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Old 01-09-2011, 03:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Super newbie questions (really basic)

Hi everyone,

I'm very new to the sport at an older age. I took 2 lessons this past weekend, each about 2 hour long and it was SO MUCH FUN! I've never ski in my life, and first time snowboarding this weekend.

So, I've learned some really basic things and is still struggling through some. I thought the instructors were very very good. First day, we were taught the basics (sorry, i don't know alot of the terms), skating, j turns, going down the hill on toe or heel edge (board perpendicular to the hill so it goes slow), falling leaf. 2nd day we tried to solidify our heel edge and toe edge going down. Here's my problem. I'm okay with heel side going down. I looked at some youtube videos, and shockingling, I thought I was doing falling leaf on heel side, but after checking out the video, basically I was doing what the video described as aggressive heelside turn??? Because my board is mostly pointed nose down and I do a j turn to stop or slow down and I go to my left and do the same thing (I ride goofy) I essentially has no control over the speed.
YouTube - How to Snowboard : Aggressive Heelside Snowboarding Turns

I absolutely hate my toe side edge when turning. I'm very unstable on this side. I initiate my turn pushing my shin towards my boots (both feet) lowering myself down and if i'm lucky, i make the turn and stop, if not, i fall forward. I felt like it's alot harder to do a smooth turn and stop on the toe edge. Or worse, I have a strange tendency to lean towards my heel and fall on my ass hard. I have to keep reminding myself of this but sometimes I would forget.
Any tips for getting over this fear?


Also, it takes me a long time from going down the hill to make a turn, i tend to glide quickly down (nose of board pointing down) then i would put pressure on heels to initiate my j turn and dig in to stop, but this process takes up half of my bunny slope, so I can only do a few turns or falling leaf before I get to the bottom. Tips?

I realized that I'm older, but I'm quite athletic, even so, snowboarding is very difficult, but I'm determined to learn it. At least to be able to get thru some blue runs doing S turns by the end of the season.
Any tips for an absolute beginner would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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When their learning EVERYONE has a turn that is like pulling teeth for them. For goofy riders it's usually the frontside turn, and for regular riders it's often the backside turn. I actually found the same thing was true on ski's as well.

Couple things to keep in mind when trying to get used that that turn:

- You have to commit to making the turn. If your cruising and get half-way into the turn, then freak out and abort, your more likely to crash then if you just went for it. Not to mention that your not going to progress and will be stuck doing the falling-leaf forever.

- Lean forward. Learning forward, (so that your center of gravity is over the board, rather then behind it) is essential for making good turns. Leaning back also causes you to gain speed faster, which can cause you to get out of control really quick and abort your turns. I know it feels awkward and your body is screaming don't do it, but the more you just commit to it the smoother snowboarding is going to start feeling.
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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^^ agreed, once you commit to the turn... you'll have this deep down feeling every time you hit that toe side turn it'll be all bubbly and happy inside.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you guys. By leaning forward, should I be sinking my knees down towards the mountain (slope?) I think I tried leaning forward and ended up bending my back over and it's not good?

I also have this really dumb question. So my instructor taught us how to turn our snowboard over by picking up our knees and roll over. Maybe I'm not understanding this, if I'm trying to learn toe side edge down, it doesn't really matter which way i'm facing (looking down the mountain vs looking up the mountain) shouldn't it? I mean I would start by pointing the boards nose down the slope, then just engage my toe edge to initate the turn? why do they make us start facing up the mountain??

Also, how hard do you dig into the toe edge to do the turn/stop? My instructor said I have to do it more gradually, I'm just jerking down quickly so I fall.


And last question, I'm super uncomfortable skating, it's very very inefficient for me and I end up wasting alot of energy. I do realize this is necessary especially to get on and off the lift. I was boarding at Sierra at Tahoe, so luckily they have this magic carpet to take me up. I don't know why I'm MUCH more comfortable strapping both feet in than skating with just one foot strapped in. I tried digging my heel edge in, initiate the skate with backfoot behind my front binding. My board still skates around

Appreciate all suggestions again!
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fayewolf View Post
Thank you guys. By leaning forward, should I be sinking my knees down towards the mountain (slope?) I think I tried leaning forward and ended up bending my back over and it's not good?

I also have this really dumb question. So my instructor taught us how to turn our snowboard over by picking up our knees and roll over. Maybe I'm not understanding this, if I'm trying to learn toe side edge down, it doesn't really matter which way i'm facing (looking down the mountain vs looking up the mountain) shouldn't it? I mean I would start by pointing the boards nose down the slope, then just engage my toe edge to initate the turn? why do they make us start facing up the mountain??

I hope Im understanding this, but probably for the people who are still worried about picking up speed, because as soon as the nose is pointed down the slope(fall line), speed increases. They probably want you to start by getting up on your toe side so you dont need to worry about making the edge transition, just learning how to apply toe side pressure.

Also, how hard do you dig into the toe edge to do the turn/stop? My instructor said I have to do it more gradually, I'm just jerking down quickly so I fall.
There's no definitive answer, but start with slight pressure with the front foot and adjust from there with the rear foot following.

And last question, I'm super uncomfortable skating, it's very very inefficient for me and I end up wasting alot of energy. I do realize this is necessary especially to get on and off the lift. I was boarding at Sierra at Tahoe, so luckily they have this magic carpet to take me up. I don't know why I'm MUCH more comfortable strapping both feet in than skating with just one foot strapped in. I tried digging my heel edge in, initiate the skate with backfoot behind my front binding. My board still skates around
You need to make sure you are keeping most of your weight on the front foot. If you are keeping it on the rear, you have very little control. Also, some people skate with their rear foot on the toe side rather than behind on the heel side. Try both, and pick which one you like better for now. In the future you want to be able to do both.
Appreciate all suggestions again!
Good luck!
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you!! I'm going back this weekend and will try this out. I think one of my biggest issue is lack of confidence and the fear factor. Having the fall line behind me for some reason freaks me out. I'll have to somehow get through this!!
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Snowolf: Thank you so much for taking the time to explain this to me! I also watched your videos and they are excellent!

Please forgive my ignorance, not ever been on snow ever until last friday so some of my questions can be really stupid...



1) both feet: toes up to maintain heelside traverse.
By Heelside traverse, you're meaning that my board is perpendicular to the slope, with my board across the fall line, so if my heel is dug in hard enough, I am not moving right?



2) front foot only: relax to neutral flat foot position to allow the nose to slip down the hill.
So this is to put my front foot down (heel no longer dug in the snow? I think for me to transition from the heelside traverse to moving down, I basically put my weight on my front foot and "hope that it'll go down at a manegeable speed. If I just relax my front foot, my back foot will still be heel down right? I assume this will not make my board go nose down and speed up like crazy?



3) back foot: relax to neutral so that both feet are flat as the board points down the hill flat based.
So if I'm understanding step number 2 correctly, I'll relax front foot first till the board is heading back down, and I complete this turn to make the board point down the hill by flattening my back foot? THis makes my board go really fast though (i'm talking about bunny slope, but again, to me it's kinda fast...





4) front foot only: gradually apply toe pressure and hold it to start steering the nose up out of the fall line.

So, I would just apply toe pressure on my right foot (i ride goofy), the board will start turning up hill? (nose swings uphill towards the right?

5) back foot: gradually apply toeside pressure as the board steers across the fall line at the completion of the turn.

6) both feet: solidly pressuring the toe edge of the board to traverse across the hill.

I think I'm getting this.

So let me ask you this, if I want to practice this, should I be doing this in those short bunny slope? i don't get to do the run many times before the run ends. Or should I go up to this 2.5mile long green run? I have no idea if this is steeper than the bunny slope i've been stuck on. Is it better to work my way down and if i fall, i can just pick up where I am, without having to hike all the way back to the top of the bunny slope? Thanks!!!

Thank you again for your patience!!
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Consider wearing padded shorts, knee pads, and elbow pads. Definitely use wrist guards and a helmet. If you're all padded up then it doesn't hurt as much when you fall, so it's easier to gain confidence. As a (slightly) older guy I understand that things don't heal up as well as they did 20-30 years ago, so getting injured is no longer easy to laugh off. Once you get better and smoother you fall less, and can start shedding pads.
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm definately consider a wrist pad, I forgot to mention I'm a violinist, so I absolutely cannot break my wrist.... thanks for the advice. And the knee pad... i think having it will help with peace of mind, I saw a pic of my friend who hurt her knees, they were purple and size of the grapefruit and totally freaked me out!
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fayewolf View Post
I'm definately consider a wrist pad, I forgot to mention I'm a violinist, so I absolutely cannot break my wrist.... thanks for the advice. And the knee pad... i think having it will help with peace of mind, I saw a pic of my friend who hurt her knees, they were purple and size of the grapefruit and totally freaked me out!
If you make your living with your hands then do not go boarding again without wrist protection. Wrist injuries are the most common snowboarding injury.

When you're first learning to snowboard you spend a lot of time on the ground, especially knees and butt.
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