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Old 12-17-2013, 09:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First time in the Park

Ok, So I've got about 10 days under my belt this season and would love to start riding in the park. I've got ollies and pop's down and I am pretty efficient at turning. I'm just getting kinda bored burnin down groomers and want to ad some spice to my life!

the park's at my local resorts are some of the best but considering I've never fit a rail or box or jump before it is a bit intimidating.

So this is where you experienced guys (or girls) come in. How do I go about becoming a pro in the park? where do I start and what sort of things should I do to get into riding park?
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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To start, find some easier features on your hill that have no gap or a straight-on gap to the feature. Don't attempt to hit features with a side-ollie on right away.

My first feature was a straight box which sat 3 feet above ground, and had about a 2(1/2) foot gap between the lip of the takeoff to the actual feature--which you can't feel at all when you actually try the feature.

Some tips for trying boxes/rails for the first time, which really helped me:

Don't take a ton of speed checks (side to side lining up motions), you'll just get off-balance and hit the feature crooked.

Keep the base of your board absolutely flat and lined up straight-on with the rail/box.

If you feel like you are slipping off the box (which you will), let yourself slip off. Trying to use your edges will not work on a box, and that's how everybody eats shit.

As far as landing it, keep your knees slightly bent, and loose. But not wet-noodle loose. You're in Utah, so landings on features will be perfect and nice, so not much to worry about here if you can already pop and ollie a bit. I learned on Midwest, 5 degrees ungroomed ice landings.

Don't cut people off approaching a feature, and always look uphill to make sure nobody else is about to hit something you want to move over and hit.

You will fall. People might give you shit. But keep trying, even as sore as your arms and tailbone gets, trust me.
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Take a lesson. Or join one of the 3 day freestyle camps at Park City Mountain resort. (I ride Park City). . There are a ton of great instructors there and other people you can ride the park with. But you can't teach yourself to ride park there unless you want to get broke off and waste a lot of time with trial and error.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If you ever did take a lesson... which I doubt you will... but request Lynn Neil. She became an instructor at PC this year and she is sponsored by Roxy/competed on Dew Tour. She'll make you pro by the end of the day and she's pretty to look at.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PCboarder View Post
Ok, So I've got about 10 days under my belt this season and would love to start riding in the park. I've got ollies and pop's down and I am pretty efficient at turning. I'm just getting kinda bored burnin down groomers and want to ad some spice to my life!

the park's at my local resorts are some of the best but considering I've never fit a rail or box or jump before it is a bit intimidating.

So this is where you experienced guys (or girls) come in. How do I go about becoming a pro in the park? where do I start and what sort of things should I do to get into riding park?
Focus on one trick at a time, then break it down into it's smaller individual section and skills, learn those in the lowest risk method possible (eg - on a green run), then combine it together. That's how you want to approach all of freestyle.

Many, many tricks can be learnt/practiced on a green run before taking them to the park and that's what you'll want to be doing if you want to limit injuries and learn tricks step-by-step.

The biggest mistake most beginners make is falling into the mindset that you have to huck your body into tricks to progress, then they end up with injuries and bad habits when really they should have just broken it down and figured out the trick step-by-step.
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Easy style it! Just like learning to ride in general, you need to build good foundational skills early on. Start with very basic maneuvers and get them down pat and avoid the temptation to progress too fast. Sloppy movements or slightly bad form learned in the beginning phase of freestyle will really cause you trouble down the road when learning more complex tricks and going bigger.

Generally, I recommend than a rider is solidly linking turn on blue terrain before going into the park. Start with basic straight airs and simple ride on boxes. The goal is to pick low consequence features because you will be stacking up a lot in the learning phase. As you gain skill and confidence, gradually step up to bigger and more complicated features.

A good rule of thumb is as follows. When you move up to unfamiliar terrain or features, use familiar riding skills. When you are trying unfamiliar riding tasks, use familiar terrain. So, after getting comfortable with straight airs on a big feature and you want to start throwing spins, don't do it on that big feature; go back to the smaller easiest feature.
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Best advice is not to try if you can't see yourself landing it. There are way too many times someone has tried something new and ended up in hospital because he or she wasn't ready. Yes, there will always be uncertainity when you try new tricks but you have to be confident. And another thing if you want to be a real pro, think about what your tricks look like. It's not that cool if you land a frontside 720 but you look like a scarecrow in the air. So get used to your new tricks. Practice, practice, practice until they feel smooth to you and then move on to new stuff. Good advice on the other posts too.
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Wow! thanks for all the awesome feedback! I will be hitting up canyons tomorrow for my first adventure. they seem to be the only one with a beginner park open right now. the real bummer is I just moved out here from Kansas and don't have anyone to ride with yet so if you see a guy out there tomorrow making an idiot out of himself in the park, its probably me lol

Hopefully they got a few easy boxes and/or little hits out there I can work with
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Many, many tricks can be learnt/practiced on a green run before taking them to the park and that's what you'll want to be doing if you want to limit injuries and learn tricks step-by-step.
Hey Jed, What Kind of tricks would you suggest getting down before I hit the park? I'm proficient at nose/tail press' and pops and ollies. The only thing I could think of would be some butter tricks like 180's 360's just poppin off green runs.
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PCboarder View Post
Wow! thanks for all the awesome feedback! I will be hitting up canyons tomorrow for my first adventure. they seem to be the only one with a beginner park open right now. the real bummer is I just moved out here from Kansas and don't have anyone to ride with yet so if you see a guy out there tomorrow making an idiot out of himself in the park, its probably me lol

Hopefully they got a few easy boxes and/or little hits out there I can work with
Park City Mountain Resort has their beginner park open already. Just skip the big booter at the top and go jump on some of the flat boxes etc. I was just riding it all last week. And an instructor can take you through there for an hour and get you dialed on some basics. Neil Lapwood does those Snowboard Addiction teaching vids that might help you if you're really new.
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