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Old 03-05-2014, 09:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Beginner critique/advice

My 9/yo has 5 trips under his belt. He loves it, every day has been open to close with a 20m lunch break. He's done 2 lessons to get him going, definitely time for more, but to be honest now that he's all over the mountain I've been having too much fun to press them.

Being a skier I'm not really sure what is good or bad form outside of flailing arms. The obvious thing right now is he totally favors heel, so basically goes down and does 180s to keep turning. Of course he's not really listening to the old man who skis and doesn't snowboard when I try to get him practicing toe. (Hence the need for lessons because the instructors are godlike compared to my advice).

Anything else obvious that jumps out?

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Old 03-05-2014, 10:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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He's not flailing his arms too much that I can see. Also, it seems like he will have no trouble riding switch later on

But what he is doing basically seems to me like a version of falling leaf down the mountain. Only on heel edge, no actual turns, just twirling around. Posture problems that I notice are that he's keeping his legs straight all the way and he seems to be hunching over a slight bit.

Now, I'm still a bit of a newbie myself (maybe intermediate by this point), but I can tell you that lessons will probably help him a lot, both in skill and confidence. (not that you need telling, I reckon...)
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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well one thing for sure is he needs to take some lessons to get linking turns down.
posture wise keeping knees bent.
maybe you should take the lesson with him. never too late to switch.

Last edited by speedjason; 03-05-2014 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi and welcome! Very cool that you're supportive of his snowboarding

I noticed the same things as Varza. Also that he doesn't have his weight centered at times.

More lessons is the best option. In the meantime, I'd suggest having a look at Jed's videos to show where he can progress from here, proper form, etc. http://www.snowboardingforum.com/tip...o-lessons.html

Plus Jed has rad snowball-wielding ninjas in his logo ha. Who doesn't love ninjas

Good luck! Keep us posted.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Agreed, lessons are in order. The first few times were at a pretty small mountain. The beginner slope was a toe rope that he had a bear of a time getting the hang of. So while he could get down just fine they had to put him in a lower group that was walking up the slope. For obvious reasons that kinda frustrated him.

Now he's doing chairs and we are going to a bit larger mountain that really caters to snowboarders as much as skiers so I'll get him to give lessons another go.

In the morning he was totally side sliding down the mountain. We had a bit of a 'discussion' over that and by the end of the day while I won't say he was carving he definitely can go up on heel edge and go cross slope without slipping.

Should I adjust the 'camber?' on the bindings a bit to force his knees to bend? Right now I have them straight up.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f00bar View Post
Agreed, lessons are in order. The first few times were at a pretty small mountain. The beginner slope was a toe rope that he had a bear of a time getting the hang of. So while he could get down just fine they had to put him in a lower group that was walking up the slope. For obvious reasons that kinda frustrated him.

Now he's doing chairs and we are going to a bit larger mountain that really caters to snowboarders as much as skiers so I'll get him to give lessons another go.

In the morning he was totally side sliding down the mountain. We had a bit of a 'discussion' over that and by the end of the day while I won't say he was carving he definitely can go up on heel edge and go cross slope without slipping.

Should I adjust the 'camber?' on the bindings a bit to force his knees to bend? Right now I have them straight up.
nah you should not force him to do anything. I would say have him watch these videos.
How to Snowboard: Step 1 - Introduction to Snowboarding - YouTube
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedjason View Post
nah you should not force him to do anything. I would say have him watch these videos.
How to Snowboard: Step 1 - Introduction to Snowboarding - YouTube
By force i really mean try to help him to do the right thing. I actually showed him one of those videos about how to do the chairlift. As soon as one of them said the word 'butt' it was all over, plus he wanted to play Minecraft. He's kind of at that age where snowboarding to him is like playing in the snow, not really a sport with rules ,etc. So videos don't really hold his attention. Though he is always super attentive during lessons if for no other reason than it's what you do in 'school'.

I have a few others that show progress.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTS...Zgi9Gs4seG4HzA

Last edited by f00bar; 03-05-2014 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f00bar View Post
In the morning he was totally side sliding down the mountain. We had a bit of a 'discussion' over that and by the end of the day while I won't say he was carving he definitely can go up on heel edge and go cross slope without slipping.

Should I adjust the 'camber?' on the bindings a bit to force his knees to bend? Right now I have them straight up.
Side slipping. He's 9 and has been out 5x. Could be because he's more comfortable with that at this point, especially considering one is facing down the mountain/fall line when side slipping (heel). Beginners of all ages find comfort in facing down the fall line.

Bindings. I think you mean the highback? Personally I don't like any forward lean on my highbacks and ride them straight/neutral. I think the best way to bend your knees is to actually bend your knees. When you do, it's not just the knees that flex but also the joints of the ankles and hips. If he has the tendency to ride with straight legs, likely his ankles and hips are locking a bit too. Forcing the knees to bend with forward lean won't engage the other joints as much as if he bends his knees consciously. But some love fwd lean on their bindings so there's that.

Disclaimer: I'm not an instructor. I don't have kids. I don't know that much about kids (apart from common sense and a nephew whom I love), teaching kids to snowboard, or teaching anyone to snowboard for that matter.

Oh, I recall some old threads on here about making a game out of it to learn the basics. Might want to do a search on that.
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Old 03-06-2014, 03:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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He is doing fine, get him in some weekly group lessons with his peers and also take some of his friends to the hill that ride...the point is for him to have fun/good time. Also the peer pressure and seeing other kids shred...he will step it up and learn from other kids. Depending on his attitude...if he is an aggressive determined type, take him on some more challenging terrain. Some kids can do amazing things if they don't know. Example 2 weeks ago, on day 5 of riding took two 11 yr/o newbie girls; ducked a rope and did a short steep double black...didn't tell them...just said "follow me...ehh you can do it...no problem." We got to the bottom...mostly sideslipping...had them look back up hill...and ask them what they thought of doing their first double black. They about shit their pants but were STOKED! We went back and did some blue and single black runs with terrain traps where they had to point and bomb and they did great. And last week met a 5 yr/o girl that regularly hits double black runs...of course she has been coming to the hill since being a baby.
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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all beginners tend to stay on their heel edge because they are not comfortable using their toe edge yet. this will take care of itself as he progresses. it'll take a good full season or 2 for him to get confident and comfortable using both edges. lessons aren't absolutely necessary but im sure they wouldn't hurt. i can't comment too much on lessons because i never took one so have i no idea what they teach
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