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Old 06-20-2014, 12:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default newbie needs advice on fear...heights...linking turns on steeper gradient

Hi guys.
My partner has been boarding maybe 8 times in 2 years. This year we have season passes and i want to help her overcome the fear that is holding her back.
From other threads ive seen many people are intimidated by the exit off the chairlift...
I got my gf to go on one first time but once up there she was afraid and only wanted to traverse toe side falling leaf style...she feels the gradient is too steep but its not any different...its just its higher up the mountain.
My question is how can i help her to beat the inner fear of gathering speed ...she doesnt sem to want to face going down the fall line and trusting that the board will turn...shes had 4 lessons in total and doesnt want to get off the learners slope...which she doesnt even like as one run only lasts maybe 15 seconds. Ive even offered to take my board off and hold her hands like instructors do but she wont accept my help....if she cant progress soon i fear the frustration will make her give up. If she doesnt get out of falling leaf she will get nowhere and most people understand a decent gradient and a bit of speed is a snowboarders friend so any ideas guys ???
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Old 06-20-2014, 01:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Please note the intermediate trail is reasonably wide but shes still terrified of going over the edge even though its just more snow that slides down into another area...its not a rockface or cliff. I believe she may need to go with an instructor or a friend as couples do argue abd disagree and i dont want to be the pushy boyfriend. I believe she needs to be able to link turns confidently but she spends more time walking up the hill or on the magic carpet than snowboarding...shes made excuses about her headphones...her binding angles and other things when i think she cant admit the fear of facing down.the falk line....i believe trust in technique will help overcome that fear.....anyone had these fears themselves or with a partner and how to tackle it ? Are people who get scared so much simply going to be no good at snowboarding.....we both started at same time and im happy going to top of the mountain .i still get butterflies in stomach at the top of black runs but i.just go...try and not think too much an listen to my music to help with aggressive carving ...reactions and body.movement and planning my lines.
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Old 06-20-2014, 01:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Lessons ;-)
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Old 06-20-2014, 01:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Maybe snowboarding is just not her thing, not much you can do about that. Just let her go at her own pace. If she's willing to participate in a lesson even better. Some pick up the basics quickly, some take longer, and some really don't care for it and never will.
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Old 06-20-2014, 02:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Find out, what exactly she's most afraid of and then concentrate in building up the technique to handle that particular situation. Negociating that problem will build up confidence to tackle the next step. Is it that she can't brake if getting too much speed? Then exercise braking. Is it that she's afraid to catch an edge? Then concentrate on edge control. Is it the turning? Let her do slow turns in proper technique and actually feel the board, how it reacts, how the edges will to the turns without bustling movements.
It rarely is a good idea when couples teach eachother... and in your case, as you're noobish as well, you most probably won't be able to identify what she's doing right or wronly. Thus invest on more lessons and choose a gentle patient instructor who will listen to her, discuss her fears and tackle them - her excuses about gear show that she's overstrained/pushed too much. She should have the time to analyse the real problem.

On a sidenote: It's no good to compare how fast you progressed with her progress. Everybody is different. I assume, she's the gentle cautious type of girl? And you like her for being soft n gentle? If so, remind yourself that you usually like these traits when you feel you get impatient and don't expect her to change her character just cos you'd like her to be suddenly brave just cos you're on the slope now.

And at the risk of getting a shitstorm for my next comment: snowboarding isn't for everyone. I've many rather cautious/fearful female friends who tried snowboarding and gave up soon, switched to skies and enjoy their time on the slopes with skies. With skies you have better speed control as a beginner and you rarely fall due to the additional poles. If your gf absolutely won't overcome her fears, and you absolutely want to spend time on the slopes together... maybe she'll prefer the saver way.
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Last edited by neni; 06-20-2014 at 02:49 AM.
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Old 06-20-2014, 03:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Lessons ;-)
This.
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey thanks neni for useful comments...actually my gf feels more safer on a board than skis ...we have discussed it...yes she has admitted she may need another lesson but she can be aggressive in sport but the fear of going.fast on a board is the problem...i found the more steep you.go the more you.have to be patient and not force the board to turn too quick if its at the expense of balance. Is it true that pointing where you want to go with arms outstretched parellel to board can really help when learning to traverse and turn.
All i know is that mt hutts learners slope is a joke. Ive read in japan that one resorts beginners trail is 4km long.... Sometimes i think a holiday at a ski in ski out resort might be better as that way we can spend a good 6 to 12 days constantly on far longer learners slopes....another issue seems to be nz learners slopes arent very wide....if we were to go to usa or japan can anyone recommend a great beginners resort ?
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by stevros48 View Post
Hey thanks neni for useful comments...actually my gf feels more safer on a board than skis ...we have discussed it...yes she has admitted she may need another lesson but she can be aggressive in sport but the fear of going.fast on a board is the problem...i found the more steep you.go the more you.have to be patient and not force the board to turn too quick if its at the expense of balance. Is it true that pointing where you want to go with arms outstretched parellel to board can really help when learning to traverse and turn.
All i know is that mt hutts learners slope is a joke. Ive read in japan that one resorts beginners trail is 4km long.... Sometimes i think a holiday at a ski in ski out resort might be better as that way we can spend a good 6 to 12 days constantly on far longer learners slopes....another issue seems to be nz learners slopes arent very wide....if we were to go to usa or japan can anyone recommend a great beginners resort ?
buy all the protective gear you can buy, it will bring much confidence
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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buy all the protective gear you can buy, it will bring much confidence
+1 on that I wear the demon snow Battle suit. Demon Snow Flex Force Pro Top Body Armor - Men's | Dogfunk.com.

I get a little ribbing from my wife on this, but after a few non snowboard related surgeries, I take no risks.
It keeps u a little warmer and more protected
I find i laugh when I fall as the suit pretty much absorbs any hit.

Also, I had same problem with speed. I felt I was not in control when pointing the board straight down.

I took an initial lesson then
I followed a lot of the progressions steps from the snow professor's website.
I went by my self to bunny hill and just repeated each exercise till i felt comfortable with that step, then I moved on to next. I also found that going on slow days as well as going later in the season helped alot many of the bunny slopes are empty, which will also help build confidence. Less people to crash into or avoid means more focus on skills

for some people Speed takes time
confidence will take time, as long as you allow her to progress on her own schedule.
perhaps if you let her alone on the bunny slope, with a few visits during the course of a day
you may find that she will find the courage to meet you on the intermediate slope after a few days
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Is it true that pointing where you want to go with arms outstretched parellel to board can really help when learning to traverse and turn.
Yes, this can be helpful cos it avoids that you counter-turn the upper body, twist the hip and rudder - a very prominent and counterproductive beginner's mistake! By stretching out the arms you will automatically concentrate on what you do with your upper body, thus you'll turn your body in the right direction and the rest of the body and board follow that movement. You don't need to outstretch the arms like a cross, but lift them enought that you get aware of them.

The confidence to "point it" and trust the board that it will do the turn takes some time to build up. I really can feel her. Although my beginners days are long ago, I'm a complete noob when riding switch, and yes, I actually am concerned with getting too much speed as well as soon as the board is turned into the wrong direction . I've to overcome the same beginners mistakes (counter-turning, too much weight on back leg, etc.). Thus the mantra is: bend your knees, don't stay in the back-seat, mind your upper body, let the board do it's work - and have fun! I actually used that outstretched-arms technique again last season when I exercised riding switch and my muscle memory was uncapable to handle turns in the "wrong" direction. Looks silly but works well .

Taking a snowboarding holiday somewhere with proper slopes is a very good idea. Continuous days of riding will help a lot to progress. If you ever consider to visit Europe, Zermatt has - among the huge selection of other slopes - very nice beginner slopes: long and wide, with a consistent slope.
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Last edited by neni; 06-20-2014 at 06:31 AM.
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