit those features better than the older teenagers without the attitude and they are thrilled to be able to show the adults how to do a trick. And don't feel intimidated by all the riders just sitting down scoping out the park but never getting up; goggles on and zero facial expression. . You could end up waiting for a very long time because they are too scared themselves to hit the features but would rather just try and look the part but never stepping up. They will hit the features when no one is around. And lastly, learn to be able to laugh off your mistakes as you learn. No one is going to come down on you for bailing off a rail or box but if you create a huge scene by yelling "FUCK!!!" and throwing your gear, you will most certainley get laughed at. Just have FUN!!!
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh, and if you want to be able to progress in the park, you really need to know how to ride switch.
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Old 09-13-2007, 01:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tips. Should I learn switch first then or should I learn how to hit the small features?
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Old 09-13-2007, 01:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
caboose117
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I have a quick question too if I may...
The response of your bindings means what?
I have burton customs. I was just wondering what is the difference between bindings with lower response and bindings with higher response.
I'm not really good with all the technical aspects.... All I know is that it is easier to learn on a board that is less flexible and less responsive but I don't know what difference those degrees make. :S
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Old 09-13-2007, 05:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i would suggest you just go with what you feel like..... flow with the go!

pay greater attention to having fun. if you need to test yourself or scare yourself then do so; pain will reel you back in if you go too big too soon. remember it would be a shame to hit the biggest kicker or rail in the park just to bugger your knee (or worse) for the rest of the season!

practising switch is always a good idea, if you wanna be a decent rider; whether in park or not. IMO.

just go with your vibe; follow park etiquette and don't get lost trying to be something other than yourself.


the only mandatory requirement is TO HAVE A GOOD TIME, ALL THE TIME!
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Old 09-13-2007, 07:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh, and don't cheap out on your helmet! I did on my first one and I keep it on my desk at work as an example of a "Near Miss" incident!
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Old 09-13-2007, 07:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Learning switch isn't the most important thing if you are just starting out. Granted it is a nice skill to have, but you shouldn't need to worry about it in the park to much until you start throwing spins and what not. It probably the best you learn to ride switch while freeriding though. A good way to starts to learn how to land switch it to spin little 180s off of those natural hits scattered around the trails; not to mention they are pretty fun to.
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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well this is true.... no point suffering switch riding if you've only just learnt to enjoy the hill.

but having said that and with hindsight, i wish now that i learnt the switch riding, back when i was used to regular slams and was well aware of the rate of progression etc
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Old 09-14-2007, 06:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks again guys, oh and Slaughter I've always rode with a helmet.
It's a giro 9 with tune-ups and it says snow devirginizer on the back, courtesy of my roommate
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