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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Riding blue runs?

So I'm going for a weekend up the mountain and have been snowboarding 3 times so far (all with a lesson). I really want to snowboard this weekend bc i think 3 days in a row will really get my skills going but I'm going with a bunch of friends that are all going to stick to blue runs for the most part (blue runs on the west coast). I'm a bit of chicken sometimes... I can link skidded turns and stop on both edges and ride switch but i cant change edges on switch... just go and stop or change back to goofy. Last time I started using extension and flexion in my turns which did wonders for my toe-side.

I think the biggest thing with me is I'm a little scared to go fast and loose control so I commit to one turn, but i spend too much time at the perpendicular-with-the-slope stage and rather than making a smooth linked turn I end up trying to control my speed by almost turning uphill again... then i have trouble linking to the turn for obvious reasons. I went down a couple green runs and cut through some blue runs but I always chicken out and just plow down. I'm scared of going too fast i guess. I feel like if I could just muster up courage and go fast and have one smooth, fluid speed rather than slow-slow-turn fast-slow-slow it would be easier? The worst is near the end of the day.. i start to suck and start catching downhill edges and bail hard which is probably why my courage has disapeared. I'm determined to go to the peak...

Any tips and tricks are appreciated or maybe a list of things i should be able to do comfortable on greens before heading for blues? That fluid, carving motion.... i can't figure out how you control your speed like that... is it like skiing? where the more weight you throw into the turn, the more it slows you? and if so... where do you throw your weight? on your edge i guess?

I'm a really theory oriented person.. i need to be able to understand the physics of it to be able to do it.

oh and the only time i ever chicken out is going to heel-side... my toe-sides are close to perfect so i end up going heel-toe-heel-falling leaf-heel-toe-heel-falling leaf... lol...
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 11:16 AM
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I second this. While it's nice to ride with your friends, if they're that much better than you they'll either get pissed off or leave you behind anyway. If instead you go off on your own to a slope that you find easy -- and I mean easy, not just barely tolerable -- you'll progress a lot faster and have a lot more fun (which ultimately is the point). Arrange to meet your friends a couple of times a day, so they remember what you look like.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 04:22 PM
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Hmm.. might be too early if you are catching edges more often than you should be.

I'm a theory-oriented person too. I've taught dozens of friends how to snowboard, so I may have some tips that may help. First, if you're finding you catch too much speed going flat down the hill - is all your weight on your back leg? Basically 100% of the time, I see people new to steeper terrain picking up too much speed because all their weight is back. Keep your weight on your front leg or even.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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I really focus on leaning onto the front leg.

I think what happens to me is I start out fabulous in the morning... i fall a couple of times and then once i have a hard fall (usually on my butt or knees) i get sore and scared of falling... then it all goes downhill (literally...lol)

I turn, but then i level out and sometimes almost go uphill a bit and slow right down, nervously anticipating the next turn, which is jerky bc i'm going from sloooow to fast to slow again...

I only really catch my edges when I get tired and lose focus... mostly i'm super paranoid about catching edges.

All my problems are personality problems... in the mornings when i'm fresh and not sore, I can just scoot down the greens no problem. I have an "azzpadz" that I wear bc i do have a somewhat sensitive tailbone but I almost think it makes it worst.. it's like the only place I hurt is my tailbone.

I'm convinced if I could only stop being afraid of going fast, and have a more constant speed... all my problems would be solved. I had this exact problem when i started parallel skiing... i'd traverse to slow right down, and speed up in the turn and then slow right down again. It wasn't until I went on a blue run that it all came together.

Overall, I don't know how to control my speed other than to slow down in between turns... there must be a way to control your speed on a board, and keep the speed constant???? Does it have to do with pressure like it does skiing? (ie weight shifting with more pressure causes you to slow down). I need to go see the wizard of oz for some courage
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 06:04 PM
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If i can chime in my to cents ont his topic:

As a rider that literally picked this up at the beginning of last season, I think that i can help you out with this a little bit having all those fears still fresh in the brain!

First i will tell you about me, i live in alberta where the mountains are all around me....so went once last year, got hooked right away. bought an old second hand board that week. with in a few trips to the mountains(3 or 4) i was the exactly where you are. i could link my turns, i could go straight riding switch(only going toeside), and when riding my regular stance i couldn't go heelside very well, only riding greens and the odd blue(with extreme caution, aka snowplowing)......fast forward to today. i ride blacks regular, moguls(not that i like them) trees/off track, the odd double black, and can ride switch(full on carving), along with small jumps(nothing to write home about, but still landing them). and to top it off unlike last year i have a need for speed! i love to get that plank up to top speed!

so to your problem at hand, here is what i did....

1. first stick to the green runs until you have mastered them(or at least think that you have) and you will know when this happens pretty quick, when you are the one looking at people and knowing what they are doing wrong.

2. practice doing low speed 360's if you are all ready comfortable riding straight switch then start by riding switch, go toeside applying more pressure on the back foot, until you are almost back around at your regular stance(this is where it gets tricky) you need to learn how to transfer your weight to straighten your board and switch edges at the same time. then keep this motion going and go heelside, applying the pressure to your back foot again and spinning around another 180 to riding switch again. keep doing this, the benefit that will come from learning to do this is amazing! you will feel how the edges work on the board and you will learn how to heelside without even knowing that you are! once you are comfortable with this do it the other way.... AND look at that you know a trick!

3. start doing what i call spot turns, look at a spot in the snow, and tell yourself that you are going to turn when you hit that spot and DO IT! and practice that for both heelside and toeside!

4.riding the big hills is cool, and i know this isn't really advice to help you this weekend, but what i did was got a pass for a local hill to where i live, it isn't that great, and pretty short....but i went there for a few hours every couple days with one thing in mind for the day, so i would pick something weather it was learning how to carve switch or just simply practicing my heelside carving. this will improve you riding by leaps and bounds!

5. Practice practice practice! the more that you practice the better that you are going to get ! the more that you have the board on, the more you are going to know the physics of snowboarding work!


my biggest problem was probably a lot like what i assume you are doing, over thinking what you are doing at the moment or what your next move is, you are concentrating sooo much on it that you are screwing yourself up and probably causing you to fall. just do something as simple as carving a green run, don't try anything that you haven't already done before, but don't think about what you are doing!

hope this helps your cause, and sorry about being so long winded

Last edited by doylerules; 01-26-2011 at 06:24 PM.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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thank-you for your tips! you're right i do overthink..

I just went out today and bought my first pair of snowboard boots!! I did NOT realise how poorly those rentals fit until I put these puppies on! I either got stuck with 7's which were too tight or 7 1/2's which were too big in the rentals (in a brand new pair i'm a size 9...lol). Last time I went my boots kept loosening... I'm sort of hoping that my lack of board control came partially from the fact that my heel was coming probably close to a 3/4 to an inch off the bottom of the boot everytime I went onto my toeside which in turn constantly loosened my boot.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 11:42 PM
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it sounds like you need to make bigger turns
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 11:49 PM
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Just to play devil's advocate, but I find my riding progressed the most when I surrounded myself with those who were better/more advanced than myself.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 02:17 AM
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Dude, listen to snowolf. I had the EXACT same situation down to the T. I can link turns when I'm going slowly, really think about what I'm doing, and careful when my board goes straight down to try to have my rear edge still engage so I'm not going down super fast, then i allow it to go flat for one milisecond and I immediately turn either toe or heel side.
I was really happy when I was on the green run, linking turns, eating some shit, but not much. So happy about my progress, had lunch with friend, she decided we should try the blues. Since northstar was famous for their runs being flat, i thought okay... worse i can do is plow down.

And for someone who's not good with snow, never been on mountain before, that was shit. I got off the lift, managed to not fall down, but looked down the slope and went "WTF". I stopped at every single trail crossing point to ask people which one is the least steep. I encountered cat track which I had absolutely no idea what to do. I was using heelside edge to falling leaf down the whole time, my quads were burning in order to control speed. I attempted one toe side turn and i immediately fell over, rolled down the slope a few times. I was miserable.

Then I encountered an area that was a steep turn, on the right, if my turn is nasty, I'll fall down the black mountain side which looks just like a cliff, or if I was able to go by the turn, i will go down this nasty steep slope. I unstrapped, walked to the slope, it was SO freakn steep i can't even get up. I was wondering if I should just sit on the snow and ride down on my ass. Finally i was able to stand up and plow/heel side down. I think this traumatized me. Everythign went downhill then.

I got scared to fall, when i fell in the blue run, impact was larger, i rolled a few times (doesn't happen on green). I became very paranoid about falling. I started to use my wrist and somewhat hurt it. (not bad at all though).

By the way, my friend wore a wrist guard and broke his arm right where the wrist guard ended, broke both the large bones on is arm!! Scary!!

So long story short, my advice is to stick to green until you like carve down like you own the mountain, don't do it.

But do share your storey afterwards please!
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Chaos Theory View Post
Just to play devil's advocate, but I find my riding progressed the most when I surrounded myself with those who were better/more advanced than myself.
Yes, by riding with better riders you can progress just by watching if you are a visual learner. However, this can backfire very quickly if the split between you and the "Better" riders is too great. Because the difference in speed to keep up a lower rider will end up taking more chances, at higher speeds, and create bad habits doing this. I taught a girl that thought she was a level 5-6 because she rode blues and blacks with her friends and could keep up. She wanted the lesson to stop the buring and pain in her legs. She couldn't ride her toeside to save her life. She was experiencing the burn because she rode the same way the whole time. It was like sitting against a wall for half an hour. She kept up by being the fastest heelsider I have ever seen. Needless to stay it took awhile to get her to break through that need to see straight down the slope, feel safe from going to heel to toe, and to slow down enough to start building the blocks for good riding.

By the way this started off a little game where I and some friends would have heelside races. Tons of fun.

Last edited by gjsnowboarder; 01-27-2011 at 09:24 AM.
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