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Old 01-30-2011, 06:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Sharing my recent snowboarding experience and frustration still

I went to squaw valley this past weekend, honestly, I don't know why I'm still trying when I still fall on my ass this much, I've already tried it 5 times, most people would've gotten it by now!! But i love it so much I'll keep trying!

So, Squaw is a huge huge resort. I looked at the map, and there were only 2-3 extremely short green runs. Friend and I did night boarding, and I was nearly in tears. We did a few green runs together, and he wanted to take the green run all the way down to the village. He's a skier. Does NOT understand what flat bowl or flat cat track means to a beginner snowboarder. I got stuck because I often speed check myself since I'm still learning and really afraid of speed. He kept yelling at me not to loose my momentum or else I'll get stuck. I did. So did a alot of other snowboarders (they were like monkeys moving their board with their hands on the snow!!). I was so frustrated i had to unstrap and walk till there's a slope. I gave up mid way and went onto a chairlift that I THOUGHT would take me back where I came from. WRONG!! It took us up to a blue run. Friend was asking the lift operator where it was going, turned around and I was on the lift chair, and he yelled at me for getting onto a lift that I didn't know where I was going for the ENTIRE ride. I know i was wrong, but I really was very stressed out at that point. We went down fine.

2nd day: (Seriously, I'm considering dumping him as a friend, i've never been this stressed and pressured). He insist that I should try some blue runs. I did, while I am not so afraid of the steep slopes anymore, but it does nothing to help with my technique. I cannot get myself to do toe side turn when it's steep. But the nice thing about squaw's blue run is that they are REALLY long, and parts of them are gentle enough that allowed me to practice linking my turns. I can do them alot better now, but as soon as it gets steep, or have uneven surface, I get scared.

Cat tracks: I don't understand why there are so many of them at squaw. I tried really hard to remember what snowolf said about cat tracks but it was just too hard. On my left side, it was a freakn cliff. Unfortunately, since I ride goofy, my week side (toe side) is on my left. I need ALOT of space to make my turn, and if i don't make my turn shallow enough, i'll freakn slip down the slope! Gave up and just falling leaf down.
At one of those cat tracks, I was actually able to do very shallow turns, but then had a brain lapse and bam, caught a heel edge on my toe side turn.


So some of my observation about my riding and my frustrations:

I'm definately feeling the toe side ALOT better now. But when i link turns, i feel like it's not a natural thing to me. Every step i do, i have to think. I basically go through what snowolf tells me, the whole sequence.
However, when the terrain is gentle, i can really feel the torsion of the board when I control my turns with my front foot. I love that feeling.
I felt like my heel side is fast and I generally have no problem transitioning from toe side to heel side. but Toe side is so hard...

How I usually eat shit:

When i was tired, not paying attention to details, forgot to have my board flat and catch a heel edge while doing a toeside turn, fell on hard packed ice, I cannot bring myself to attempt another turn

I rarely fall when i'm on my heel edge initiating a toe side turn. It is the process of the turn, either catching an edge trying to complete the turn , or after the turn is completed, I try to initate the heel turn but neglecting to make sure my board is flat.

Will i ever freakn get this??
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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By the way, I know I'm suppose to lean down towards the slope, while this is quite easy to do on greens, I do not, simply do not have the courage to do that on the blues. The speed is quite intimidating.
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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so from what i am reading you are struggling turning from your heel edge onto your toe edge? thats something i struggled with once i started linking my turns as when i did it the board always lifted up and out on me. Best advice i got with turning from heel to toe edge was to always make sure that your front knee is bent and not straight. Trust that even though transitioning and speed increasing that once onto the edge you will be back in control. Another thing when i was learning all my friends told me that it could be quite a frustrating time to learn how to board and i found that out with falls all over the place, probably would have helped had i taken a proper lesson but i got there eventual. Riding a snowboard at first is unnatural, your not going to be one with your board after a couple of times out and you need to think it through until it becomes muscle memory or whatever you want to call it. dont give up
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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One trick that I was taught is to ride down with both hands on your knees. It's not perfect technique, but it is a work around method of weighting both feet somewhat similarly. Try it when you're aware that you're leaning back on steeps.

Full disclosure: I have been snowboarding just 9 times, all of them between Dec. 2010 and yesterday. Look at my post as an offering of info that has helped me, and not as a coaching tip from an experienced rider.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dump the friend, at least for going riding with. If he's pressuring you to go on runs you aren't comfortable with, he's basically asking you to put yourself in danger for his convenience. That's good for the big ol' one-finger salute as far as I'm concerned.

Second, don't get discouraged by slow progress. "Slow" is only compared to people who are naturals at it or have been doing it all their lives. Strangely, you never end up comparing yourself to other people that have had similar problems. That's human nature, I guess.

My wife, when she was learning to ski (last year) was freaked out by a slope that I swear you couldn't get water to run downhill on. She took a 4-evening lesson package from Seymour and wasn't skiing properly at the end of it. But she kept at it and somehow a couple of weeks later, something clicked. Now I get beaten with a ski pole if we don't go up the moutain often enough, and she's talking blue runs.

It does click eventually. And when it does, it's all worth it.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Don't go with that skier friend any more. It's too frustrating for both of you. No need for that silliness when you're out there to have fun.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey Fayewolf - this is Vicki the 50 year old snowboarding beginner that we have posted regarding our experiences as we learn this new fangled thing.

I have posted my most recent runs and I have gotten a little better. So.... I ventured with my Hubby to a blue run to see if I would freak out about the steepness. My plan was just to falling leaf it to get the feel of a blue run. Well, getting off the chairlift nearly gave me a heart attack! I've never seen such a steep slope getting off a chairlift. I was hanging onto the chairlift with dear life before I finally let go. I stayed up but was worried the lift operator would reem me a new one. So, I got strapped in, started down and when I came to the first crest I freaked out and fell backwards. I was too freaked to try to stand up thinking I would head plant it down the mountain. So... with all the people above me on the chairlift watching, I sldd down on my ass half way down that section until I felt confident enough to stand up. Made it down the rest of the way to the last couple of hundred feet and then did my toe side heel side turns at the bottom. That was the extent of my blue run and I must stay I know I'm not ready for blue runs.

Keep at it but stay on the greens!
Vicki
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Keep it up everybody...it all clicks in due course and it is definitely worth the effort (and the panic attacks...we've all been there, and most of us return on a regular basis for the adrenaline rush!).
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Everyone, thanks for all the replies.
Yes, that friend needs to be dump. Correction about the first night skiing route we took. It was a 3.5 mile long blue run from high camp down to the village at squaw. Not ever done a green run that long in my life, I just didn't have the courage to do it. Finally when i got the courage to do it the next day, yelled at me for being slow, how he was waiting and making phone calls I wasn't down yet. I was so angry.. i told him to split up and meet up later, he insist on going with me but he wasn't patient.

Donutz, very interesting. I'm usually a quick learner, so it's very weird for me to not able to click with snowboarding... but I do get it. I lol about your analogy of wife not able to get down the slope that water won't even run down! Brought smile to my face!

Vicki: I saw your video and I'm SUPER jealous! How you linked those turns so smoothly and effortlessly. My turns are really uneven. Sometimes i link them really quickly, sometimes it takes me forever and slowly. Yes, those blue runs are so freakn scary. I cannot for the life of me let the board go flat to initiate a turn, heart attack inducing indeed.I know how you feel on the steep slope. I was on top of one of the peak at emigrant peak and I sat there for the longest time wondering if I should just sit on my ass and slide down. I finally did the world's slowest record of falling leaf to get down....dumping friend and never going out with him again.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fayewolf View Post
...yelled at me for being slow, how he was waiting and making phone calls I wasn't down yet. I was so angry.. i told him to split up and meet up later, he insist on going with me but he wasn't patient.
How annoying! You told him to go on his own, he refused, then got upset that he had to wait! Grrrrrr!

Next time if he asks to go with you I hope you tell him "No way, not after last time. Never again, because you were too annoying!"
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