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Old 12-24-2012, 09:49 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NorthCoastRider View Post
My kids learned at Shames; I'm sure you can too.

Some advice I got from an instructor when my kids were in lessons was that at the early stage of learning side slipping was ok as long as they were making is down the mountain and having fun. It probably applies to adults as well.

Don't be hating on Shames though, we are very lucky to still have that mountain open.
Side slipping sucks! So, yeah not having fun.

Not hating on Shames, just frustrated because I know what to do, I just can't go work on it. It's tough to focus on leaning downhill and putting weight on your lead leg and pivoting when you can't put weight or pivot on your sprained ankle!
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:50 PM   #22 (permalink)
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First year, went all out and bought all my own gear and a season pass.

37 years old
195 lbs 5'10"

K2 Raygun 159
K2 Formula Bindings (both 2012)
32 Lashed SL's 2013

My local is Shames Mountain in NW BC. See the attached run map.

So, built a backyard balance beam of wood like has been posted and practiced a little on that, went to the local sled hill the first snow, and then hiked for my first couple of turns up Shames before opening day. Spent a lot of time on my ass (and face).

Signed up for a 2 hour private lesson on opening day. Didn't really learn shit. The instructor was a total douche. He had just moved to BC from Alberta where his local was basically a "hill" with snow making. He wasted most of my time telling me about how at 30 he had been instructing since 96' and was really a freestyle coach. He never did more than a 9 in comp but can totally land 12's and 14's. He also had to show me his knee brace and complain about how he shattered his leg landing a 30' air on his dirt bike, etc. etc.

Even though I had my own gear he wasted my time "explaining" what an edge was and the base, bindings, etc.

He then went quickly over skating and edge stepping basically on our way to the rope tow. We did maybe 2 runs down the bunny side-slipping and my legs were burning like a mutha. I thought maybe a little more forward lean on my high-backs would help with my heel edge. He grabbed my board to "do it for me" and I had to show him how and told him I had it, and he still insisted on doing one binding which I later found loose and flapping around (tool less thumb screw type stuff).

He then had me doing the pendulum or falling leaf. I complained that AASI and CASI no longer teach this technique and that it can lead to bad habits and limit progression based on some reading I've done. He said "I know, I just correct the bad habits". I probably should have walked then, but it gets better.

He was talking to me like I was 10 years old "that's ok buddy" and never once said anything about correcting what I was doing that didn't have something to do with holding my arms out like an airplane and pointing where I wanted to go. Even I could tell I was in the backseat and that was why I was having trouble heel side, but he never said it.

He also kept trying to force me to ride switch telling me that I was goofy even though I skated as a kid and I know I'm regular. This wasn't based on testing me or anything, he just kept trying to make me point my tail downhill. He rides goofy and I think he is just easily confused. Anyway, the 3rd time I told him I wasn't goofy I started to get a little pissed.

Went straight from side-slipping to linked turns. No garlands or isolated turns, just go for it. I did OK other than the aforementioned backseat heel problem.

Oh yeah, even though I was standing to strap in, he kept trying to force me to sit and was wasting my time explaining how to strap in sitting. After the first 2 or 3 runs he then wasted my time trying to explain how to strap standing while I was already standing there strapped in. I wanted to kick him in the head.

So, after not making it down the bunny without falling back at least a couple times on my heel edge he starts trying to make me mimic him in a couple of quick "corrections" he called them or basically what I understand to be dynamic turns. It was a little ugly, but I managed.

After a break an hour and fifteen in where I had to explain to him that my lesson was not over and that I indeed had 45 minutes left he took me straight to the lift. Now anyone who knows Shames will know that there is no such thing as beginner terrain there. There are basically 2 green runs one of which is a too narrow for a cat and doglegs back and forth all the way down and the other starts out with enough room for wide beginner turns on a gentle slope and turns into a steeper run with little washes and drops that he just told me to side-slip through.

My favorite part was how he kept cutting me off and stopping right in front of me to watch me. I laid it down a half a dozen times to avoid hitting the moron. He still never corrected my heel side technique and I was doing pretty good toe side, but washing out and landing on my ass at least 1 out of every 3 heel turns.

He then ends the lesson with a pitch about how I need to buy more lessons and to make sure I ask for him while hinting around about a tip. FUCK this asshole!

So I took one more run by myself, took a wrong turn and ended up on a steeper blue called shooter and caught a wicked toe edge. It was one of those don't realize you're falling or anything, just "come to" on the ground wondering why you can't breath and why your goggles and helmet are on sideways. Best part is doing it right under the chair so you can hear the laughs and all the "are you ok's". Of course you can't talk so you just hold up a thumb.

Even better, while my bell was still ringing I got up and tried again. I dropped into a little wash or bowl or whatever and somehow ended up going down inline with my board instead of forward or backward. I jacked up my ankle and knee pretty good. My ankle is still sprained pretty badly and all black and blue and shit.

Still better, I promised a guy from work that I would ride with him the next day. So, I took a couple OTC anti-inflammatories and a non-narcotic pain pill, wrapped it up crammed it in my boot and went for it. Bad idea! Pain on the way up the chair with my board hanging off my injured leg was excruciating. Needless to say I made it one run, my buddy got a raincheck voucher and we played xbox the rest of the day.

I also tried again this last Saturday (a week after the initial injury). It was feeling a lot better. I made it down the bunny hill a couple of times with no wipeouts and decided I was good to go. The chair wasn't bad either. Again, took another wrong turn on this shitty hill with no signage and ended up on another blue run and re-injured my still recovering ankle.

Now I'm on the couch with 2 weeks off work and a season pass doing fuck-all!

Hopefully nobody will read this as it is definitely too long and probably stupid and whiney, but it was cathartic and I feel better.
Classic case of a douche instructor who cannot teach and an obnoxious student who thinks he knows more than he does and is not listening. Bad combination that...
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:05 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Just watched essentially the exact same pivot technique in the SA intermediate vid. Can't stand on my ankle and twist like that yet, but hoping for boxing day to give it another try. I think I'll practice pivot turns on the bunny hill a few times to get more comfortable and then head back up the mountain.

I'll practice dropping low to un-weight my board while pivoting on my front foot to make really quick skidded turns without having to traverse as far or have the speed to do something more "dynamic" or flowing. It seems like the next logical step given the terrain I have to contend with and my resources as far as learning go.
Dude why worry about down unweighting/dynamic movement at this stage? I can tell you first hand trying dynamic turns without properly linking basic turns first just resulted me going really fast without any control. You have to speed check at that point. Down un-weighting is also not an intuitive concept that requires a lot of muscle memory to execute. There's too many steps to do in too little time if you have to think about the all the steps from start to finish.

If you really want to try for a little more dynamic control, CASI lessons taught using your shoulders slightly to initiate the turn, and anticipate the next turn by rotating your shoulder slightly for next turn before you start the turn movement.

Also Keep an open mind. Even the lv.1 instructors are much better than you at snowboarding. Maybe they just don't have the correct teaching/communication style for you. (Teaching and boarding abilities are not mutually inclusive.) Somethings didn't make sense to me either during the lessons, but just going thru the motions have always helped me with my form. I got more out of a better instructor obviously, but I have never gone away with nothing at all.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:42 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Since the terrain that most instructors teach is in about the same area. Can you kinda scope in on a class or two and watch the instructor for his 'stlye and technique' of coaching.
After seeing a Ins that you think is not a douche maybe approach him and talk to him a bit. Get his name incase you want to try him. Ask him how he goes about teaching an adult, kind of a mini interview before hiring him to help you.

Almost sounds like you should start over a little. Lock in the basic of getting your weight forward and using your foot/knees to initiate a turn. Build or un-learn some of the bad muscle memory you have now.

Just some thoughts, OH I started at 42 similar physical size. Took me 3 days of riding to become beginner proficient and a busted ass (tailbone) pain as I didn't know how to fall properly and if I did things happen fast not sure I would have been able too.
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:10 AM   #25 (permalink)
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You need to find a friend on the hill that is willing to spend some time with you for free. I love teaching newbies and have alot of patience for it. I have taught 3 people how to ride and its very satisfying. I didn't take any lessons, I just had a buddy who was willing to spend the better part of a day encouraging me and giving me some instruction. Thanks be to god it wasn't that grumpy TorpedoVegas who I ride with now
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Old 12-25-2012, 01:00 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by seriouscat View Post
Dude why worry about down unweighting/dynamic movement at this stage? I can tell you first hand trying dynamic turns without properly linking basic turns first just resulted me going really fast without any control. You have to speed check at that point. Down un-weighting is also not an intuitive concept that requires a lot of muscle memory to execute. There's too many steps to do in too little time if you have to think about the all the steps from start to finish.
Did you watch the snow professor vid? What I'm talking about are basic pivot turns as opposed to side slipping to deal with steeper terrain where I don't have the room and it is too steep for my noobish wide-ass linked turns.

It doesn't look or "feel" particularly difficult or counter-intuitive to me. At least not in the living room.

I need a faster way to bleed speed and deal with steep and uneven terrain (all there is at Shames). Also, side slipping as I mentioned sucks. Not just because it looks stupid (I don't really care), but because I can't stay on my heel edge that long without burning out my legs. We are talking like the last 3rd of the run or more.

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Originally Posted by slyder View Post
Since the terrain that most instructors teach is in about the same area. Can you kinda scope in on a class or two and watch the instructor for his 'stlye and technique' of coaching.
After seeing a Ins that you think is not a douche maybe approach him and talk to him a bit. Get his name incase you want to try him. Ask him how he goes about teaching an adult, kind of a mini interview before hiring him to help you.
I don't think you guys get how tiny this "resort" is. There are only a handful of instructors/rental techs/cat operators (for the one snow cat) available. And this was "supposedly" their best snowboard instructor.

I emailed the office about my "experience" and we'll see what comes of it.

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Originally Posted by ARSENALFAN View Post
You need to find a friend on the hill that is willing to spend some time with you for free. I love teaching newbies and have alot of patience for it. I have taught 3 people how to ride and its very satisfying. I didn't take any lessons, I just had a buddy who was willing to spend the better part of a day encouraging me and giving me some instruction. Thanks be to god it wasn't that grumpy TorpedoVegas who I ride with now
I actually have 3 friends to ride with. One of them is only a little better than me. He has been a few times over the years, but just bought a board last year and went 3 or 4 times. Another guy who has been riding for 3 years but is self taught and incapable of helping me. However, I do know a girl who has offered to ride with me who was sponsored when she was younger and used to teach at a resort back East. She offered to ride switch while working with me. I just haven't had a chance to ride with her thanks to my injury. Hopefully in the next couple of days I'll feel up to it.

Thanks for all the replies and I hope everyone got snow for Christmas!...
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Old 12-25-2012, 01:09 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Torpedo was a bit harsh and by no means would I discredit any of the great information snowwolf and others share on riding techniques and learning.... But I think you might have a little too much information floating around in your noggin.

I applaud you for doing your homework when getting into the sport and I agree you don't necessarily want to develop bad habits but there is something to be said for simply getting down the mountain without worrying about the specific types of techniques you are using. Simply try to get comfortable on the snow bad habits or not and then grow/work in technique from there.

Maybe that is terrible advice but I just cant imagine learning to ride with all that jargon floating around my head.
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Old 12-25-2012, 01:46 PM   #28 (permalink)
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True, at some point you have to just start training your muscle memory. I guess all the book-learning will at least tell you what bad habits to avoid.
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:48 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Ya I have no clue about your resort or instructors many members are just giving general advice on how to advance.
If you are struggling that bad or the resort isn't to your comfort level, you may want to take that trip to the other resort you mentioned.
Do you have a large sledding hill in your city. Not just that golf course, one where you can get some momentum. We have a great sled hill, never used it to learn snowboarding other then when the kids had the cheapy boards that aren't real snowboards. I have seen many kids riding it. Good riders and begineers, this might be a good free option.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:07 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Ya I have no clue about your resort or instructors many members are just giving general advice on how to advance.
If you are struggling that bad or the resort isn't to your comfort level, you may want to take that trip to the other resort you mentioned.
Do you have a large sledding hill in your city. Not just that golf course, one where you can get some momentum. We have a great sled hill, never used it to learn snowboarding other then when the kids had the cheapy boards that aren't real snowboards. I have seen many kids riding it. Good riders and begineers, this might be a good free option.
I'll be fine. I'm just pissed cuz my ankle is fucked and I can't ride. That and I wasted a bill on useless lessons.

Hoping to be riding in the next couple of days.
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