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Old 11-16-2011, 05:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to go about first boxes/rails

Last season was my first season, and just towards the end of the season I started venturing into the park. I never really gave the boxes/rails a try. They were always kind of sketchy, I'm going to be shredding somewhere else this season and I'd like some advice on my first boxes/rails so I don't make a complete fool of myself. Any advice is welcome! thanks!
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Nickx View Post
Last season was my first season, and just towards the end of the season I started venturing into the park. I never really gave the boxes/rails a try. They were always kind of sketchy, I'm going to be shredding somewhere else this season and I'd like some advice on my first boxes/rails so I don't make a complete fool of myself. Any advice is welcome! thanks!
Since no one has showed you any love, I'll lend my experiences...limited as they may be.

I started boxes at the end of last season. Start small, first of all. Find a nice, short flat box with a well groomed landing. Don't try boxes on a day where the ride up to it is sketchy and wiped out.

Take it slow...it's harder to balance at a slower speed, but it will give you extra comfort and potentially save you some pain.

As for rails...I'd wait until you can hit boxes without thinking about it to try them. The weight distribution is precarious the first few times.

Best of luck and post on how it goes.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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While i agree with the guy above me that you shouldn't hit it going full speed, don't go to slow, it will be really hard to stay up and you will most likely slip out.
Just come up to it carving like normal and when you get within a few feet, try to get flat based and just ride on. The main part about boxes is that you must stay flat based. do not get up on your edges, you will fall. the biggest problem i see with people is they start to turn a few degrees and then try to get up on there toe edge and rotate back to being straight and just slip out on their toes. If you are turning, try to just point with your head/shoulders in which direction you want to go, your board will follow.
The biggest thing is just commiting and going for it, once you get the hang of it they're fun!
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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i am no park rat, so my "advice" is pretty limited. but most hills have a beginner park...go there first. it will have small jumps and ride on boxes and maybe rails. but get good and confident on ride on features. first ride on boxes, get the hang of the slight tweaks and how to stay centered. then take it to some ride on rails, again, get good at balancing. Your first attempts at rails and boxes will be 50/50s, its just how people start.
after that go back to the ride on boxes and board slide them, then once you have that down go to ride on rails and board slide thoes.

after you have that down move on to hop on boxes close to the ground. keep a decent speed, not too fast or you will freak yourself out, and not too slow or you will slip right off. again, your first slides will be 50/50s. come at it on a side (toeside is easier because you can see where you are landing) at a slight angle, pop off of the transfer and land hopefully even on the box. i dont know enough to go in depth about the mechanics of it.

if you just go out and put the fear of eating shit out of your mind and just take a few slams you will get the hang of it pretty quickly. honestly the fear aspect of park is what holds most beginners back. Yes you will fall, and yes rails and boxes hurt like a bitch. But if you want to progress you have to wipe that from your mind and stop caring about that for a while. when i am sitting there at the top of the park staring at the features picking out my line is the scariest part for me. I just stare at my first hit for a while visualizing my self and what i am going to do on it over and over until i have sufficiently rehearsed it in my head. Once i get the first hit out of the way the fear of falling goes away and, unless i fall of course, i hit one feature after another without stopping. Once i have my momentum started i am in the zone and ignore any thoughts of fear.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You shouldn't assume he will do 50/50's first. My first time on a rail I was board sliding it. I felt more comfortable doing a board slide than I did a 50/50.
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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All good advice above. A few points previously mentioned that I'd really stress..

1. Stay low and keep the knees bent. Biggest time I see people come out on an edge is when they are learning and standing too straight up or getting too tense.

2. If you're on box or rail and you're coming off the side of it, don't fight it, just come off and hit it again.

3. When you're on the box/rail, don't look down at your feet, look at the end of the obstacle. Don't go too slow either (as said above)

4. This may be personal opinion but if you're doing a ride-on box and you decide to boardslide it, don't just shift the board when you come to it, hop into it. That's another thing I see a lot, people trying to set up for the boardslide too early. The natural tendency on a snowboard when you are moving on-snow and the board is no longer pointing down the fall line is that you want to be on an edge. If you hop into it (I say hop as in both feet because a specific ollie isn't really necessary at this point), you can land flat based. I know there's threads here of people building balance beams for off-slope practice so you may want to look into doing something like that if you have stuff laying around you can build one with. It would probably be a huge learning aide when getting on rails from the side, but I learned the hard way (..CLANK!)

5. Take this one with a grain of salt because it's more comfortable for me but may not be for you. I find it easier to slide a box or a rail if it's directly under my foot so I usually do more nose slides than I do boardslides. I think it looks better as well and I feel like I have a ton more control when it's directly under my foot.


Anyways, good luck and have fun. You're gonna fall, but just like the first days on a board don't let it get to you.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Not assuming anything; recommending a logical progression. In 7 years of instructing and doing park progression, I have not seen anyone do board slides before doing a 50-50 so it is logical to start a progression with 50-50`s. A 50-50 is a technically much easier and safer task to do for the first time box rider. If he does not want to try that, I am sure he will ask about board slides and I will be happy to work with him on that too.
I guess progression is a bit different for everyone. I come from a wake-boarding background and rarely does anyone do a 50/50. Naturally you need to learn to hop on from the side and board slide the rail. I guess it was just instinct for me to go straight into board slides when I started snowboarding. I find them to be a much easier slide.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Oh definitely! If I have a student that is like you, then definitely we would start with the boardslide. In general, AASI recognizes that "most" people are way more comfortable riding on an artificial feature sliding "normally" at first. Most people have a very natural fear of catching an edge when boardsliding and this is why 99% of falls boardsliding are backwards; people almost always lean way too far back out fear of catching the toe edge. This is the reason that when a new park rider talks about hitting their first boxes everyone does assume that the 50-50 will be the best intro....
the first thing that was taught to me with wake-boarding was to almost lean forward....applied the same thing to snowboarding and it seems to work out for me.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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ATML
Did you really type that all out or did you cut and paste it from elsewhere? Wow!
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I was thinking about this earlier and came up with some questions. Generic in nature, but maybe someone can enlighten me.

I've got a couple junk boards that I swing around on to get some exercise. I've got an old army trunk that's maybe 1.5 feet tall that I put some blankets on and practice hopping up onto it. Various spins on and off. I'm mainly trying to get the feel of committing to the rail/box.

My question is this: The trunk is about 2 feet wide. Do you think it's actually counterproductive to be practicing on something so wide? I.E. when I actually try it, will the width difference be so substantial that the practice is actually counterproductive?
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