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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 09:54 AM
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How long does it take to be comfortable on blacks?

I've been boarding for a few years now but I only get to go about 8-10 times a year. I still cannot board down blacks without having to stop a bunch of times when I get going too fast, I just want to be able to barrel down it like some people do, it looks hella fun.

I guess every year I feel like I'm almost there, then 10 months goes by with no boarding and my skill gets dialed back to having trouble on some tough blues even until I go a few times and regain whatever skill I had the previous season.

Do I just not get enough days in?

Also is it easier to learn in powder? I only ride on the ice coast and sometimes my edge will just grab on the ice and I'll fall over and not even know what I did wrong! Its pretty frustrating.

Last edited by Tolem; 01-25-2010 at 10:00 AM.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 11:08 AM
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How long to get comfortable on blacks?

Thats extremely racist and why would you want to place yourself on a black person? It seems like it might annoy them

To really answer your question is impossible. I was comfortable on black runs 4 days into riding, but I've always picked up riding any kind of board(surfboard, skateboard, wakeboard, etc) naturally. Others might not. Also varying conditions, length of time riding, conditions, equipment, etc make for too many variables to be able to answer this question.

If you want to ride blacks, push yourself on blues and when you are comfortable there, start out slow on uncrowded black runs. The key is to push past your comfort zone. There is absolutely no other way to progress in anything athletic and physical. Good luck and have fun
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 11:16 AM
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Everyone learns at their own pace. But if you can stomach even looking over the edge of a black, you've already done 90% of the work. While learning in powder is a more forgiving environment, you have to snowboard slightly different to deal with the powder conditions. You just have to keep trying and get accustomed to the speed, and because you're on the ice coast, really really make sure the snowboard grabs with the edge. You could also start out by carving a bit wider to bleed off more speed downhill. And finally, take it slowly! Don't get frustrated if you have to brake a lot, get out of your comfort zone a little and have fun.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 11:29 AM
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This is a question that only you can answer. 90% of it is psychological. Get the proper protection, especially a helmet, and you will gain a little more confidence from that alone. Practice on slopes that have a brief steep section and work your way towards the longer steeps like on blacks. A good way to keep your speed in check is to make wider turns as you are going down. Like traversing across the slope from side to side. Take it slow and eventually work your way to shorter, faster turns. It's all about building up that confidence and learning how to control your edges on the steeps. Reviews and David Z's rants
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 11:46 AM
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i dont think its how much you're riding i only get to ride about 8-10 times a year and i was doing blacks by the end of my first season. by the next season i was able to bomb blacks...

its really all mental once you understand and fully know how to apply the essentials of snowboarding.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 10:01 PM
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I think the others have addressed this the same as I would but in regards to powder, I would agree that riding black diamonds during a pow day is much more fun and I would say easier only because I (and maybe you would too) feel more confident maintaining a good edge on it. Plus, if you fall it won't hurt so bad, just get back up and try again!

PS- I don't go on black diamond's much anyways, I prefer to go off piste and through some trees, I think if you practice doing that more often, you'll gain stronger skills. But this is from my personal experience, maybe you'll differ.
post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 10:18 AM
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Just to add I think a lot has to do with very good technique. Learning to turn properly and really holding an edge. You can practice those on blues and apply it to blacks. Just don't get lazy on the blue runs and cheat. Riding out here on the ice coast will make you learn that better since we have less 'snow'. But you'll definitely have to go at it more since the blacks out here tend to have icy patches from people plowing the snow away. I remember learning the blacks thinking I was ok then I would hit a patch of hard hard pack and either skid or lose control and catching an edge. Cartwheels on a black sucks, especially when you hope someone brings your beanie and goggles down to you instead of crawling back up to get it.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Snowolf View Post
One thing that is also going to help you get there is to play with doing some basic cross over turns. This will use simple inclination to engage the side cut of your board and will result in large radius turns with relatively shallow edge angles. Keep shoulders and hips aligned with the board and simply tilt your body back and forth over your board from heel to toe. Allow these turns to complete by crossing the fall line with the board perpendicular before going into the new turn. Edge change should occurr shortly after crossing the fall line.

Right now, your turns are very open ended "S" turns and I would like to see you complete your turns by making consistent "C" shaped turns. Bleed off speed by allowing the board to actually steer uphill before going into the new turn. You will need to work at getting comfortable with leaning down hill to initiate the new turn.

The secret to the steeps id overcoming that feeling of "leaning down the hill" Mechanically the board works the same regardless of the pitch. You need to try to maintain that upside down letter T in order to keep weight on the front half of the board in order for the side cut to be effective at turning.
Above is a quote from Snowolf on another thread that I think could be helpful to you (it was invaluable to me!!). The most important thing is to be 100% comfortable with your riding on gentler terrain. If you're not confident down below, it will just get worse on the steeps. Are you solidly linking turns? That's extremely important. I have just begun to really concquer blacks, and that is by making big C's with strong edge hold. On the steeps you want to make sure your board makes it all the way back across the fall line while still maintaining your edge. This will help you bleed off speed, and stay in control. You'll also want to look at the terrain you're riding, e.g. moguls, bumps, etc. and pick your line as best you can.

Trying the steeps in powder will give you more mental confidence, like Leo said 90% psychological, in powder you know that even if you crash, it won't be that hard. But riding in powder is also a different discipline than regular riding. You'll need to lean back and keep your nose up to not get stuck.

Main thing, don't pin yourself down to a timeframe for progression, every rider progresses individually at their own pace and comfort level. There really is no way to figure out how quickly you will concquer the fear, or progress, but you will. If you improve just a little bit every time, that is progress enough worth being proud of! Don't walk away from your trips saying "i didn't do this or that" instead walk away saying "wow, i did this differently than before and it felt good"!!! Take some lessons and keep it up!

Every turn is a blessing.

Last edited by dharmashred; 01-27-2010 at 04:46 PM.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ComeBack_Kid View Post
How long to get comfortable on blacks?

Thats extremely racist
I lol'd

To get good on blacks, and to progress in snowboarding in general all you need to do is push yourself out of your comfort zone a little bit everytime you go out. Not to the point where your eating it hard constantly but just enough that your constantly progressing. This has become my problem, I always end up doing the same tricks in the park because I know I can land them when I should be trying new stuff.

Good luck, remember the real reason your out there is to have fun!
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 04:34 PM
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I have only started this season to go down blacks (#2). I focused a lot last year on just mastering the basics. Once you understand your edges and how to ride the most effective way you can pretty much handle anything. Some people are just never comfortable on black runs.. its up to the individual person
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